Hilary Usfun

one of those moments…

Posted on: July 27, 2010

It was one of those moments; the enormity of the aubergine meant that this week there would be two aubergine based dishes. The veggie box came with a recipe for aubergine stuffed with rice and tuna on the basis that apparently often it is hard to know what to do with an aubergine.

I have never not known what to do with an aubergine.

This week; there’s a patty pan and an aubergine. This means thai curry, and then the urge to make a moussaka overwhelmed me. It was game over, as a friend would say. A quick furtle in the fridge revealed some left over new potatoes and a plan was hatched.

Serves 4 hungry people. This is not an Elksaka. If you want an Elksaka; double quantities.

Components

Half an aubergine so gigantic its been passed round several friends

One onion chopped

Four cloves of garlic pulverised

One can tomatoes

Two tsps cumin seeds

Half tsp ground cinnamon

Two stock cubes

Two and a half cups of boiling water

Dried mint

Chopped courgette (one smallish)

One pot ready made cheese sauce (I am the kiss of death to cheese sauce; if you are not near me and therefore not under the jinx, then make about 3/4 pint. A dab of nutmeg wouldn’t go amiss)

Some cheese for the top. I suggest a near indecent volume.

Strategy

Slice aubergine. Roast.

Saute onion, add garlic, cumin and cinnamon once the onion has started to burn slightly and you are hopping about fretting that the kettle isn’t on. Use hob-oven-table type dish, if like me, you are the Queen of lazy cooking.

Add lentils, tomatoes and one mug boiling water, and decrease hopping as you persuade right on low salt organic hand shaped stock cubes to just fecking well dissolve already.

Mix. Add stock. Season lackadaisically as salt in stock cubes. Remember low salt organic hand shaped stock cubes in use. Add more salt while sighing gently.Add mint. Dried mint, round here, after all our mint plant is called Lazarus and frankly we’re not optimistic.

Add lid. Leave to cook slowly for a while.

Remember flippin aubergine. Turn. Remove from oven when done, or as close to done as you remember. Believe me; tomato sauce will soften them.

Just before lentils done add courgette. Lentils should, in my view be a bit soupy. If you’re after something firmer use less water.

Remove half the lentil mix when done, add layer cooked potatoes, layer aubergines, and half the cheese sauce. Then remaining lentils, potatoes, aubergine, sauce and top with cheese. Place in oven at 220 degrees celsius (or whatever suits) til house smells pleasingly of cheese. If possible finish under grill.

Bask in reflected glory.

Generalities;

Recipe is vegetarian and gluten free if you make cheese sauce with gluten free flour or buy fresh one made with cornflour (which is somehow nicer than using cornflour at home)  I’d vegan it up by using a white sauce made with soya milk etc and nutritional yeast and top with garlicky breadcrumbs and toasted seeds.

I am a recovering chubster and so use oil in a spray to minimise quantities and low fat milk, cheese etc.  It works fine that way, but frankly, its your moussaka and I respect you too much to tell you what to do.

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2 Responses to "one of those moments…"

Mmmmm, veggie moussaka. Haven’t made one of those for a while, maybe it’s about time. My recipe is much the same as yours, and I’m so with you on the ‘indecent amount of cheese’ part.

I’m a vegetarian but not the world’s greatest fan of aubergine. But I’ll print this out and try it some time, thanks.

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