1 large aubergine, cut into 1cm thick slices
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
50g parmesan finely grated
1 400g tin tomatoes
sprig of thyme
olive oil, salt and pepper
Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and cook on a fairly hot griddle pan in several batches until nicely browned. Put a good slug of olive oil into a pan, add the onion and garlic, cook for around 5 minutes to soften the onion but don’t let it brown. Add the tinned tomatoes, the thyme, a pinch of sugar and salt and simmer until slightly thickened which will probably take 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in some torn basil leaves.
Spread a layer of the tomato sauce in an ovenproof dish and generously sprinkle with some of the parmesan, add a layer of aubergine slices. Repeat the layers finishing with tomato sauce and parmesan. Mix the breadcrumbs with some olive oil and then sprinkle these over the top. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until bubbling and crispy on top.
Cheese and Sweetcorn Cornbread
25g melted butter
140g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp baking powder
large or small pinch of chilli flakes, you choose!
80g grated cheddar
2 eggs beaten
300ml milk or better still buttermilk
150g sweetcorn kernals
Melt the butter, mix the milk/buttermilk with the beaten eggs and add the melted butter. Mix all the other ingredients, except the sweetcorn kernals, together in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Slowly pour and stir in the liquid, finally mix in the sweetcorn. This quantity will nicely fit a 2lb loaf tin which should already be buttered. Bake at 200C for 30-40 minutes. The pictured cornbread was made with half quantities of everything, gathered into a ‘lump’ and baked in a smaller ceramic dish.
Prawn Chilli Fry, Channa Dal and Rice
I love this combination of sweet onions and prawns together with earthy dal. It must qualify as a marriage made in heaven.
Prawn Chilli Fry Ingredients
3 large onions
2 green chillies chopped
1″ piece fresh ginger finely chopped
225g cooked prawns defrosted
Heat 3tbs of oil in a frying pan and fry on a very low heat for maybe an hour or even more. The onions must not burn but go a dark golden colour and shrink considerably. Add the chillies, ginger, turmeric, salt and chilli powder to taste. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until any moisture from the prawns has evaporated.
Channa Dal Ingredients
250g channa dal
2 slices fresh ginger
2 tbs cooking oil
1tsp cumin seeds
1 chopped clove of garlic
Put the channa dal and water in a lidded saucepan and bring to the boil. Skim off the scum, add the fresh ginger and turmeric, give it a stir and keep on a low simmer for one hour. During the next 30 minutes stir from time to time until everything is of the right consistency then season with salt. Heat 2 tbs of cooking oil in a frying pan and toss in the cumin seeds followed by the garlic and a pinch of chilli powder. Mix together and then pour the contents of the frying pan over the dal. Serve as soon as the spluttering stops!
Penne with Raw Tomatoes
A wonderful summer pasta dinner based on a River Cottage recipe. The ingredients listed here are for 2 portions, scale up or down as you will.
375g ripe tomatoes
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
2tsp capers (I prefer those in preserved in salt rather than brine)
2tbs of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute or so. Peel, quarter and remove the pips and pulp. Chop the flesh roughly. The skin, pips and pulp should then be pushed hard into a seive to extract the juice which is added to the chopped flesh. Mix in the olive oil, rinsed capers, oregano leaves, chilli flakes, garlic and season. Set aside for an hour or so for the flavour to develop.
Cook and drain the pasta before spooning the tomato over the top.