Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Subanik / Roasted Aubergine & Mushroom Stew

Subanik / Roasted Aubergine & Mushroom Stew
(serves 6)


For the sauce
- 4 medium red bell peppers, cut in half from top to bottom, then stemmed and seeded
- 9 roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 4 tomatillos, husks removed
- 1 dried ancho chili pepper, washed inside and out, seeds and stem removed
- 1 dried red chili pepper, such as chili de arbol
- 1 or 2 Thai red chili peppers

For the mushroom and aubergine (eggplant)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.25 pounds mushrooms
- 1.5 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- water, as needed
- 1.25 pounds aubergine, cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 to 4 sprigs thyme


For the sauce
> preheat the oven to 500ºF
> place the red bell peppers on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them once or twice, until their skins are blistered with black spots all around
> foil another baking sheet and place the tomatoes and onion cut side down on the sheet, along with the whole tomatillos, dried chili peppers and Thai red chili pepper; roast for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are quite tender, with blistered skins

> working in several batches, transfer the roasted peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and Thai red chili pepper to a blender; pulse for 1 to 2 minutes for each batch, until a fairly smooth sauce forms; do not over-process the mixture
> break off pieces of the dried chili peppers and add them through the top of the blender while the motor is running; stop to taste, and add more of the dried chili peppers to achieve the desired level of spiciness

For the mushroom and aubergine:
> toss the cleaned mushrooms and cubed aubergine in the oil with thyme and gently salt and pepper
> place on an unlined baking sheet and place into the broiling hot oven
> broil until golden all over, turning a few times

> add a little water to the baking sheet to scrape up the browned on bits from broiling the mushrooms and aubergine; pour over the vegetables
> in a large pot, add together the puréed vegetables, roasted mushroom and eggplant, and the bay leaves
> cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended
> salt and pepper to taste

For the full menu of what was served at the Guatemala lunch, go here.  

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