♬ November's Playlist
'Night Light' by Jessie Ware
'Is Your Love Big Enough' by Lianne La Havas
'Pelican' by The Maccabees
'Hard Times' by Plan B
'What's Love Got To Do With It?' by Tina Turner
'Let Me Love You' by Ne-Yo
'Sleaze' by Knife Party, Mistajam
'I Want You Back' by Jackson 5
'Sweet Nothing' by Florence Welch and Calvin Harris
'Anything Could Happen' by Ellie Goulding
'Hometown Glory' cover by James Arthur
'Starships' cover by Conor Maynard
'Remember The Time' by Michael Jackson
This week I worked in a kitchen with a very talented chef in Angel, an experience I'm glad I took on as it showed me working in the kitchen is not the place for this Patel. My hands were battered, cold, burnt of chilli, nothing glamorous about my appearance, and I am all about looking good. The past few days have consisted of hand cream smothered on every two minutes, sweating out chilli during hot yoga and not looking at knives in the same way ever again. OK, maybe a slight over exaggeration about chopping a whole tub of chillies! However I stupidly rubbed my eye in yoga the next day and felt the pain.
I love to try an area in the food industry and learn from it, most definitely learnt a big lesson here. The best line of the day was when I was stirring soup and told, "Lorraine Pascale stirs like that, a proper chef stirs like they are king of the world". A great insight into a life of a chef compared to what I see and perceive as 'chefs' on TV. Arguably TV cooks and chefs maybe have to strip down how they come across to make skills and meals look easy for us to try at home. Anyway the dream of one day being a TV cook/presenter is still at the forefront of my mind, just so a fresh new somebody other than Jamie and Gordon can take over channel four. That will be me once I get the ball rolling with even more experience and training.
"Positivity can encourage creativity"
I made this up myself, I quite like it.
Right enough about my crazy week and onto the scrummy dish which has been focused and sort of not focused on at the top of the page.
There comes a time when meat has to take a step back and something else has to takes it's place. I present to you (drum roll please) Quorn stuffed aubergines with a simple sauce infused with basil, oregano and garlic. So simple, so easy. so healthy. Quorn has great appeal, as well as looking like real mince once cooked, it's actually very low in fat!
The last time I made stuffed aubergines was back at school in year 9 for food technology. Back then I had no clue about food styling so the dish tasted amazing because I followed a recipe from the only cooking book in the house, unfortunately mine looked awful. The recipe was cheese stuffed aubergines and the final dish looked like aubergine vomit, no colour, and no consideration taken into presentation. I think I got a C grade for that project whereas my best friend who is now an army medical corp received an A*. Every time he beat me in food tech and I just wanted to scream and cry at the same time. He taught me about perfection so I still love him.
Don't be scared, this is not a recipe for disaster!
Quorn with aubergine and fresh tomatoes make a lovely thick sauce worthy of an A* and a commendation.
▶ Recipe for 2
1 large aubergine
Quorn mince (for two people use 150g)
1 large garlic clove
Fresh basil leaves
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Drop of Tabasco
: Preheat oven to 180°c, cut aubergine length way and scoop out flesh.
: Dice aubergine chunks and fry with olive oil and crushed garlic for 2 minutes.
: Meanwhile rub olive oil on aubergine skins, season and wrap in foil. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until soft.
: Add Quorn to aubergine mixture, let this go brown and tip in can of tomatoes. With the same can fill it half way with water and add to mixture.
: Add puree and simmer on slow heat for 15 minutes.
: Stir through chopped basil leaves and 1 tsp oregano, season and taste.
: Taste again after 5 minutes to see if you need more seasoning, add Tabasco if you like.
: Take aubergine skins out of the oven and scoop in mixture.