Eggplant and Chèvre Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1 large eggplant
1/2 C flour
4 oz vegetable oil
8 oz chèvre
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sauce
1 medium red bell pepper
1 C white wine
1/4 C lime juice
1/4 C sherry vinegar
1/4 C chopped shallots
8 oz unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 T heavy cream

For the sauce, put the red pepper into a 500° oven and roast until the skin turns black. Remove and put into a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit about 20 minutes. Remove the blackened skin and the core and seeds. Puree the pepper in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

While the pepper is roasting, start the sauce reduction by putting the wine, vinegar, lime juice and shallots into a heavy saucepan. On high heat, let the mixture reduce until the liquid is almost gone. Remove from heat and add the cream. Cut the butter into 1 inch squares. Put the saucepan on low heat and start adding the butter, one pat at a time, until all the butter has been incorporated. Stir constantly as the butter is added. Add the red pepper puree, salt and pepper. Set aside over a hot water bath to keep warm.

Cut the eggplant into 1/3" slices, select the middle 8 pieces for the sandwiches, and then lightly flour these. Heat a large saucepan with the vegetable oil. Put the eggplant into the pan when the oil is smoking hot. When dark brown, turn the slices over and season with salt and pepper. Put the chèvre on four of the slices, being careful not to spread the cheese all the way to the edges. When brown, put the other slices on top and remove from the pan onto a paper towel. Ladle the red pepper sauce onto a plate and put the eggplant on top of the sauce. Serves 4.

From L'Etoile restaurant, 25 N. Pinckney St., Madison WI

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