Finger food

Today we had a finger food potluck at church.  We have finger food meals quarterly when a church business meeting follows the potluck, to allow for easy cleanup.  So I looked through my cookbooks for interesting finger food options.  Empanadas would have been an obvious choice, but we have an Argentinian family at our church that occasionally makes those.  So instead, I chose the following two dishes, adapted from The South American Table.

The first dish is called Arrollado Fiambre, a roulade stuffed with a ham salad.  The roulade was whipped eggs and a little bit of flour and sugar, baked in a jelly roll pan (essentially a fluffy omelet).  This was spread with a ham and hardboiled egg salad, to which I added roasted red peppers and parsley for color.  It was rolled up and refrigerated for a couple of hours before slicing.  According to the cookbook, this is more of a Uruguayan favorite than Argentinian, but I think it is eaten in both countries.

The second dish is called Salsa de Berenjenas con Chichocas, or Eggplant relish with sundried tomatoes.  This was a big hit, and the flavors really melded together well, though it sounds a little weird when you read through the ingredients.  The dishes were met with approval by the Argentinians present!

Salsa de Berenjenas con Chichocas
1 lb. eggplants (preferably the lighter colored or graffiti eggplants)
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. rehydrated sundried tomatoes (or sundried tomatoes in oil), minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. basil leaves, chopped

Roast the eggplant in a pan at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until soft.  Peel the eggplant and dice the flesh.  Drain in a strainer for about 1 hour to get rid of excess liquid.  Then place the eggplant in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add onion, both types of tomatoes, apple and onion.

In a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt and pepper to form a paste. Mix the garlic paste with the vinegar and olive oil to make a dressing.  Add to the eggplant mixture and mix in the basil too.  When all ingredients are mixed well together, cover the relish and refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors.  Serve with crackers or as a meat relish.

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