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Recipe of the week

January 10, 2012

Berenjenas rellenas or lamb-stuffed aubergines with Moorish spices.

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Ingredients:
4 medium sized aubergines
Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp pimenton dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
Large pinch chilli flakes
500g minced lamb
6 tbsp passata
100g Manchego cheese
Salt and black pepper

Heat oven to gas mark 6/200 C.
Cut each aubergine lengthways through the stalk. Score the flesh in a tight criss-cross pattern, taking the knife through the flesh to the skin but taking care not to pierce the skin.
Place them side by side on a baking tray with the flesh side up and drizzle each with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
Season with salt and bake for about 30 minutes until soft and tender.

Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan.
Add the onion, garlic, red pepper and spices and fry gently for 10 minutes.
Add the minced lamb and fry until browned.
Stir in the passata and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the aubergines from the oven and increase the temperature to gas mark 7/220C.
Using a dessert spoon, scoop the flesh from the skins, leaving a thin lining all the way round the edge, and add the scooped out flesh to the mince.
Season the mince with pepper and then spoon the mince mixture into the skins.
Sprinkle each with grated Manchego cheese and place back in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and is golden.

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