Last night was the first night of a weekly summer foodie get-together at my buddy Andria's house. The focus is local. Everyone brings a dish made with locally-sourced ingredients, and we all share. She is calling it "My Summer of Magical Eating." The Wife and I had a great time sharing a meal with the small group of writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, and farmers Andria invited over for the evening. Can't wait to see what everyone makes next week.
I made BBQ eggplant sliders, and they were wonderful (if I do say so myself!). The local part of my contribution was the honey slaw. The cabbage and onions came from two of my favorite farmers, Keith and Jill of Whitton Farms fame. The honey came from Peace Bee Farm, which is right across the bridge in Arkansas.
For the smoky BBQ sauce:
1/2 stick butter
1 sweet onion (coarsely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 large dried anaheim pepper (stem & seeds removed)
4 chipotle peppers
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
squeeze of mustard
a few dashes of vegetarian worcestershire sauce
a few big dashes of vinegar
tablespoon sweet paprika
tablespoon smoky paprika
Melt butter in a pot and add the onion. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and the peppers and cook for a few minutes to marry the flavors. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Blend smooth with an emersion blender and return the pot to the stovetop. Simmer uncovered for an hour or until the mixture has reduced by 1/4. Will keep a week in your fridge -- or just freeze it.
For the BBQnoosh eggplant filling:
3 large eggplants
Smoky BBQ sauce
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Generously oil a large rimmed baking sheet and place the eggplants cut-side-down on the sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove eggplants and allow them to cool. Using your hands, pull the eggplant out of the skin allowing the stringiness of the vegetable to stay intact. Place eggplant flesh in a strainer and allow excess liquid to drain. Arrange eggplant flesh in a single layer on your baking sheet and spoon on plenty of smoky bbq sauce. Return to the oven for 20 minutes until mixture appears dry and some caramelization has developed on the top.
For the Honey Slaw:
1 head of cabbage (finely shredded)
1/4 head of red cabbage (finely shredded)
3 scallions (chopped)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1/4 cup vegan mayo
a glug of olive oil
a generous squeeze of honey
S & P
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. If you like it more sour, add more lemon. If you like it more sweet, add more honey.
For the BBQ Sliders:
12 soft dinner rolls
Smokey BBQ sauce
BBQnoosh eggplant filling
6 slices of smoked gouda cheese (quartered)
Assemble the sandwiches starting with two quarter slices of gouda placed on the bottom part of the roll. Spoon on some eggplant filling followed by some extra BBQ sauce. Top with honey slaw. Serve with some olive oil chips or some homemade sweet potato fries.
Please note: I like to make most everything by hand, but this can be simplified for a weeknight meal by buying a bottle of good bbq sauce and some pre-chopped slaw.