Apparently my mum is extremely trendy - well, at least judging by at least 3 Sunday supplements and foodie mags of recent weeks. We're being exhorted to throw away less food - a hugely sensible idea but hardly earth shattering - and to plan our weekly menus to minimise wastage. So, shopping lists become necessary.
My mum always planned her weekly menu, and as I've grown older I've fallen into the same habit - most weeks it is fun to leaf through the cookery books and see if there's something new to try this week or whether it should be old favourites. Though frankly today it was less appealing as I had two screechy people vying for my attention as they worked on their "Maffs books", plus a lingering headache (thank you to coworkers who insist on working when they should be off sick).
One of my unofficial resolutions for this year was to try at least one new recipe every week - so far so good. Last week's new one was a version of the vegetarian moussaka from the Cranks Bible - very easy, very good:
(Apologies for fuzzy quantities - I am quite hit & miss except when baking)
Potatoes - enough for the people you are feeding, which really depends how greedy you are. I probably used about 600g
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tin tomatoes
500 ml milk
butter - maybe 50g?
75 g Gruyere (very authentic, I know)
Slice 2 aubergines about 1cm thick, brush with olive oil and grill until soft
Slice potatoes about 5mm thick, boil for about 5 minutes.
Chop onion and fry till soft in olive oil. Add chopped garlic, tomatoes and oregano, and simmer for 20-30 minutes to thicken. Season to taste.
Make about 500ml of white sauce - so a fair lump of butter, a couple of tablespoons of flour and about a pint of milk. I do this the lazy way, sticking it all in the pan together and stirring with a whisk it till it boils & thickens. Can't be doing with all that roux malarkey these days. Stir in a good grating of nutmeg.
Assemble it in layers: aubergines, then potatoes, then tomato sauce, then white sauce. And repeat, finishing with a thick blanket of white sauce. Scatter over about 75g chopped gruyere and bake at 180C until it browns - about 30 mins.
Scoff it. But don't burn yourself!