Yesterday morning was so busy! I wasn't sure whether I would have the energy or time to whip together our culinary adventure and started thinking about moving it to Saturday. But armed with the knowledge I'd chosen something rather down-home, I realized it really wouldn't be any worse than whipping together a pot roast for supper. Not only that, but the flavors would be more interesting! So I decided to go ahead with our planned Balearic Island dinner. It didn't disappoint.
What in the world did I create using butter, sugar, salt, eggplant, onion, garlic, bread, bell pepper, tomatoes, eggs, yeast, potatoes, flour, olive oil, and milk?
Tumbet is the Balearic Island cousin to Ratatouille. It's a casserole, made from layers of thinly sliced potato, eggplant, bell pepper, and a sauce with onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Apparently it's one of the most popular dishes on the Balearic Island of Majorca (Mallorca). Occasionally someone will add a layer of zucchini in to the mixture. Since generally there's no zucchini I made it without. Plus of course it's October and zucchini isn't in season here. I think zucchini would have added a pleasant flavor to have layered in the casserole. It was very easy to make; anyone could make Tumbet. Because the potatoes and eggplant is sliced thinly and then sauteed before cooking, you either need to plan extra time for the prep work or prepare it on a nice large griddle instead of a frying pan. I served it with a nice bread on the side.
We enjoyed Tumbet, and my toddler asked for more for lunch today. The recipe sure made a lot though. Suffice it to say between the leftover Tumbet and the leftover chili from earlier in the week I don't have to cook this weekend.
I almost made the Balearic Island cousin to pizza called Coca de Trempo. It was really a tough choice for me, whether to try the casserole-like Tumbet or the pizza-like Coca de Trempo. You should check out this recipe for Coca de Trempo. It looks really tasty and easy to boot. Just a flat dough covered with diced, marinated vegetables and baked before serving cold.
This was dessert.
It's a sweet bread called an Ensaimada. Mine puffed up bigger than I was expecting. Apparently they are very popular as either a breakfast food (without a filling) or as a dessert with any number of fillings. The dough is so soft and moist and tender, and pulls away beautifully when served. The flavor of the dough is very pleasant. I really enjoy how it's not too sweet and not too savory. Here is the recipe I used if you'd like to give it a try yourself. I think next time I make Ensaimada- and yes, there will be a next time!- I will divide the dough and make a few smaller buns instead of one large Ensaimada. I'm pretty sure cream cheese would taste wonderful inside instead of butter, and read suggestions of jam, chocolate, custard as fillings. My husband thought it would be great drizzled in caramel. However you eat it, it's delicious, even plain. Definitely try your hand at making it one day.