Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rachel's Market Kitchen

I'm just back from Cork having worked with Rachel Allen and the Optomen / UKTV, Market Kitchen gang. Rachel is one of the presenters on the show, so she heads to London every so often to film that part but then Market Kitchen come to her at home in Cork to film her actually cooking too. So lots of cooking and lots more calories! Here is one of the recipes we filmed which is from Rachel's book 'Bake'. Market Kitchen is on UKTV food every week day at 7pm (& repeated throughout the next day).

Serves 4

2 large aubergines

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra

1 onion, peeled & finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled & crushed
650g (1lb 6oz) good red ripe tomatoes, peeled & chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
1 tsp caster sugar

4 tbsp chopped or torn basil leaves

1 ball of mozzarella, torn into pieces, or 25g (1 oz) grated parmesan (optional)

4 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4.

2. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 5mm (1/4 in) border around the edge intact. Chop the flesh, then place in a sieve sitting over a bowl adding a good pinch of salt to draw out any bitter juices. Place the aubergine halves on an oiled baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the onion is soft. Add the drained aubergine flesh, the tomatoes, chilli flakes and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is reduced. Add the chopped basil and season to taste.

4. Spoon the tomato sauce into the par-cooked aubergines, then add the torn mozzarella or grated parmesan (if using). Bake int he oven for about 30 minutes or until the aubergine is cooked at the sides and the mixture is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.

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