Cúrate - Katie Button

Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen by Katie Button and Genevieve Ko is a look inside the award-winning Spanish tapas restaurant, Cúrate, located in Asheville, North Carolina. 
 
125 recipes featuring the vibrant flavors of Spanish cuisine are delivered from this rising star of the culinary world. Button was the first American to wait tables at ElBulli in Spain and worked her way into a kitchen internship there. She's paid her dues and now owns two restaurants, Cúrate and Nightbell, an American restaurant focusing on Appalachian ingredients with a craft cocktail lounge.  
 
This cookbook is filled with gorgeous photographs and tempting recipes such as Meat-Filled Pasta Rolls with Béchamel and Manchego Cheese, Ham and Cheese Stuffed Fried Pork Chops and Meatballs with Serrano Ham in Tomato Sauce. Recipes for starters through dessert and drinks are included. Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen hits all the notes - beautiful food, stunning photographs and unique, approachable recipes. It is a keeper.
 
Special thanks to Flatiron Books and the author for sharing the recipe for Fried Eggplant with Honey and Rosemary. Head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway for a copy of this title.
 

Berenjenas Fritas

Fried Eggplant with Honey and Rosemary
Serves 4 as a small plate

Traditionally, this Andalusian dish is served with cane syrup, but I think honey has a more complex flavor. Throughout Spain, there's a range of honey as varied as the landscape. Any type accents the salty crisp shell of these eggplant rounds. My personal touch here is the rosemary leaves, which bridge the savory bite of eggplant with the sweetness of honey. The salty-sweet crunch of this dish makes it the ideal appetizer to any summer or early fall meal.

2 to 3 cups whole milk
1 medium eggplant
2 to 3 cups vegeta­ble oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup pure honey
1 rosemary sprig
Kosher salt

Pour the milk into a medium bowl. Trim the top and bottom of the eggplant, then peel. Cut the eggplant into 3/8-inch-thick slices. As you slice the eggplant, put the slices into the bowl with the milk. You should get about 12 slices, but it's fine to have more or less. The milk should cover the eggplant. If it doesn't, add more. Weigh down the eggplant with a heavy plate that fits snugly over the bowl to keep the eggplant submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and soak overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, fill a large skillet with the vegetable oil. It should be about ½ inch deep; if not, add more. Heat the oil over medium heat un­til an instant-read thermometer registers 350°F. A pinch of flour should sizzle when it hits the oil.

Spread the flour on a plate. Drain the egg­plant. Dredge a slice in the flour and tap off the excess. Carefully drop into the hot oil. Repeat with more eggplant slices, being careful to not crowd the pan. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The eggplant shouldn't get too dark; reduce the heat if needed. Transfer to a wire rack to drain and immediately sprinkle with salt and drizzle with honey. Repeat with the remaining eggplant and flour.

Arrange the eggplant on a serving plate. Top each piece with 2 to 3 rosemary leaves. Serve immediately.

2 Comments

  • TrishaCP  on  2/10/2017 at 6:42 AM

    Interesting that she says the "traditional" method is with cane syrup. I definitely had these with honey the last time I was in Córdoba. Are they also served with cane syrup in Andalusia now, or does this vary within the region?

  • Annpie  on  2/11/2017 at 3:48 AM

    Stuffed fried pork chops sound soo good

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