A new adventure

Posted on Sep 27, 2012 in Blog

I am writing this post as I prepare to embark on a new adventure. I shall be giving cooking classes! I am really excited, nervous, thrilled and eager. I’m nervous because by nature I’m quite a shy person and it takes time for me to adjust to a situation. I’m timid when it comes to speak in public and I would never be seen on the front line. So for me to be in the “limelight”, so to speak, will be a new hurdle to jump. However, notwithstanding this, I am very happy to share what I know with other people and have them participate in these classes.

Participation is a key to learning in my opinion. I look forward to my class kneading pastry, whipping cream and stirring sauces. I want the class to be interactive, I want them to share with me what they know, after all we can all learn from eachother.

So from now it will be lesson planning, preparation, shopping and lastly emparting the techniques, the tips and the ideas to people that will use them everyday in their kitchen as they cook for their families and friends. Much the same as I do.

Speaking of cooking, let me tell you about the Stuffed Aubergine Rolls I prepared yesterday. Delicious, really, try it and see for yourselves. The filling is with ricotta, mozzarella and parmigiano. You may serve it as a starter, a main course or a side dish. Here I state it serves 4, however it depends on the course. Also the ingredients are a rough estimate,  if for example, you like more parmigiano go ahead and sprinkle more. Adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.

Stuffed Aubergine Rolls

Here is what you need for 4 persons :-

2 large aubergines

300g ricotta

1/2 a mozzarella (for pizza is fine)

about 2 tbsp of parmigiano

handful of basil leaves

olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

1 jar passata

2 garlic cloves

handful of leaves

olive oil

salt & pepper

Begin by preparing the aubergines. This may be done the day before and kept covered in the fridge until needed. Preheat the grill. Chop the ends of the aubergines and slice into thin rounds. Place them in a roasting tin and brush with oil. Grill the aubergines until they begin to brown then turn them over, brush them with oil again and grill till browned. Repeat the process with the remaining aubergine slices. Leave them till cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Chop the mozzarella into cubes and place it in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the ricotta and parmigiano and blitz again. You should have a mixture that holds together.

Now assemble everything. Take a slice of aubergine and place about a teaspoon of filling leaving a border around the edges. Place a leaf of basil and roll up. Put the aubergine roll, seam side down, in a large roasting dish. The dish should be large enough to hold all the aubergines neatly snuggled next to eachother. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining aubergines. At this point the dish may be placed in the fridge overnight.

To make the tomato sauce, prepare a sauce pan and pour in enough olive oil to cover the base. Add the peeled, whole garlic cloves and heat up ensuring to flavour the oil without burning the garlic. When the oil starts to heat up add the jar of passata, some salt and stir. Tear the basil leaves with your hands and add them to the sauce. Cover and lower the heat. Simmer for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally. After that time half cover the pan and continue simmering for a further 15 mins, stirring. The sauce will reduce and thicken. This takes roughly 25 mins. Turn off the heat and remove the garlic.

Preheat the oven to 180C (gas) Spoon the sauce gently over the aubergines. Do not drown them in sauce, just enough to coat each one nicely. Sprinkle parmigiano over the sauce and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 mins until heated through.

Any remaining sauce may be used to prepare a plate of pasta if desired.








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One Comment

  1. Hey thats a great idea. I´m sure you´ll be good at it. Wish you best of luck n heaps of students and future chefs. they´re going to love u. lol

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