Friday, October 11, 2013
I love aubergines, but when I cook them, I basically do only one thing: dice them, heat them with oil, eat them as a side dish or mix them with tomato sauce and eat them with pasta. And I'm generally a bit wary of stuffed foods, but this turned out not to be too much of a hassle (and technically, the aubergines aren't stuffed).
For 2 people:
300 grs minced lamb
50 grs pine nuts
I massively simplified the spices involved. I also forgot to buy parsley and pureed tomato. Note to self: buy pureed tomato next time you're at the supermarket! It's useful!
Put the aubergines cut in halves, skin down, in a roasting tin, with olive oil and pepper. Leave at 200 d. for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the lamb mince in a pan with the cinnamon, curry and pine nuts.
Remove the aubergines from the oven, leave to cool, put the lamb mixture on top, put back in the oven at around 180 degrees for about one nour and half. Now you're supposed to make a fancy sauce involving cinnamon sticks which is probably amazing, but, once again, I don't have cinnamon sticks, I'm not sure where to find them. If the local (and decently-furnished) supermark doesn't sell it, I don't do it. This is proving to be the one consistent issue with this experiment, and one that Mssrs Ottolenghi and Tamimi should have addressed since their book is targeted at European readers, a lot of these spices are a) hard to find, even in multicultural areas b) what are you going to do with a whole jar or bag of some weird spice you won't need again? This is not the Middle East where you have markets that sell you exactly the quantity you want!
Anyway, enough kvetching, back to the recipe. The obvious issue with this is that it takes time, so you have to cook it well in advance (or maybe it's not an issue for those less disorganized than yours truly). It could also have benefited from some kind of sauce, as an alternative to the cinnamon one I was thinking yoghurt based (which would de-kasherize it, if that's an issue). Otherwise, baking aubergines in the oven is a way to go, by all means so that was a neat discovery. And it improved staying in the fridge over night, all the juices blended nicely and it became tastier.