Smokin’ Aubo Bites

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Am very pleased to be back, after my lengthy absence and am happy to say regular recipes should be coming back, possibly with a few other articles. During my absence I have been brainstorming ideas for recipes which I can’t wait to share with you, as well as a few other articles – watch this space!

To start of the New Year I’ve come up with some Paleo Party Food; this recipe came about after eating some very badly cooked aubergine in a restaurant and, in the past, I have had trouble getting aubergine to be nice and soft. A solution became apparent, puree the aubergine! One other method, which I’ve used in the past in my ratatouille recipe, is to salt the aubergine; this removes some of the liquid from the aubergine and allows them to fry with less oil. In the past I’ve found this helps keep the aubergine soft however I have tried both salting and not salting and have found that there is no difference in taste for the purpose of this recipe. Additionally if you are making it with the anchovies I wouldn’t recommend salting the aubergine as well; there would be too much salt; it ruins the taste and certainly isn’t good for you.

From there this recipe started to develop on its own and I was playing around with ingredients and flavours to add to it and eventually settled on this recipe which I’ve called Smokin’ Aubo Bites (another working title was “Cos You’re Smoking”, but I didn’t think that was quite as good). In my family, for as long as I can remember, we’ve always called aubergines aubo’s (oboes), hence the origin of that part; the “smokin'” comes from the smoked paprika in the mixture.

The recipe is ideal for parties or as a starter to a meal for several people. It can be served in a number of ways and I’ve shown two below, one of which is suitable for vegetarians as well. I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to producing some new healthy recipes for you this year. Enjoy.

Smokin’ Aubo Bites

Preparation to Plate: 14 Minutes

Serves 4-8 (Makes 30)

Keep refrigerated

Consume within 2-3 days

Ingredients:

3 Aubergines, roughly cubed

2-3 Mini Cos Lettuces, depends on how you’d like to serve it

1 tbsp Smoked Paprika

Anchovy Fillets, tins or jars are fine, buy according to quantity you’re making

Juice of Half a Lime

Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pepper

Salt

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Whilst the oven is heating up, chop the aubergine into rough cubes and place on a baking tray or in a roasting tin. Pour over a generous amount of olive oil (not extra virgin) and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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While the aubergine is cooking, wash the cos lettuce and peel off the leaves, pre-arrange them on a plate if you wish. Drain the anchovies and have them ready for the end. Once the aubergine is cooked put it in a food processor, add the smoked paprika, generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and lime juice, add salt and pepper to taste. Blitz the mixture in the processor until it has a fairly smooth consistency (or until it reaches the consistency you want).

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Use a teaspoon to spoon out a heap of the mixture onto a cos lettuce leaf, add an anchovy fillet (can display them however you like, I personally chose a curl) and serve.

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Additional Serving Suggestion:

If you don’t like anchovies or the people you’re making them for don’t like them, or if you just fancy going full vegetarian, then I’d recommend decanting the mixture into a bowl and surround it with cos lettuce leaves to allow your party guests to dunk and dip at their leisure.

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