Monday, 10 October 2011

52 Recipe Challenge – Week 14.

This week I decided to make another savoury recipe as my new recipe for the week.
Whilst looking for a recipe to make last week I saw this recipe for Baked Aubergines in my Marks and Spencer Cooks Bible and decided to try it out as it sounded similar to another favourite dish of mine  Mousakka.

To make this recipe I used:

2 Aubergines
4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
4 Slices of Prosciutto Ham
375g Mozzarella
2 Small Onions/ 1 Large Onion
4 Cloves of garlic crushed
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
A handful of Cherry Tomatoes
450ml/ 1 Pint of hot vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
150ml/ 5 Fluid Ounces Red Wine
25g Butter
25g Plain flour
300ml/ 10 Fluid Ounces Milk
A sprinkle of Nutmeg
To Start with I preheated the oven to 190c/ Gas Mark 5, put the olive oil in the pan and then sliced up the onion.
Next I heated the oil and added the onion and garlic , whilst they were frying away I started to cut up my aubergines. (One small one and one large one which reminded me of something...)
The recipe said to chop them lengthways which seemed a bit weird but that’s probably because I’m used to chopping them the otherway.  Halfway through chopping the aubergines I checked on the onion and garlic and realised they had started to soften so I added the tin of chopped tomatoes, put the water on the boil for the stock and chopped up the cherry tomatoes I had in my fridge.  After I had chopped up the cherry tomatoes and the water had boiled I added the cherry tomatoes and then put a vegetable stock cube in my measuring jug, added the boiling water gave it a decent stir and added it to the mix. After that I hunted a sprinkle of parsley, the sugar, the lime juice and wine then gave it all a good stir and there looked like there was tonnes.... it looked soup like!

So I brought it to the boil to try to reduce it. Once that was simmering away I set the alarm for 15 minutes, put the kettle on again and finished chopping up my aubergines.  Now my recipe says to cook the aubergines in a large pan for 5 minutes but my biggest pan is my wok and the next biggest pan isn’t all that big so I had to cook the aubergine in batches. I put the boiled water from the kettle in the pan and started trying to cook the aubergines.

Then I realised the recipe said “bring a large saucepan of water to the boil” which my boyfriend helpfully pointed out is not the same thing as boiling water in a kettle... After a good six or seven minutes I took the first batch of aubergines from the pan and realised that I had run out of kitchen roll to drain it on, so I popped them in my sieve over the sink and dashed across the road for the kitchen roll. After I returned I put the aubergines on a plate with some kitchen roll to drain and started on cooking the second batch.
Whilst the second batch of aubergines were cooking I oiled the roasting dish I was using and started chopping up the mozzarella , before I checked on the tomato sauce and decided it had reduced enough and spooned half of it into the dish as instructed in the recipe. Next I took the second batch of aubergines from the pan and drained them, got a separate chopping board out for the prosciutto ham, then I finished chopping up the mozzarella and then I patted the aubergined dry with the kitchen roll. After patting the aubergines dry I used half of them to form a layer over the tomato sauce.

Then I put just over half the mozzarella over the aubergines and tried to cut up the prosciutto ham and put that on top; however, it worked better just to rip it into pieces than cut it.
When I had done that layer I put the last batch of aubergines in the pan to cook and hunted for the ingredients for the béchamel sauce which was going on top.  When the aubergines were done I put them on a plate to drain like the other two lots and washed the pan they had been cooked in to make the béchamel sauce. Whilst the aubergines were draining and the pan was drying I poured the last of the sauce into the roasting dish and it had reduced more than I had expected.  The recipe I had followed said to use a tin of chopped tomatoes and 450g/ 1 Lb of fresh tomatoes but I only had a handful of cherry tomatoes so when I make this again I’ll either have to buy more tomatoes or out two tins in.
After I had poured this I put the last of the aubergines on top and tasked my boyfriend with chopping the last of the mozzarella whilst I cracked on with the béchamel sauce. To make the sauce I melted the butter in the pan then added the flour and stirred until they were mixed before stirred in the milk and stirred it over the hob until it stopped being lumpy. Once that happened I stirred in a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg after last week’s disaster... then I spooned it on to the aubergine and tomato mix but I didn’t make enough so I got some more butter, flour and milk and made some more sauce and covered the rest of the mix up before grating Cheshire cheese on top and bunging it in the oven for 35 minutes.
Once it was cooked I dished about a third of it up as it made tonnes!

It looked quite sloppy to me but my boyfriend thought it looked ok.  (Then again it was late he was probably famished at this point!)
This dish actually tasted as good as it looks in the book! I was impressed with this one despite not having, marjoram to sprinkle, parma ham, mustard powder for the béchamel sauce or the right type of wine it was very tasty, even if it did make a mess of my cookbook...

The best part of this recipe is it makes loads! Now, should I have the rest for tea tonight or tomorrow?

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