For the eggplant slices:
Cut the eggplant into slices about 1cm thick. It doesn’t matter which way you slice the eggplant. Sprinkle with a little salt and leave to draw out the bitter juices for 30 min.
1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
4 garlic cloves
1 400g tin tomatoes, chopped
1-1/12 teaspoon honey
200ml red wine
1 400g tin lentils, drained and rinsed.
Saute the onion until cooked and add the garlic and spices. Saute for another minute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, red wine and honey. Cook down for about 30-45 until you have quick a thick sauce. Add the lentils and cook out any remaining liquid. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
60g plain flour
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp mustard
Melt the butter in a saucepan add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until the garlic is cooked. Add the flour and stir constantly for a couple of minutes to cook out the taste of the flour. Heat the milk until it’s warm but don’t let it boil. Add a little milk to the roux and mix thoroughly making sure there are no lumps. Add a small amount and mix thoroughly until all the milk is mixed in. It’s best to use a whisk as well as a wooden spoon. The heat needs to be turned up to get the mixture to thicken but don’t let it burn or stick on the bottom. Constant stirring is required! Add the egg and the cheese and mustard and season to your taste.
Preheat oven to 170C
Lay the eggplant into the bottom of an oven proof dish. Spread half the lentil and tomato sauce on top. Top with a little mozzarella. Repeat adding another layer. Pour on the bechamel on the very top and top with more mozzarella.
Bake for about 30-45 min until the top is lovely and brown.
I discovered the best way to make tofu crunchy on the outside and squidgy on the inside. Eggs. So it’s not vegan. But it does work.
1 block of your favourite tofu
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup plain flour
1 tbsn cajun spice mix
peanut oil for shallow frying
Slice the tofu into steaks about 2 cm thick. MIx the plain flour with the spice mix. Dip into the egg and then press into the flour/spice mix. Make sure it’s all covered and press the flour down into the tofu a little with your fingers. Shake off any excess flour.
Shallow fry until golden and crispy on both sides and drain on paper towel. Serve with a green salad and a mustard mayonnaise.
The words fish bake bring up some ugly connotations from my mother’s cooking where canned tuna did horrible things to corn and cheese sauce. This recipe is not that.
400 – 500 grams white fish. I like flathead but snapper or john dory are also good.
extra virgin olive oil
canned artichokes, drained cut lengthways into slices or use marinated ones from the deli, or chunks of cooked eggplant or cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Once I used zucchini flowers cut in half. They were excellent.
about 15 green olives
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Drizzle a little oil on the bottom of your oven dish. lay the fish evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place the artichokes, eggplant or tomatoes on the top or in between the pieces of fish and do the same with the olives. add salt and pepper to your taste. sprinkle the top with a bit of breadcrumbs, lemon zest and then sprinkle a little parmesan on the very top.
Bake at 160C for about 15 – 20 min. Test your fish to make sure it’s cooked. Serve with potatoes or a green salad.
Winter is the best for crumbles. This is based on Stephanie’s crumble recipe though it’s not quite as sweet. But it’s sweet enough.
Oven – 200C
Dish – 20cm x 10cm baking dish
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
60 g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
Mix sugar, baking powder and ground ginger. In a separate bowl, crumble the butter into the flour. If you get lazy use a food processor. No one will hate you for it. The mix should be pea sized. Combine these two mixtures together. At this stage, you could refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to put the crumble into the oven.
6 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
1 bunch rhubarb, cut into 5cm lengths.
4 tbs sugar
1 vanilla bean
Melt the butter and sugar gently. Add the spices and the apples. Cook for 10 min with the lid on. Remove the lid and cook for another 10 – 15 min until the apples are soft. Don’t move the apple around too much otherwise it will turn to mush. You can increase the heat a bit to get the apples to caramelise.
Lay the rhubarb evenly in the baking dish Top with the apples and pour any remaining syrup over the top.
Top with the crumble mix and bake for 30 min or until the edges are bubbling. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or even custard if you’re that way inclined.