This week will be a stay-in week. Lucky you, I hear you say. Honestly, I would love to be out and about though, instead of being stuck with a very painful ear and throat infection that’s really making me lose both my patience and hours of precious sleep. I wasn’t even going to post anything for the next few days, but C&T really needs some love, care and attention right now, so here I am. I love being here, sharing recipes and cooking tips, and writing. Also I learn so much by reading comments and blogs by my favourite people. It’s totally worth being here. Even if half of my face is a mess and telling me to rest. Now.
However it’s going to be a rainy week they say, and what better excuse than to spend some time in the kitchen and bake. A very good friend of mine and her daughter gave me a couple of cake recipes which are the bomb. They are so good that I plan to share very soon. I just love it when people share their favourite recipes with me and in turn allow me to share them with you. I will give them a mention of course when I do just that, because that’s my style and I like to keep it that way. Come back for more later, but in the meantime onto today’s dish.
I’ve not posted a Maltese recipe for quite a while now so I thought I’d remedy that. I have written something similar in the past but this revisited version is a bit better with more detail. The prep for this will take a bit of your time, but like most traditional recipes from this little island, these stuffed aubergines will taste even better the day after you make them. Just bake them, let them cool off in their baking dish on your kitchen counter, cover and put them in the fridge, ready for the next day or two. Trust me.
So to me, these make such a great meal for when you have family or friends over for a catch-up chat. With these quantities you will probably feed 3 to 4 people, but scale it up for more and you’ll have a feast. Make sure to have some crusty bread to mop up any extra sauce. Good luck!
- 2 – 3 aubergines, each cut in half, pulp scooped and set aside
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- a small knob of butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 chestnut mushrooms, chopped (optional)
- 500g minced beef
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tomato concentrate (preferably use Kunserva if you’re in Malta)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon curry
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg, for binding
- breadcrumbs, as needed for the topping
- 2-3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4.
Wash the aubergines and cut them in half. Scoop out the pulp and place this in a bowl until needed later. Leave a thickness of around 1cm at the sides of the aubergine.
Blanch the aubergines in a pot of boiling water and let them simmer until they soften a little. I like to do this to make sure that they are cooked completely in the oven. You might want to omit this step but they will require more baking time. Place onto a baking dish, lined with kitchen foil.
To prepare the tomato sauce, heat the oil and butter in a hot pan and add the chopped onions and garlic. Add mushrooms, minced beef and spices. Cook gently and stir occasionally. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato concentrate, sugar, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer over medium to low heat and taste occasionally for seasoning.
When it starts reducing, turn off the heat and tip in the aubergine pulp that you set aside beforehand. Mix well and add the egg. Divide this mixture into each of the aubergine halves. Sprinkle a thin coating of breadcrumbs for extra crisp.
Top each half with thin slices of potatoes and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until everything is cooked through.
Browse C&T and see what we’ve been up to in the past few years!
One year ago: On Pizza and a Recipe
Two years ago: Autumn Colours
Three years ago: Weekend Tradition
Four years ago: Simple Squash and Carrot Soup