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Appetite for Change

The theme this month is “Changing Cranleigh”. We’ve gone for a change in diet with a three course Mediterranean meal that delivers on flavour but wont break the bank.

BAKED STUFFED AUBURGINES (MELANZANE FARCITE AL FORNO)

Ingredients
2 Medium sized aubergines
200g Minced pork
2 small sweet peppers 1 green and 1 yellow finely sliced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato sauce (Napolina is the best)
2 sticks of celery chopped small
1 medium red onion chopped small
1 courgette sliced small
4 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
200g of Sardinian ewe cheese grated (ideally, but strong Cheddar is just as good)
40g of lard and 20 of olive oil
Salt and pepper mill

Preparation

1. Slice the Aubergines length-wise and take out the centre part keeping it for the stuffing. Now you have 4 boat like items ready to be filled Place them in a cool place after sprinkling them with some salt and pepper.
2. In a non-stick large saucepan melt the lard and when very hot place in it all the sliced and chopped vegetable, including the centre part of the aubergines duly chopped. Cook on high heat for 15 minutes, stirring all the while.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further half an hour stirring from time to time so it does not stick to the bottom. Season the and rest mixture.
4. During this time, in another saucepan heat the olive oil and fry in it the pork for 15-20 minutes stirring all the time. Avoid the meat sticking to itself by pressing it with a fork.
5. When cooked add the meat to the vegetable mixture, combine the two fully and fill the aubergines.
6. Cover with the grated cheese. Rest them for 30 minutes.
7. Place in the oven at 180ºC for 20 minutes and at 140ºC for a further 15 minutes.
8. Dress on an adequate serving dish and serve with it a mixed leaves salad and plenty of crusty bread.

Caprese Salad.

CAPRESE SALAD (INSALATA TRICOLORE)

Ingredients
300g mozzarella
2 large beefsteak tomatoes
2 ripe avocado pears
100g green and black olives
4 bouquets of Basil
60mls salad dressing (personal choice)

Preparation
1. Slice the tomatoes and the same with the mozzarella and the avocados.
2. Arrange all on a large serving dish with the mozzarella in the middle.
3. Place the olives all around the dish with the bouquets of Basil in the corners.
4. Serve the dressing separately and small crusty bread rolls.

This dish is served frequently in UK and presented in many ways, use your imagination and take suggestions from celebrity chefs or food writers with a “pinch of salt”.

almond rice tart.

RICE AND ALMOND TART (TORTA DI RISO E MANDORLE)

Ingredients
40g pudding rice
30g flaked almonds
50 mls Amaretto di Saronno liquor
240mls of milk
50mls double cream whisked thick
100g soft brown sugar
25g granulated sugar
Few drops of almond essence
The grated zest of an orange
A pinch of salt
300g short crust pastry

Preparation
1. Boil the milk with the sugar and the almond essence.
2. Add the rice, the pinch of salt and simmer until cooked and thick. Then mix into it the almonds, the orange zest and stand it to cool down.
3. Add the cream and the liquor, mix so it is all well amalgamated.
4. Roll out the pastry and line a greased 150mm (6inch) baking tin with it.
5. Place the mixture in it. Spread the granulated sugar regularly over and bake in a hot oven at 180ºC for 25 minutes.
6. Serve cold with extra cream if required.

BUON APPETITO – Giovanni Fontebasso

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