Mixed up Moussaka and other stuff

I've been concocting in the kitchen again and thought I'd record my successes.

Mixed up Moussaka

Cooked puy lentils with whatever seasoning you fancy
Aubergine – salted and sautéed
Sliced potatoes – parboiled
Sliced vine ripened tomatoes
Fake Greek yoghurt
Conservative amount of suitable cheese (not Parmesan)
Oil for sautéing

Cook the first three ingredients separately and layer everything in a large ovenproof dish. Beat egg and yoghurt together with some seasoning and the basil then top over everything finishing with the cheese. Bake until all layers are cooked.

I use yoghurt instead of béchamel sauce, mainly because I’ve never learned to cook that sauce but also because this is healthier.

Pear & Chocolate Flan

Rich short crust pastry with the addition of some chopped mixed nuts, rested in the fridge then baked blind.
Pears quartered, cooked a bit then remove four or five quarters to keep whole while the remainder are cooked further and pureed.
Dark brown sugar
Egg – separated, the white whipped
Cocoa powder
Ground Almonds
Melted butter

Mix the pureed pear, ground almond, cocoa powder and egg yolk, melted butter, then fold in the whipped egg white. Add to the baked pastry case, decorate with the reserved pears and cook in a moderate oven till the filling is set.

Strange sultana baked objects

Complete experiment this!

Pureed cooked butternut squash
SR flour
Golden syrup
Small amount of oil

Mix all and bake in muffin-type container in a moderate oven. I added so many sultanas that this had the density of plutonium, so one bun was adequate to see me through from afternoon tea to dinner.

I got hold of a mini food processor in the sales, so now have the means to puree everything in sight, should I so desire. This is a 700ml one, so it is adequate for the quantities of cooking I tend to do, as I found my previous food processors too large and gave them to better homes!

Porcini Madeira Soup

Soak dried porcini for 20-30 mins, drain, reserving liquid, but try straining it in case there is grit in the porcini.
Chop mushrooms into small pieces
Thinly sliced leek
Half a carrot – minced
¾ stick celery – minced
Soup pasta

Stir fry the ingredients before adding the reserved porcini stock, some more water and a not too generous glug of Madeira and seasoning (with extra stock if needed) as well as the little soup pasta. Then boil up till done. If I’d had it, I’d have used little noodles instead of the pasta shapes, or maybe even alphabetti spaghetti!

Chinese-y Mushy Peas

This might sound entirely unappetising, but in fact was as tasty a dish as I’ve ever made!

Soaked and boiled marrowfat peas
Green part of a leek
One stick of celery finely chopped
Small carrot finely chopped
Pinch of chilli flakes
Couple of star anise
Pinch of Szechwan peppers
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds

Soften the leek, carrot and celery and garlic in the sesame oil, then add the spices. Stir and add in the cooked peas. Sprinkle half the sesame seeds in an ovenproof dish, put the mixture on top and cover with the remaining sesame seeds. Bake in the oven until the mixture is set.

Raspberry Jam Buns

This is slightly adapted from my Granny’s ancient cook book.*

6 oz SR flour
2 oz cooking marge
2 oz castor sugar
One egg
Small amount of milk
Adequate raspberry jam

Rub in marge to the flour, add sugar, beaten egg and milk together and mix to a stiffish dough. Roll portions of the dough into balls and make a hole in the top of each dough ball to put a generous teaspoon of jam into and cover it up. Bake in a moderate oven till golden brown.

I usually have baking sitting around for a few days before I get bored and freeze it or give it away, but these are so good I’ll have eaten them all in 24 hours.

*The Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes
Edinburgh College of Domestic Science
This edition is from 1932.

The book advertises some of the courses the college ran:

A three year Diploma for Teachers of Needlework, Dressmaking, Millinery and Crafts.
Certificate Course in Laundry – one term
One year Institutional Management Course for Wardens, School Matrons, Housekeepers, Manageresses of Clubs, Hotels etc.
And much more.

I think I could probably do with a short course in laundry judging by what I do to some delicates I’ve owned but wrecked!

This is probably my favourite cook book as it is so straightforward and usually foolproof, despite recipes for Dressed Sheep’s Head, Brain Cakes and other (un)savoury items.


m said...

I KNOW someone who went to that school! deceased now. Very pioneering started by stouthearted feminists trying to improve the lot of women. Queen Margaret University College is a descendent of that school but sadly when I was there about doing a phd way back in the early 90's they seemed ashamed of their beginnings... more women's history swept away...

Jes said...

Just reading the list of subjects they taught did make me wonder about their genesis and their ethos. There are often clues to be picked up about feminist efforts, so thank you for confirming my inklings.

Edinburgh has swept away so much of its feminist history in recent years, just think about the Deaconess, Elsie Inglis and all the women-only groups that used to be supported by the Women's Unit of the Regional Cooncil.

Pretty much all gone, I think now, despite the womanful battles to preserve women-only services in health and social inclusion.