Food porn alert: my experimental take on two absolute classics

Published April 3, 2013 by The Feminist

Here I go again. I simply can’t help myself. I find it so much fun – and very liberating!- to create my own version of some absolute classic dishes. I like to think of it as creative stimulation. It keeps me focused and encourages me to think outside the box. Because we all know that life is much more fun when you’re able to step out of the confines of life’s daily routines and conformities. Or to quote George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “You call yourself a free spirit, a ‘wild thing’, and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage.”

That’s me. I would take down that cage with my bare hands if I had to. Luckily for me and my sensitive hands, I do not have to resort to these violent and drastic measures, cooking will do. Honest, experimental cooking.

So this blog post is a sincere f*** you to all the food bigots out there, who believe a tarte tatin should remain a tarte tatin and a moussaka should stay a moussaka. I hope you like it there in your cage. I’m sure it all feels very safe and comforting. Me, on the other hand, I don’t like my wings clipped. It is MY kitchen, and in MY kitchen I prefer to fly. Call it my culinary Peter Pan syndrome.

Long story short: I baked the most delicious sage and onion tarte tatin, served with a rocket, apple and goat’s cheese salad. The intense sweetness from the tarte tatin in combination with the sharp cheese… Gasp! It looked so pretty and tasted so good, I got all warm and fuzzy inside. Hence, the food porn alert from the title.

The other drool-worthy dish was an amazing vegetarian Moussaka aubergine boat. We’re all familiar with the phrase “death by chocolate”. Well, consider this a “death by spices”. 😉 Not because it was eye-wateringly hot, but because the beautiful blend of aromas, spices and herbs was so overwhelmingly perfect, I felt like I’d just died and gone to heaven…

Perfect experimental dishes that make your knees quiver: what more could you possibly want?

DSCN2607

Sage and onion tarte tatin

Ingredients:

• One sheet of puff pastry
• 40gr of butter
• 2 heaped tbsp of muscovado sugar
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 20 sage leaves, chopped
• 5 to 7 onion (depending on the size of the onions and of your pan 😉 )

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.. Peel the onions and slice them in half.
2. Heat a large frying or sauté pan. Melt the butter, sugar and balsamic vinegar together.
3. Arrange the onions on the base of the pan and then scatter in the chopped sage leaves and season with salt and pepper.
4. If your oven is big enough to fit the frying pan, fit the pastry over the onions, pushing down and tucking in the edges all round the inside of the pan. (Or transfer the caramelized onions into a tart tin and then cover with puff pastry. Make sure you get as much caramel from your frying pan into your tin!)
5. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
6. To turn the tarte tatin out, place a flat plate on top of your pan/ tart tin, then turn it upside down, give it a good shake –et voila!- a sage and onion tarte tatin!

DSCN2608

Vegetarian moussaka aubergine boat

Ingredients:

• 1 aubergine
• 150gr cooked lentils
• 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• ½ tsp cumin
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ¼ tsp dried coriander
• Pinch of smoked paprika
• Pinch of chilli powder
• 2tbsp tomato puree
• 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
• 100ml Greek yoghurt
• 20gr feta cheese

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Hold the aubergine horizontally in front of you and cut of a “lid”. Scoop out most of the flesh to create a boat. Bake the aubergine boat in the oven for 15 minutes, until the flesh is softened.
2. Fry the scooped out aubergine flesh in a pan with olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, tomato puree and spices until the aubergine has completely softened and is puree-like.
3. Stir through the cooked lentils and chopped mint and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through.
4. Take your aubergine boat out of the oven and stuff it with the wonderfully fragrant lentil mix.
5. Mix the Greek yoghurt together with the feta cheese and salt and pepper and spoon over the aubergine.
6. Grill the moussaka boat for 5 minutes, or until bubbling on top.
7. Prepare to die and go to heaven.

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12 comments on “Food porn alert: my experimental take on two absolute classics

  • Both of these dishes look incredible. You’re unbelievably talented. It’s funny because Fashion is the first name of your blog, but you really are extremely creative in the kitchen and your dishes are awesome. They blow away some of the other blogs that are solely food blogs. You could open a very fashionable bakery!

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