It took me about 10 mns to find this recipe in my Mum's one inch thick hand written recipe book which I inherited when she moved into a nursing home a couple of years ago. But don't worry, she is still alive at the tender age of 95 and still enjoying going out to the best restaurants around where she lives in Vendée and certainly drinking a glass of Champagne or two on the occasion!
What I learned though talking to her about cooking this for the nth time is that recipe actually comes from her grandmother whom I have some vague memories of. She was a dragon for meal time, as she would say: Lunch is at 12.30 and she would not tolerate people being late, as her cooking was legendary and was supposed to be perfectly cooked and ready for service then and there! I have certainly inherited that from her...You have been warned!
The main difficulty of the preparation for this recipe is to cut the aubergines in thin enough slices but not too thin that they would burn during the broiling process.
iYou will need a large enough pan to broil the slices of aubergines in plenty of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). You will also need an oven proof (preferably square) dish to layer the cooked aubergines in
But before you start frying the aubergine slices, you need to prepare the binding sauce...
You will need a smaller pan into which you put more EVOO, spanish onions, the carrot(s) cut in small cubes. You can add leeks and garlic, but you will definitely need some tomatoes.
Now that this is simmering nicely, you can start broiling the slices of aubergines. This will take time...and lots of olive oil!. My Tefal Ingenio pans are perfect for that part of the process...They are not available in Australia yet, but you can buy them via Amazon, bien sûr!
Every two layers of aubergines (which I crossed between layers) you will then spread some of the binding sauce which you will have taken through a hand held blender in the pan to get a spreadable paste. Then repeat until you have used all the aubergines and sauce. I have used two large aubergines for four people.
Although this is not in the original recipe, I like to sprinkle the top of the dish with a layer of finely grated parmesan... (My children often 'accuse" of never following a recipe...and they are right!)
Killarney Heights is a suburb of Sydney near Frenchs Forest and on your way to the Northern Beaches of Sydney. The public school there has been running a French teaching class for primary school children for decades and as a consequence, a lot of French or Aussie_french or any other combination of French infused households have been congregating in the surrounding areas =in the hope to secure free French education for their children. And part of the funding of this exercise comes from the revenue derived from the annual French Market which was held today.
I had not visited for years and it was another occasion to meet some of my fellow French food suppliers like Christian from La Planchette Berbigier, Jean-Marc, aka Mr Saucisson from La Bastide and arch rival Stephane Pois from Steph's Gourmet Foods who is about to open a permanent outlet in Newcastle, his Australian home city two hours north of Sydney. In the non-food sphere, Oh la la! French homewares, French à la Carte language school for grown-ups and older... and A French Affair were there in force. Two French related stalls which I was very keen to explore were a Thermomix (German designed, Made in France) stand run by the affable Agnès, as I had never been exposed to one in the flesh so to speak, and watchmaker extraordinaire Christophe from Bausele showing off his Australian landscapes and colours inspired creations. I have been willing to have one on my wrist for quite some time, and now 'c'est chose faite' and one particular model is definitely on my bucket list... Here are some random photos of the event for your enjoyment!
Et tout finit par des chansons
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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