Culinary Adventures

Jessica's Recipes

Category: ‘Other’

Aubergine Parmagiana

March 25th, 2009 by

3 or 4 Aubergines, sliced lengthways
Olive oil

Tomato Sauce
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Red Onion chopped finely
Olive oil
Red wine
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Herbs to taste (basil, oregano, thyme, mixed herbs)
salt and pepper

Bechamel Sauce
50g Butter
50g Flour
1 pt Milk
Salt & pepper
a pinch of nutmeg or cayenne pepper
Strong Cheddar & Parmesan Cheese (as much as liked)
1 tbsp Creme Fraiche
1 Egg Yolk

Spread the aubergine slices on oiled baking trays and spray them with olive oil before baking them in the oven (180C) until they have softened and browned a little.

Make the tomato sauce – fry the onion until soft, adding crushed garlic towards the end of cooking, add the other ingredients, seasoning to taste and leaving to stew for at least 15 mins.

Make the Bechamel – Make a roux with the butter and flour, allowing the flour to cook slightly. Draw off heat and add milk a little at a time, blending fully each time. Put back on the heat, stirring until the sauce thickens (best done with a balloon whisk). Add cheese and seasoning – I sometimes use a little freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of cayenne to bring out the flavours. Add the creme fraiche (to taste) and lastly beat in the egg. Take the sauce off the heat so as not to overcook the egg.

In a lightly oiled baking dish, layer the aubergines, tomato sauce and bechamel, finishing with a layer of bechamel.

You can either simply sprinkle cheese on top – preferably parmesan – or you can use a mix of fine breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic.

Bake in the oven until nicely browned (180C) for around 30 minutes.

This is a dish that re-heats well, so it can be made in advance and slightly undercooked.

Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

Red Onion & Brie Tarts

March 22nd, 2009 by

25 Grams(s) (1 oz) Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Red Onion(s)
150 Milliliter(s) (1/4 pt) Red Wine
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 Package(s) (375 grams) Puff Pastry
1 tbsp Milk
150 Grams(s) (5 oz) Brie
4 sprigs Thyme

Preheat oven to 200C, 180C Fan, 400F, Gas 6.

Heat butter and oil in a frying pan and add onions, cut-side down. Pour over wine, sprinkle in sugar and season. Cover and cook for 25 minutes until tender, turning once. If there is any liquid left in the pan, remove lid and let it evaporate. Cool for 20 minutes.

Divide pastry into four and roll each quarter into 15cm (6in) circles – large enough to encase most of the onion. Brush the edges with milk.

Halve onions from root to stalk. Place an onion half, cut side up, in the centre of a circle and top with a wedge of Brie. Scrunch the pastry round it, leaving the top uncovered. Tuck some thyme down the side of the pastry and repeat with the remainder.

Scrunch foil into 4 circles to sit the tarts on and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.