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First Aired - 08/25/2013 04:00PM Download MP3 (Full Episode)
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EGGPLANT BRUSCETTA TOPPER

  • 2lbs classic Black King Italian eggplant, peeled to leave 1” stripes and cut into 1” thick cubes
  • Cheap olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small Spanish onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, destemmed
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • Salt, sugar (or honey) and pepper, to taste
  • 1 good, crusty baguette, sliced, brushed with olive oil and toasted
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

    In a large, heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil over medium high. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the heat of the oil by dropping slices of onion in – when it’s ready, tiny bubbles will form around the edges. Once it’s good and hot, add the eggplant in batches if necessary and fry for about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to fresh paper towels to drain.

    Pour all but about a tablespoon of the oil off of the pan you used for frying (using an empty coffee can is good for this) and replace the pot over heat. Add the thyme, peppers, onion and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to lose their shape, about 6-8 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper, sugar or honey to taste along the way, until everything coalesces into a nice, thick sauce. Return the eggplant to the skillet, stir gently to coat and cook for 3 minutes, or until combined. Stir in the red wine vinegar and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or vinegar as needed. Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until lightly chilled, about 20 minutes, then stir in your golden raisins and pine nuts before serving atop crostini toasts.

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    This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is on the phone with Giuliano Hazan, cooking instructor and author of a new book entitled Hazan Family Favorites. Giuliano comes from a tradition of fine Italian cooking. His mother, Marcella Hazan, is a famous Italian cookery writer. Tune in to hear Giuliano recount stories of frying with his grandmother, and being teased because of his Italian school lunches. Giuliano's book includes unpretentious recipes designed to inspire home cooking. Hear about Giuliano's favorite pasta dish, why he loves to teach, and the importance of cooking with family. Hear some of Giuliano's heirloom recipes on this episode of A Taste of the Past. This episode has been brought to you by Whole Foods.

    "My mother and father could put up with a lot of things, but not bad food..."

    "I think a lot people have a misconception that fried food is always going to be greasy and heavy, but fried properly it's really a wonderful way to cook because it seals the natural flavors of the food inside with this crispy exterior. It's almost the purest way of enjoying something when it's very well fried."

    "The act of cooking together creates a bond within a family."

    -- Giuliano Hazan on A Taste of the Past


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    Untitled
    This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with Sheilah Kaufman, author of The Turkish Cookbook: Regional Recipes and Stories.The Ottoman Turks controlled areas from Egypt to Austria, and all of the foods of these regions are incorporated into the Turkish palette. Tune in to hear how history and conquest has shaped Turkish cuisine; here's fish from the Aegean, pistachios from Anatolia, and bananas from the Mediterranean. Listen to Linda and Sheilah discuss the home cooking traditions in Turkey, and why Turkish food is so easy to make. What do yogurt, coffee, and tulips have in common? They all originate in Turkey! This program is sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

    "The Turks were culinary plunderers. Where ever they conquered, they went looking for the best ingredients and the best recipes."

    "In Turkish cooking, there are no unusual ingredients. You can go into any supermarket in this country and find what you need to make very easy Turkish dishes."

    --Sheilah Kaufman on A Taste of the Past


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