The Cuisine of Queens & Beyond Food and Wine Gala was held last week, hosted by Top Chef alum Andrea Beaman and Rocco Sacramone of Trattoria L’incontro. In case you missed it or just need a little something to tempt you into visiting the Borough of Queens, Sacramone shares the recipe for his signature Eggplant Tortino.
“Like most chefs, combining flavors is something I do. That is how we create new dishes,” says Sacramone. “Many times, I will be making a dish that we serve everyday and I will try something new with it. Or, I might come across something in my travels that I find interesting and try using that in a dish. Cooking is something I love to do, it’s an art and the kitchen is my canvas.”
1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise about 1/8″ thick
1 tablespoon white raisins
1/2 small onion, diced
2 small zucchini, diced with skin on
2 small red bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
4 teaspoons goat cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for baking and sautéing
white truffle oil, for drizzling
In a baking pan, pour a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of the pan, and place the eggplant in the pan. Brush each slice of the eggplant with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat up 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil, and sauté the diced onion and raisins together until the onion is slightly caramelized. Add in the zucchini, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, add in the vermouth and return to the burner, being careful as the vermouth might ignite. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables begin to get tender but not mushy. Remove from the stove, and set aside.
Line each of four ramekins with the eggplant, making sure that you leave enough of it hanging off the side of the ramekin. When you have the entire inside surface covered with eggplant, place a teaspoon of goat cheese on the bottom. Fill the rest of the ramekin with the vegetable mixture up to the top. Fold over the eggplant to cover the vegetables. Place the ramekins in a pan with about an inch or two of water. Cover the pan with foil, and bake in a 400-degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and invert each ramekin onto a serving dish. Drizzle with truffle oil, and serve.
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