Fried Aubergines and Tomato

fried aubergines and tomatoI invented this recipe for fried aubergines and tomato the other day and it doesn’t really have a name – it’s really just fried aubergines and tomatoes with a bit of salt – a bit like a simpler version of ratatouille but without the other ingredients. The aubergines are starting to ripen at the moment and it won’t be long before we have plenty of them so I’m trying out different ways of cooking them in preparation.

One of the problems with frying aubergines is that they absorb a lot of the oil. So, in this recipe I dry fry them for ten minutes in a frying pan or so before adding any oil, giving the aubergine pieces enough time to take on a lovely golden brown colour.

 

fried potato cake

Fried Aubergines and Tomato

This recipe is quick to prepare and is best served warm.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium-sized aubergines, halved lengthways and then cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Heat a frying pan on a high heat.
  2. When hot, add the aubergine slices, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn them over and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and season with salt.
  5. Keep turning the aubergines every so often until they have got some good colour.
  6. Add the tomatoes and fry on a high heat for another couple of minutes
  7. Turn the heat down low and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  8. Leave the lid on and leave in the pan until you need to serve them.

Stir-fried Cauliflower

stir-fried cauliflower

STIR-FRIED CAULIFLOWER

We’ve been having cauliflowers every now and again throughout the year. The ones growing at the moment are now big enough to eat so I’m looking for new recipes and ways of preparing them.

Stir-fried Cauliflower

This recipe is quick to prepare and tastes delicious.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Cauliflower florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 inch ginger, micro-planed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Heat a frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets, season with salt, cover and cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes so that they take on a nutty brown colour.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Add some extra virgin olive oil to the pan.
  6. Fry the garlic and the ginger for a couple of minutes before sprinkling over some soy sauce.
  7. Return the cauliflower to the pan and mix thoroughly.
  8. Put the cauliflower back in the bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Serve.

Gazpacho

gazpacho tomatoes

GAZPACHO

This is my second recipe for gazpacho. My first recipe (Andalusian gazpacho) is the more traditional recipe that uses onion, cucumber, garlic, green pepper and garlic, but today I wanted to make a more tomato-based, thinner version like the one they serve in glasses in bars in towns around Andalucía, and Sevilla where I have fond memories of it from.

You must use ripe tomatoes with plenty of flavour for this recipe. Our tomatoes are generally ready at the beginning of August, so if I fancy making this before then, I will use plum tomatoes which tend to have more flavour than other early varieties.

This recipes serves two but it can be easily adapted.

Gazpacho

It only takes a few minutes to prepare this refreshing, cold tomato soup which is perfect for hot, summer days.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • cider vinegar
  • 2 capfuls balsamic vinegar
  • cider vinegar
  • 50g stale bread
  • ½ cup water
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Core and roughly chop the tomatoes and add to a food blender with the garlic.
  2. Blend for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of cider vinegar and a teaspoon of salt, and blend well.
  4. Roughly chop the stale bread and add to the blender with a teaspoon of home-made mayonnaise.
  5. Add the water and continue to blend.
  6. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Vegetarian Tofu Burgers

 

vegetarian tofu burgersVEGETARIAN TOFU BURGERS

These vegetarian burgers are made from tofu and are flavoured with marmite and soy sauce. They hold together well and can be fried in a frying pan or cooked on the barbeque.

vegetarian tofu burgers

Vegetarian Tofu Burgers

These burgers can quickly be whipped up in advance and fried or cooked on the BBQ the next day.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g block of firm tofu, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons Marmite
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices of cheddar or Havarti cheese

METHOD

  1. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add the chopped onion, season with salt and pepper, and fry gently until soft slightly caramelised.
  3. Remove from the heat after another couple of minutes.
  4. Add the tofu, garlic, Marmite, soy sauce to the food processor and blitz until smooth.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and add the rolled oats, fried onion and salt.
  6. Mix well and leave for at last 30 minutes or overnight to allow flavours to develop and the oats to soften.
  7. Divide the mixture into 8 balls of about 80g each.
  8. Keep a bowl of cold water handy and wetting your hands constantly, shape the balls into round patties about 3cm thick.
  9. Put on a plate and keep in the fridge until you are ready to fry them.
  10. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
  11. Fry the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side, turning once so that they get a nice colour.
  12. Put a slice of cheese on each burger, turn off the heat and cover the pan to melt the cheese.

Making Garlic Mayonnaise with a Stick Blender

cortijoblog: making mayonnaise with a stick blender

MAKING MAYONNAISE

Although traditional garlic mayonnaise or “aïoli” is only made with egg yolks, I wanted to find a recipe that used the whole egg to take full advantage of the eggs that our hens lay.

In a previous post, I described my first way of making mayonnaise with a stick blender using 1 large egg and 250ml of sunflower oil. Although this original method is fine if you have large eggs, it doesn’t tend to work so well if you have younger hens laying smaller eggs. I also wanted a way of making larger quantities and so I developed the method shown on this page.

The mayonnaise only takes a couple of minutes to make. As long as you use large eggs at room temperature, the mayonnaise will set properly. If you have smaller eggs, then I recommend you use three, blending two together in the first part of the process and using the third in the second stage.

The key to success is to slowly raise and lower the stick blender, using a circular motion to incorporate all of the mixture thoroughly. This method works best if you use the long tall jar that comes with the stick blender.

Here is a link to the video of me making this mayonnaise: 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

cortijoblog: making mayonnaise with a stick blender

INGREDIENTS

  • 250ml or a cup of sunflower oil
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 4 large cloves of garlic

cortijoblog: making mayonnaise with a stick blender

METHOD

  1. Put  one of the eggs, the garlic cloves, sunflower oil, mustard and salt into the tall blender bowl.
  2. Using the stick blender, quickly blend all of the ingredients together on the fastest setting possible.
  3. Crack in the second egg.
  4. Gently lower the stick blender to the bottom directly over the egg yolk.
  5. On the fastest setting of the blender, blend for a couple of seconds.
  6. Slowly lift and lower the blender, first by about 5mm and then 10mm.
  7. Continue blending, gradually raising the blender by a couple of centimetres each time.
  8. As you lift and lower the blender, use a circular motion from front to back.
  9. You should be able to see how mixture lightens at the bottom of the bowl as the mixture turns into mayonnaise.