Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Aubergine parmigiana

I kind of gave myself a rather big shock yesterday. Like 9.8 on the Richter scale level of shock.


Determined to use an aubergine which I'd bought with the intention of making something for Pete (my dislike of this vegetable in ANY form is well documented, so I won't harp on it), I'd settled on aubergine parmigiana (actually called melanzane parmigiana on the BBC website where I saw this recipe). I'd done the prepping and pan-fried the sliced aubergine and made the tomato sauce and had even finished placing the aubergine-tomato sauce-mozzarella layers in the baking dish, ready for baking, when I realised something.


Well, two things, actually.


One, it was a vegetarian recipe, therefore fit to appear on my blog (never mind that nothing short of prolonged starvation would make me eat the stuff!).


Two, I'd not taken any photographs!!!


I think it was realisation No 2 that really gave me a jolt. I mean, for the last few years my camera has been as much part of my kitchen equipment as anything else... it's been splashed with sauces and dunked into flour and put away with the fruit (note that none of these and other such incidents were on purpose) and generally suffered for my "step-by-step" photos of recipes being made. I've been pretty consistent - and a tad obsessive - about taking those photos... and yet there I was, food blog forgotten and with no idea of the whereabouts of my poor abused camera.


Yep, 9.8 on the Richter scale, folks. Anyway, that's the reason for the very few photos in this post.


And yeah, I've made a mental note to neglect my food blog a little less... it's been around a while, possibly the longest I've kept something going, and with some luck and effort on my part, and plenty of encouraging visits from all you lovely foodies out there (hint, hint), this blog will keep going for a while longer yet!


As regards this particular recipe, I've no idea how it tastes. My husband was reasonably encouraging, merely remarking that perhaps the addition of some sliced portabello mushrooms layered with the aubergine would have imparted their umami flavour and made it taste less "vegetable-y" (and there speaks the carnivore!). But he liked it as it was, and said he would eat it if I made it again. That'll do me. The mushroom addition experiment will have to wait till the next time I make this.


Recipe for: Aubergine parmigiana
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Ingredients:
1 medium aubergine/eggplant/kathirikkai
1-1/2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp sliced black olives (I used canned)
150 gm mozzarella, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for brushing
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp parmesan


Method:
1. Slice the aubergine vertically into 1/2 cm slices. (You can sale them, place them in the colander with a heavy weight on top to let the bitterness out, but I didn't bother with this step.)
2. Brush both sides of each slice with some oil.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the garlic, frying on medium heat until they are soft and fragrant. Then add the tomatoes, olives and cinnamon. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, giving it a stir now and then, until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
4. While the sauce is cooking away, heat a large frying pan or griddle. Fry the oiled aubergine slices in batches, without crowding, on both sides till they are light brown and soft.
5. When the aubergine slices are cooked, place a layer of the prepared tomato sauce in a small oven-proof casserole dish.
6. Now place a layer of aubergine on top of the sauce, then a layer of mozzarella slices and a sprinkling of shredded basil. Season the layer with freshly ground pepper and salt.
7. Continue the layers in the same order, topping it off with a layer of tomato sauce and another sprinkling of basil.
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8. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top
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and bake at 160C for 30-40 minutes, till the sauce is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
9. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes or so, then serve up the aubergine parmigiana with crusty buttered bread and a green salad.
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RECIPE: AUBERGINE PARMIGIANA
Ingredients:
1 medium aubergine/eggplant/kathirikkai
1-1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp sliced black olives (I used canned)
150 gm mozzarella, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for brushing
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp parmesan


Method:
1. Slice the aubergine vertically into 1/2 cm slices. (You can sale them, place them in the colander with a heavy weight on top to let the bitterness out, but I didn't bother with this step.)
2. Brush both sides of each slice with some oil.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the garlic, frying on medium heat until they are soft and fragrant. Then add the tomatoes, olives and cinnamon. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, giving it a stir now and then, until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
4. While the sauce is cooking away, heat a large frying pan or griddle. Fry the oiled aubergine slices in batches, without crowding, on both sides till they are light brown and soft.
5. When the aubergine slices are cooked, place a layer of the prepared tomato sauce in a small oven-proof casserole dish.
6. Now place a layer of aubergine on top of the sauce, then a layer of mozzarella slices and a sprinkling of shredded basil. Season the layer with freshly ground pepper and salt.
7. Continue the layers in the same order, topping it off with a layer of tomato sauce and another sprinkling of basil.
8. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and bake at 160C for 30-40 minutes, till the sauce is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
9. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes or so, then serve up the aubergine parmigiana with crusty buttered bread and a green salad.

1 comment:

Radha said...

Shyam, next time leave out the aubergine (ugh) and go only with the portobello mushroom. YUMMY!