I hesitated before posting these recipes. The cake, in particular, isn’t really a budget bake (what with ground almonds being E1.79 per 200g), but if you fancy a bit of a splurge when there are a few more euros than usual knocking around, this menu might be just what you’re looking for.
We had friends over for dinner last night and I wanted to make something I’d never made before. So, I decided to make a tagine. A tagine is not something I make often, certainly not often enough to justify buying a proper tagine pot, but because we don’t use meat and don’t really need to slow cook, a regular saucepan did the job nicely.
With the tagine, we had rice (I didn’t make couscous since I’ve been off wheat since November) and a potato dish (salad potatoes being such good value at the moment), as well as baked cauliflower with Halloumi. Seeing as the oven was on, I decided to bake for dessert. The whole menu is quite a melding of flavours (we had hummous and crudités to start with and I made an orange/ginger lassi as well) but it seemed to work. I’m just posting the tagine recipe here – will follow with the others in the next day or so (sick child in the house at the moment – nothing to do with my cooking, I hasten to add! 😉 )
The photo here is really sub-par, but it gives you an idea…..
Aubergine, Mushroom & Fig Tagine
5 Tablespoons of Oil
2 Small Onions
5 Garlic Cloves
2 Teaspoons of Ground Coriander
2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons of Ras-al-Hanout (optional)
400g Can of Chickpeas
400g Can of Tomatoes
600mls of Vegetable Stock
Large Pinch of Saffron Threads
1 Large Aubergine
250g Mushrooms (button or closed cap)
100g (bout 12) Dried Figs
Handful of Fresh Coriander
Top and tail the aubergine, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
Pop into a non-metal sieve or colander and shake a generous amount of salt over the pieces. Leave to drain for about 30 minutes while you get on with the rest of the prep.
Peel and chop the onion.
Crush the garlic cloves.
Drain the chickpeas.
Halve the mushrooms if you’re not using button mushrooms.
Halve the dried figs.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and spices.
Cook over medium heat for five minutes, until the raw smell goes off the garlic and the spices release their aroma. Stir the whole time, to avoid burning.
Transfer this spiced mixture into a saucepan.
Add the tomatoes, stock, chickpeas and saffron.
Rinse the aubergine pieces and squeeze the excess water out of them.
Heat the rest of the oil in the frying pan and add the aubergine pieces.
Fry them over a high heat.
Add to the saucepan and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and figs and continue to cook, uncovered for another 20 minutes.
Scatter the coriander into the stew and season with salt & pepper.
Stir. Serve with crusty bread, couscous or rice.