Food Friday - a cultural mix

My son came back from his nine months in Israel raving about sweet chili sauce. During the year he lived in three different apartments and he did lots of cooking. My son loves food. So he talked about the magical qualities of this sweet chili sauce that makes everything taste better, like barbecue sauce does.

Earlier this week, my son and my daughter went on an adventure top Chinatown. One of the stops on this adventure was at Kam-Man the Chinese grocery store, for the food my daughter missed from her sojourns in China and with the hope that my son could find something similar to the fabulous condiment he had discovered in Israel.

The adventure was a successful one. My son brought home  this bottle of sweet chili sauce from Thailand. My kids were delighted by their adventure and made dinner to celebrate. My daughter made a vegetable stir fry. My son, meatballs using the chili sauce.

It was as good as he had promised.

Yesterday I decided to make another batch of babaganouj. I patiently roasted the eggplant on a long carving fork over the gas flame until it was all blistered. I nuked a whole onion that was coated in olive oil. Then I put the eggplant, onion a tablespoon full of mayo and a healthy glugg of the sweet chili sauce into the food processor and whipped the mixture up until in was fully pureed. It was sublime, there is a hint of sweetness and then a mellow heat that blends perfectly with the smokiness of the eggplant. I love this mix of the Middle Eastern and the Thai.

Yes, it is really easy to buy pretty good packaged babaganouj in my neighborhood. The home made version is just so much better.

We are invited to a friend's for dinner. I am responsible for challa ( currently on it's first rising) salad ( not yet made) and dessert. I had made cream puffs earlier this week to bring to a synagogue event, and couldn't let my kids eat any of that batch. They were very sad, so I made another batch to bring tonight so they can enjoy them as well.

The cream puff shells are made. My saucepan handle snapped off as I was lifting the mixture from the burner to add the eggs. I was able to salvage it all. The custard is cooling and then I will stuff the cream puffs. Yes, I will add a bit of chocolate glaze to the top


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