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heart + stomach
Advancing the sum total of human knowledge and endeavour!
Adventures in the Kitchen 
25th-Sep-2008 09:25 pm

I cooked.

Seriously. I made things from actual ingredients, and gave it to Kate and she didn't die! I haven't done that (cookies and chilli notwithstanding) in forever and ever.

The thing in question was from the tesco.com website: Aubergine with fruity couscous - only with not all the ingredients because I made too much at first and decided not to add more. But it was scrumptious, and I know what I did wrong! Kinda.

Aubergines are hard to work with, I don't approve. also it took all my evening and I only just got out of the shower.

But! Food made from real ingredients! It's all part of my drive to eat real food and improve my well being.

25th-Sep-2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
I always approve of food! Well done, and also congratulations in making a meal with a 0% body count :D And yeah, Aubergines are Of The Suck, but they are things that improve with practice.

For deliciousness (and stuffing with stuff), I also recommend courgettes or peppers.
25th-Sep-2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Well done!
25th-Sep-2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
Yay for cookings!

(Remind me to send you the gourmet veggie pie recipe. Yes, it contains aubergines, but the deliciousness is worth it. :D)
26th-Sep-2008 08:31 am (UTC)
26th-Sep-2008 09:48 am (UTC) - Quick and dirty version
...Because the original is fiddly. And mine is taster.

You need: 1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 whole aubergine
1 tin or jar artichoke hearts, well drained.
1 jar sundried tomatoes, ditto.
8-10 cloves garlic >:D
1 pack gruyere cheese
Single cream for drizzling
about 2/3 pack of puff pastry
2 onions.

pie tin/deep baking tray, saucepan, grater, chopping board and knife, frying pan.

Preheat the oven to a medium/high heat. Crush the garlic into a saucepan with the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer on a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Wash and slice the aubergine - you're aiming to cover the bottom of the pie tin. Fry them on both sides in batches until they are golden/brown, and place in the pie tin to cover the bottom. To give the tomatoes more time to simmer, then do preparation of other things - finely chop the onions, grate all the cheese, drain the tinned/jarred things. Sprinkle a layer of chopped onions over the aubergine, then pour over the tomatoes. Layer with sun dried tomatoes - chopped if you think they're too big. Sprinkle with a layer of cheese. Layer on the artichoke hearts, covering the pie evenly, then sprinkle with the rest of the onion and then the cheese. Drizzle single cream evenly over the whole thing, hopefully without drowning it. Roll out the pastry to cover the top of the pie, then put in the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes. Basically, when the pastry is done, the pie's done.

Serve with green salad, because holy god is it rich. :D
26th-Sep-2008 09:55 am (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
I need a pie tin! D:

Also, as I discovered last night, I need a set of scales. This does look awesome, though. *shiny eyes*
26th-Sep-2008 10:41 am (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
The only thing I have ever wished for scales with is pancakes, because I'm always getting the ratio of milk:egg:flour wrong, so the consistency is all shot.
26th-Sep-2008 10:44 am (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
I can do pancakes by ear! It's really easy - shift the flour in first, then beat the eggs into a well, absorbing flour as you do so. The correct ratio of eggs:flour is enough to make a thick paste. Then add the milk to the correct consistency.
26th-Sep-2008 10:59 am (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
This is where my usual technique of throw it all in and stir it about falls down. It requires observing and measuring and stuff. I can't cope!
26th-Sep-2008 11:04 am (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
I learned not to do that during A-Level chemistry.
26th-Sep-2008 02:59 pm (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
I never thought to apply A-Level chemistry to cookery. Duck Bromide never appealed.
26th-Sep-2008 03:03 pm (UTC) - Re: Quick and dirty version
Chemistry is the only way I can find a context to cookery to make it interesting.

It's possible I'm a little contrary in that respect.
25th-Sep-2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
What's so difficult about aubergines? I just treat them like courgettes...
26th-Sep-2008 08:31 am (UTC)
me too! chop em up and fry em, or roast them and then chop them, slice them and grill them. No worries!
26th-Sep-2008 08:36 am (UTC)
Oh shut up, I've never stuffed a courgette either.
26th-Sep-2008 10:38 am (UTC)
Oh I see. There was stuffing. Bugger that for a game of soldiers, I'd just have stir-fried it. Or done this...

4 tblspoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 red chili, diced
handful basil
2 aubergines, thickly sliced
4oz/125g Gorgonzola
salt & pepper

Sautee onion and garlic for 3 mins. Add tomatoes, chili and simmer for 8-10 mins, until reduced. Season with basil, salt & pepper.
Fry Aubergines until golden on each side
Layer Aubergines into a baking tray pour over half of the sauce. Add the rest of the sauce tne top with the cheese. Bake for 15 mins at Gas Mark 5 (190c/375f/463K)

That lot serves four, but I think its stinting on the garlic myself.
26th-Sep-2008 10:42 am (UTC)
28th-Sep-2008 11:06 am (UTC)
stuffing courgettes is also a great way to deal with leftovers of many dishes (imho especially for curries); get a bunch of courgettes, cut em in half, scrape out the seeds, fill them with the leftovers, add whatever cheese you can find in the deep reaches of your fridge & bake..

26th-Sep-2008 01:51 am (UTC)
Yaaaay! Congratulations! If you liked the recipe, I can natter on at length with tips on how to shorten the preparation phase of aubergines. :)
26th-Sep-2008 08:26 am (UTC)
I loved it! And tips would be welcome.

I think one of the places I went wrong was skinning the aubergines too much trying to scrap out flesh.

Plus I have no idea if the seeds are edible or not.
26th-Sep-2008 08:31 am (UTC)
all of the aubergine is edible and is all tasty once cooked!
26th-Sep-2008 08:36 am (UTC)
Score, thank you!
26th-Sep-2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
You can eat the seeds, although you can also poke out any particularly seedy parts with a spoon. And it works best if you treat it like a potato initially: get the peel off with a regular scraper like you would any root vegetable, then chunk your aubergine up into suitable pieces, then, if your recipe calls for soaking and salting, do that. If the eggplant is small (about hand sized) and young, you probably do not have to soak and salt.
26th-Sep-2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

The recipe I tried last night used shells, which I made too thin. In future I shall know better.

It's very weird for me to be talking food with foodies.
26th-Sep-2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
Apparently most modern varieties of aubergine don't need salting and soaking these days. Generally the bitterness has been bred out of them.
26th-Sep-2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
Yes -- nowadays, generally it is a way to Cope with the Forgotten Eggplant that grew too big on the vine.

You can talk food with me any time!
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