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Gratin of Spam and Roasted Eggplant with Vine Ripened Tomato Sauce and Balsamic Syrup

For Gratin
1 can Spam original sliced as thinly as possible
4 eggplant, Japanese, whole
1 garlic head
1 C chicken stock
1/ 4 C heavy or whipping cream
1/ 4 C parmesan or asiago cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
2 Tablespoons flour
kosher salt and white pepper to taste.

For Vine Ripened Tomato Sauce
3 tomatoes, vine ripened large (4 medium) peeled seeded and diced (concasse)
1 onion diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 C water
1 Tablespoon fish sauce (patis)
white pepper to taste

For Balsamic Syrup
1 C balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey

For Garlic Cheese Crouton
1 baguette, slices 1/ 2 inch thick
3 Tablespoons butter unsalted, softened
1 Tablespoons garlic, fresh, chopped
1 Tablespoons parmesan or asiago cheese

Method
With a fork, pierce each eggplant and place in a roasting pan with whole garlic cloves. Roast in oven at 400 degrees until soft. About 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle, peel eggplant and reserve flesh. Squeeze garlic cloves individually and mash to form a paste.

In a small pot, heat chicken stock and cream. Mix butter and flour (buerre manie) to use as a thicken agent. When stock mixture comes to a boil, whip in buerre manie and cook over medium heat until fairly thick. Turn off heat and fold in cheese. Adjust seasoning with white pepper. Stir in 1 teaspoon of roasted garlic. Keep warm.

In a small pot, heat olive oil and sauté chopped onions until soft. Add tomatoes water and fish sauce. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Pour mixture in food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust flavor with ground white pepper. Keep warm.

Heat balsamic vinegar and honey over medium heat and reduce by at least 50%. Cool in ice water until thick.

Mix butter, chopped garlic, cheese and white pepper to form a spread. Spread over sliced baguette and bake in oven at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Keep warm.

In sauté pan, heat eggplant and 1 Tablespoon roasted garlic. Season to taste with white pepper. Brown Spam slices over medium high in another pan. In casserole dish, place browned Spam slices on bottom. Cover with roasted eggplant mixture. Pour cheese sauce over the top. In a broil oven, brown the gratin mixture until golden brown on top. To serve spoon gratin mixture over slices of crouton, surrounded with tomato sauce and drizzle with balsamic syrup.