Based on Zarela Martinez's recipe, we changed it a bit and included cooking the eggplant in the sauce instead of frying it. Delicious!
- 1 large globe eggplant (and salt)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped fresh yellow onions
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces canned chopped mild green chilies
- 4 -5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped fine (you can use canned, roughly chopped, too)
- 1 teaspoon small caper
- 5 large pimiento-stuffed green olives (cut in halves or thirds, use more if you like green olives)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground dried ancho chile powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crumbled dried marjoram
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mild cinnamon
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 prepared polenta, rounds for serving (broiled or fried)
- 1⁄4 cup Mexican crema, for serving
- Cut the peel from the eggplant and cut into approximate 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips. Add them a handful at a time to a colander, salting them well between layers, until all of them are in the colander. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow them to "sweat" their bitterness out and lose liquid.
- While the eggplant is in the colander, make the sauce. In a large, heavy pot (I use my Le Creuset), heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until just translucent. Add the garlic and chiles, stir well, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for an additional 7-10 minutes until onion is soft.
- Add the tomatoes and stir well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes and the liquids are reduced by about half.
- Rinse the salted eggplant and drain well.
- Add all the remaining ingredients (including eggplant) to the pot, stir well, and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until eggplant is well-cooked and the sauce is the consistency that you like (you may want to remove the cover for the last 5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit). Remove bay leaves.
- Serve with polenta rounds or squares (or some other favorite method of prepared polenta), drizzled with a little crema. Enjoy!