Food. Travel. Recipes.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Sour Cream Aubergine Potato Bake with an Italian broccoli stir-fry (grazie a Gino D'Acampo!)

I made this for my family for just a casual evening dinner, it's taken from Gino D'Acampo's book Fantastico, which I seem to have had on long loan from my Dad (I think he is wanting it back now!) but it is such a brilliant book, so many easy innovative recipes that wouldn't become boring if you were to cook them quite a bit. I was drawn to this recipe as it was vegetarian (which automatically caters for my Mum), it involved aubergines - which if you haven't guessed are one of my favourite ingredients to cook with and it was a bake and I love anything that you can prepare quite simply and then pop in the oven to get all yummy and toasty. The broccoli stir fry was another recipe that I found in the book which seemed to give a real different twist to broccoli and I really wasn't expecting it to be as delicious as it was! It packed a punch with the chilli and made the broccoli incredibly juicy, if you're looking for a recipe to make blah broccoli more exciting then this is definitely it!

Sour Cream Aubergine Potato Bake

Serves 3


5 tablespoons olive oil
1 aubergine, cut into cubes
3 small (2 medium) red onions (Gino doesn't specify between red or white, but I think the red gives the dish a sweetness), finely sliced
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
950g Jersey royal potatoes, peeled
220g sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
Butter, for greasing
250g taleggio cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and mozzarella instead)
300ml vegetable stock
Salt and white pepper

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergines over a medium heat for about 15 minutes until brown and soft. When cooked, transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.

Add the chopped red onion to the frying pan on a lower heat, add the sugar and fry for around 20 minutes until soft and caramelised.

While the onions are busy caramelising and sizzling away, put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for around 10 minutes, then drain. Preheat the oven to 220C and leave the potatoes to cool.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle (and you NEED to wait until they are cool so they are not messy and too soft to cut) cut into 1cm-thick slices. Place in a large bowl and gently mix with the sour cream and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter a shallow 2 litre ovenproof dish (see below) and cover the base with half of the potatoes. Scatter the onions over the top followed by the aubergines and two thirds of the chopped taleggio (or whatever cheese you're using)

Cover evenly with the remaining potatoes and pour over the vegetable stock. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top (this is where I used the mozzarella) and cook in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes then serve with either a salad, stir fried broccoli or perhaps some simple asparagus spears.

Italian style broccoli stir-fry

Serves 3 as a side dish


5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons, sliced fresh basil (or dried works perfectly fine in my opinion but you probably won't need as much as 3 tablespoons!)
60g pine nuts
700g broccoli, cut into florets
Salt and pepper

Mix together all of the liquidy ingredients (olive oil, honey, soy sauce, vinegar) with the sliced garlic clove, chilli, basil and pine nuts in a large bowl.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the broccoli for around 3-5 minutes. Drain and place in the bowl with the dressing. Toss gently to avoid breaking up the broccoli.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a wok and fry the broccoli with the dressing for 4 minutes until piping hot and stirring frequently.

Season and serve straightaway in a side dish to accompany a main meal.

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