All over the internet - every blogger offers his or her solution to beat the heat - eating granita all day, iced coffee, cold brew, fruity iced teas and ice cream several times a day.......
Well our solution has been to hit the kitchen - we are blessed with an all year round cool kitchen - always 22c degrees - well we even sleep in the kitchen these days...... So with all this time in the kitchen, we have really gotten into a bunch a new dishes, redone some old ones and trying out old techniques in a new way. Like last weeks Strattu - the sun dried tomato paste - originally from Sicily - we had calculated for a drying period for 3-4 days - but with full sun and 43c degrees - all was done in 2 days........
When buying aubergines look for firm and shiny ones with fresh looking tops. And they should feel heavy compared to their size. And another good tip is to look for male aubergines - they tend to have less seeds - look for the ones with a slightly pointed tip.
Well on the with cooking - this week's heat wave brought a new dish to the house - perfect crisp and spicy croquettes of baked aubergines - perfect as part of an antipasto or as a party snack......serve hem with a spicy chili mayo or a refreshing salsa verde with plenty of mint.
2 aubergines, you want about 400 g pure at the end
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200 g potatoes
50 g parmesan, finely grated
50 g bread crumbs + extra for coating
pinch of chili
green herbs - feel free to go overboard in the herb garden
sea salt and black pepper
sunflower oil for frying
Preheat your oven to 200c degrees.
Cut aubergines in half on the long side. Make small cuts into the aubergines, but don't cut through. Place slices of garlic in the slits, drizzle with olive oil and bake in preheated oven until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Once cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh and place in a sieve set over a bowl. leave to drain for a few hours and overnight.
Cook potatoes with the peel in unsalted water until tender. Drain and peel, then crush with a fork - not too fine - you still want lumps of soft potato. In a bowl add drained aubergines, potato, egg, parmesan, bread crumbs, chili and lots of chopped herbs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems very wet, add more bread crumbs.
Shape into croquette, about 4-5 cm long and coat in lots of bread crumbs. Place on a tray sprinkled with more bread crumbs and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.
When you are ready to serve, heat about 4 cm of sun flower oil in a pan an shallow fry croquette until golden brown and crispy - you might want to do this in batches. Lift out of the oil and place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Keep fried ones warm and crisp in a 100c degrees hot oven.
Serve right away with lemon and a good spicy salsa.