Tag Archives: International

Lemon Cheesecake

I love all things lemony and living here in Portugal lemons are plentiful year round with many trees producing the fruit continuously. The tree originated in Asia but is now synonymous with Mediterranean climates such as ours here in Portugal. The tree in my garden doesn’t produce fruit all year round but that doesn’t limit my free supply as they drop from neighbours trees in the village and roll down the road, arriving on my doorstep as welcome guests.

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With visitors from the village where we used to live in France and a basket full of lemons, I decided to make a lemon cheesecake that would be a good balance and cut the rich flavours of our main course – lamb shanks in red wine with figs.

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Lemon Cheesecake

Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 2 Hours Total Time: 2 Hours 20 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 200g digestive biscuits, crushed finely
  • 100g of softened butter
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 300g soft cheese like Mascarpone
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon curd
  • Extra lemon zest to garnish
  • Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
  • Pouring cream (optional)
  • 20 cm loose bottom cake tin

Directions:

  1. Crush the digestive biscuits and mix thoroughly with the softened butter.
  2. Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking paper and butter the sides.
  3. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the tin and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. In a bowl mix the condensed milk and soft cheese with a whisk.
  5. Add the juice and zest of 2 lemons. This will thicken the mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Release the cake tin and put on a plate.
  7. Add a teaspoon of warm water to the lemon curd and spread over the top.
  8. Decorate the top with the fresh fruits and garnish with the extra lemon zest.
  9. Serve with cream (optional)

Scallop & Prawn Sea-sation!

This was my Sunday Sea-sation treat to the family!

Living here in Portugal, very close to the Atlantic coast, we are very lucky to have oceans of fresh fish to feast on. And feast on it we do, but yesterday I decided, instead, to delve deep into my freezer for some lovely treats, also originally from the sea!

Scallops and prawns are a great combination – these beauties pictured here, I dressed with a creamy shallot, leek and celery sauce, perched aloft some delicious new boiled locally grown potatoes. The combination was a triumph and it’s success was confirmed by the words of my teenage son, “Can I have more Mum?”

Scallop and Prawn Sea-sation!

Ingredients:

  • FOR 4 PEOPLE (Main course):
  • 12 large scallops (mine had tails on)
  • 16 large raw prawns, peeled
  • 500/600g of new potatoes
  • 2 small leeks, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 2 small spring onions, finely chopped
  • a cup of white wine
  • 200ml of cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • sweet balsamic vinegar to drizzle and chopped parsley to garnish

Directions:

  1. Defrost and peel the prawns if frozen. Defrost the scallops if frozen.
  2. In a pan, with a tablespoon of heated olive oil, fry and season the vegetables.
  3. Add the wine and reduce for 5 to 10 minutes minutes.
  4. Boil the potatoes.
  5. In a large heavy based pan, cook the prawns (they turn from a translucent colour to white).
  6. Add the scallops. Be very careful not to over cook,
  7. Add the cream to the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Drain the potatoes and cut them in half. Arrange on a plate.
  9. Place 3 scallops on the top of 3 halved potatoes with 4 prawns.
  10. Drizzle with the sauce reduction.
  11. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  12. Optional: sea salt and cracked black pepper

Sweet, Sticky, Sour and Spicy Chicken with Mandarin Fritters

I was looking for inspiration for dinner last night and wanted to try something creative. I studied the contents of my fridge and larder and decided to make a meal that would tantalise all our taste buds – a surge of heat, a touch of sweetness combined with something sour to create a dish that would be deliciously satisfying. The Mandarin fritters added another dimension, bringing a sharp citrus crunch to the eclectic textures and flavours of the dish.

Subliminally, I had produced a meal in celebration of the Chinese New Year. It wasn’t intentional, my tastebuds just led me that way! So I wish anyone reading this a happy year of the goat! Shanyang kuaile de yi nian!

 

Sweet, Sticky, Sour and Spicy Chicken with Mandarin Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons of chopped root ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of hot pepper sauce (Piri-Piri)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  •  tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 chopped spring onions to garnish
  • FOR THE MANDARIN FRITTERS:
  • 2 seedless Mandarin oranges, in segments
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions:

  1. FEEDS 4:
  2. Mix together the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hot pepper sauce in a bowl.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken strips.
  4. Add the chicken breast strips into the marinade and leave in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken strips and brown on both sides for about a minute.
  6. Pour the sauce/marinade over the chicken and simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens (8/10 mins)
  7. FOR THE MANDARIN FRITTERS:
  8. Whisk together all the ingredients, in a bowl, until smooth.
  9. Heat a small pan of oil, deep enough to fry the Mandarin segments.
  10. Dip the segments into the batter then drop gently into the hot oil.
  11. Remove when golden brown and crispy.

Red Thai Turkey Curry ………… to Spice Up the Festive Season!

We are fortunate living here in Portugal that delicious ‘plumptious’ turkeys are readily available all year round and at very affordable prices. Before I go further – apologies to all English language purists for the neologism- I just think my word aptly evokes a scrumptiously, succulent and plump bird! And, as the festive season approaches, that is exactly what we want at Christmas time, a ‘plumptious’ bird with which to celebrate!! With the traditional Christmas day meal lovingly and painstakingly prepared, cooked to perfection and devoured in minutes, we are often left with sufficient meat for at least another meal or a mound of dull, dry turkey sandwiches. But ….. hold your horses (or turkeys, in this case), I have a spicy proposition to put to you! Try my Red Thai Turkey Curry – it’s simply delicious and so amazingly easy to make. As it cooks, the aromas are sensational and the spice combination will add an exotic dimension to your holiday menus. I have used a red Thai paste for this recipe because my family like their curries hot! If your preference is for something milder, reduce the amount of red paste or try a yellow Thai paste. A ‘dollop’ of plain yogurt or sour cream, on the side, is also a good companion.

Strip your festive bird of meat or, if you can’t wait for the Christmas day remains, buy a turkey leg or breast and cook it slowly, in a litre of chicken stock which will keep it succulently moist. Cover the roasting pan with foil and place in the oven at 170 degrees centigrade for 90/100 minutes. Cooked through thoroughly so as to avoid the ‘turkey’s revenge! Strip the meat from the bone, or cube the breast, and set aside. By using a shop bought paste, it makes this dish so simple and quick to prepare – and having slaved over a hot oven for hours on Christmas morning – why not? Just choose a good quality brand like Blue Elephant!

Red Thai Turkey Curry

Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Turkey meat (approx. 200g per person)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 500g sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 100g small cherry tomatoes
  • 70g Thai red curry paste
  • 2 x 400ml tins full fat coconut milk
  • Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
  • Chopped Spring onions to garnish (optional)
  • A generous handful of Cashew nuts

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan or wok, add and heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and season.
  3. Gently fry the onion and garlic for 2/3 minutes, then add the curry paste. Combine with the oil.
  4. Add all the vegetables, coating them with the oily paste.
  5. Add the coconut milk and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until all vegetables are cooked.
  6. Add the turkey meat and cook for a further 10 minutes to heat through.
  7. Serve with rice and garnish with the coriander, chopped Spring onions and Cashew nuts.

Sausages, Glorious Sausages! Pork, Cranberry and Port.

In preparation for Christmas (yes, I am wonderfully organised this year), I have been experimenting with some sensational seasonal flavours. Using a traditional combination of cranberries and a generous ‘glug-glug’ of Ruby Port, I do believe I’ve struck gold. I served them for dinner last night on a bed of sweet potato mash and a gravy of red onions, cranberries and Port. The mergence of flavours was rich and deeply satisfying. I love sausages and being creative with the variations of flavour that one can achieve. All our sausages are ninety percent good quality pork meat. The other ten percent is made up of the crumb and spices. I don’t use any chemical additives or preservatives, so the sausages are what they should be and in terms of value, one of our ‘hearty’ sausages is worth at least two of the mass produced variety. Skins and sausages making kit all available from: www.weschenfelder.co.uk  ~ have a go yourself!

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Homemade sausages – Pork, Port and Cranberry. Why wait until Christmas?

For the gravy, slice a small red onion and fry gently in a pan with a little olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Finely chop a tablespoon of dried cranberries and add to the pan. Add a ‘glug’ of Ruby Port and simmer, add a splash of water, allowing the liquids to reduce a little. Add a knob of butter to thicken and achieve a glossy sheen.

I prefer to oven bake my sausages – they cook more evenly – for about 25 minutes at 180/190 degrees centigrade, turning once.

Sausages ~ Pork, Port & Cranberry

Prep Time: 1 Hour Cooking Time: 25 Mins

Ingredients:

  • Per kilo of minced pork (good fat content)
  • 15g salt
  • 2g black pepper
  • 2g white pepper
  • 2g dried sage
  • 10g chopped dried cranberries
  • 75g crumb/rusk
  • 100ml of cold water
  • 1 table spoon of Ruby Port 

Directions:

  1. Add the seasoning to the minced pork and mix together well.
  2. Add the cranberry and water. Mix well.
  3. When the meat texture changes to ‘smooth’, add the crumb/rusk and mix well again.
  4. Add the Port and mix in well.
  5. You are now ready to fill the skins. Follow the instructions, as per your machine!
  6. The preparation time is approximate. The skins should be soaked for 24 hours before filling.

Sweet, Smokey, Sticky Chicken

Sweet, sharp, smokey, silky, salty – simply sensational!

This recipe is easy and quick to prepare and is guaranteed to tantalise and tease the taste buds. I have used chicken breasts, but chicken thighs or legs would work equally well – just remember to increase the cooking time for larger joints and meat on the bone.

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Cook in the oven for 10 minutes before adding the chicken breasts – it just helps to soften the onion and infuse the flavours without over cooking the chicken.

The sauce would also be delicious with pork – the ingredients can be adjusted accordingly – decrease the sugar slightly if you prefer a sharper taste or add a chopped chilli to give a little more oomph!  I sometimes add slices of red pepper for extra texture and colour.  The smoked lardons or bacon give depth and build up the complexity of flavours. Serve with plain rice – that’s all it needs!

Sticky Chicken

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 600g chicken breasts
  • 100g smoked bacon/lardons
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 100/125g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 spring onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan, sauté the chicken breasts to brown a little. Set aside.
  2. In an oven proof dish place all the other ingredients, apart from the Spring onions, and mix together.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade and place the oven dish on a centre shelf. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the dish from the oven, stir the ingredients and add the chicken breasts, basting well. Cover the dish with a piece of aluminium foil.
  5. Cook for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and garnish with the chopped Spring onions. Serve with rice!

Moroccan Lamb

This is always a huge hit in my house and is one of my favourite dinner party dishes because it can be prepared in advance. The aromas from the kitchen are enticing and create a warm feel to conjure up the exotic essence of North African cuisine.

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Rainbow ingredients!

I love the food of Morocco; I love the colours created by the spices and fresh vegetables, especially their tantalisingly heaven sent aromas! I love food markets; the hustle and bustle, the choices and the throng of human interaction. I am always excited by the prospect of exploring a new market, especially in a foreign country – I am always looking for something that is new and that will broaden my culinary knowledge so that I can create a different taste experience. That said, I was not at all prepared for the experience was about to befall me!

Living in the south of Portugal, it is a relatively simple journey to travel to Morocco and so, some months ago, we did just that. Within ninety minutes we had crossed the border into Spain and then approximately three hours after that, we arrived at the port of Tarifa. From Tarifa, ferries run at regular intervals to Tanger (Tangier) in Morocco – the journey time is only 35 minutes. To me, the ferry was like a ‘tardis’ – it sailed forward in nautical miles and backward in time – how can two lands be so geographically close, yet light years apart? Now you might be thinking – this woman has spent too much time on the King’s Road, or cocooned in middle class suburban life – if so, you are wrong! I have travelled widely and worked in developing countries  – often, avoiding the luxury, anonymity and sterility of five star hotels, so as to dip into the customs and cultures of other communities. I have learnt that it takes a long time to become immersed in and to understand or appreciate what makes another culture tick. All that said – I was totally unprepared for the cacophonous sound, putrid stench of rotting fish and garbage, together with the aggressive nature of the local men that greeted us on docking at Tanger. On exiting the ferry’s stern on foot, we and other travellers, were subjected to a stampede of advancing barefoot porters in long white caftans and jellabas, tugging bags and cases from our hands and shoulders; in desperate attempts to earn a few Dirhams as a ‘guide’ for the day, to subject one to a death-defying taxi ride, introduce an hotel or restaurant or to take you for tea to the shop of a brother, brother-in-law or uncle who sells the best carpets, coats, bags, blankets and trinketry! It was thoroughly exhausting because these chaps just don’t take no for an answer. I am a great supporter of those who want to work and, for respectful treatment, would have given generously. However, the persistence of these rapacious men, young and old, was menacing; making even the most mild mannered recipient, resort to demonstratively wild gesticulations and inappropriate language, in order to convey the message – no thank you. The wearisome thing was when one such ‘guide’ got the message – turning on his heel and spouting angry words of disappointment – another arrived to chance his luck!

Eventually, we made our way to the kasbah where the spice, vegetable, meat and fish markets were located. I enjoyed the experience, colours and evocative bouquets of the spices piled high in pyramids, mingling with the earthy aromas of freshly ground coffees. There were hundreds of similar stands, but we were thankful and fortunate to find one very helpful and knowledgeable vendor (pictured below as he prepared his own special blend of ‘ras al hanout’,) who truly heartened us and went some way to balancing our initial impression of the country. I’ll not mention the fish and meat markets, suffice to say, I will be slightly more accepting of some of the seemingly ‘nanny-state’ regulations governing food hygiene in the European Union.

The ‘up’ side of our shopping experience in Tangier was the availability and choice of herbs and spices, on sale at very agreeable prices. Our visit was an eye opening experience; but I will be better prepared when we next return. So, with shopping baskets loaded with two varieties of olives, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, coriander seeds and powder, paprika, cloves, turmeric, precious strands of orange saffron and a special spice mix particular to each vendor ‘ras al hanout’ meaning ‘top of the shop’; and avoiding the sellers of Berber rugs, ceramic plates, brass tea pots and lanterns, we headed back to the port to be transported back to Spain on the next available ‘tardis’.

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Mixing spices to make up ‘ras al hanout’!

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The spice and vegetable souk. A wondrous variety of olives!

My Moroccan lamb dish works well with a combination of vegetables and can be adjusted to individual taste. I like the flavours to be prominent, but others may prefer a more subtle result – if so, just lessen the ginger and cinnamon. Keep tasting as you go – my recipe serves as a launch pad, it’s fun to experiment and produce your own individual dish. Serve with cous-cous or rice.

 

 

Moroccan Lamb

Prep Time: 40 Mins Cooking Time: 3 Hours Total Time: 3 Hours 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • Shoulder or leg of lamb (frozen is fine)
  • Bottle of red wine
  • 1 litre of stock
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 350g chopped tomatoes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • squeeze of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of pitted chopped dates
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 10 whole pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup of sultanas
  • salt and Pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • zest of one lemon to garnish
  • Chopped almonds to garnish
  • Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped to garnish

Directions:

  1. If using frozen lamb, defrost thoroughly.
  2. Slow roast the lamb in a stock mix and add fresh rosemary sprigs and bay leaves. Seal the roasting pan with foil and place in an oven on a slow temperature 150/160 degrees centigrade for 3 hours. When cooked, the meat should be tender and fall off the bone. Set the meat aside once taken off the bone.
  3. In a large deep pan or wok, add the olive oil – add the onion, carrots, butternut squash, ginger and garlic.
  4. Add the ginger and cinnamon. Add the chopped tomatoes and squeeze of tomato paste.
  5. Add the chopped dates and the lemon juice.
  6. Add the honey. Mix together thoroughly.
  7. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Keep tasting the sauce and adjust as necessary depending on your taste for sweetness or sharpness.
  8. Add the whole dates and sultanas.
  9. Simmer until all the vegetables are cooked and the spices have developed.
  10. Add the lamb meat and mix together to combine thoroughly. 
  11. Ladle into a large dish.
  12. Garnish with almonds, the zest of a lemon and freshly chopped coriander.
  13. Serve with cous-cous or rice.

Leg of Lamb, slow roasted with a Ruby Port and Red Currant Sauce

Lamb is always a treat, especially so here in Portugal as imported meat is quite expensive; but I was fortunate enough to stumble across a fresh plump looking leg in a local butcher’s shop that didn’t break the bank so I couldn’t resist. I normally avoid Portuguese lamb as it often seems scrawny and lacking in fat. Well, I suppose I would be if my main source of fodder had to be scavenged from the rocky and sun burnt pastures that are typical of the Algarve hinterland. The leg of lamb that I caught sight of, was an Irish import, reared where lush green grass is luxuriant and baby lambs frolic carelessly unaware of the fate that awaits them! Portuguese lambs are not afforded this blithe existence, prior to ending up on the butcher’s block, later to be served as tough, tasteless mutton.

My lusciously lovely lamb was destined for a long slow cook, spiked with garlic, in Portuguese Ruby Port – the wine and water bath (300ml Port and 300ml water) accompanied by sprigs of rosemary and thyme. The liquid should be enough to provide a depth of about 300mm.

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Leg of lamb rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, spiked with garlic in a bath of Ruby Port/water and flavoured with sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

Once the lamb is dressed to roast slowly in the oven – 150 degrees centigrade for three hours – cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil.

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Beautifully tender lamb which carves easily, full of sweet rich flavour.

I served the lamb with roasted potatoes and carrots, dressed with a generous pouring of the Port and redcurrant sauce. The ‘dollop’ of butter is, of course, optional but irresistible!!

 

Ruby Port and Redcurrant Sauce

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 200/250 ml of ruby Port (If you have used a Port and water mixture in which to slow roast your lamb, then strain and use this liquid).
  • 2 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • a knob of butter
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. If using the cooking juices from the lamb (half Port and half water), strain the liquid into a saucepan. I have a separating jug which is a great tool to separate the fat/oil from the liquid.
  2. If starting from scratch, pour the Port into a saucepan, add the crushed garlic and redcurrant jelly. On a gentle heat simmer until the jelly has dissolved. Add the rosemary and salt/pepper to taste.
  3. If using the roasting liquids, add an extra splash of the Port, then follow as the step above.
  4. Simmer to reduce the liquid. Remove the rosemary sprigs.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust if necessary to add a splash of water, more salt or pepper.
  6. Add a good knob of butter and continue to simmer the sauce – this will make the sauce thicken and give it a glossy texture.

Lasagne – loaded with lusciousness!!

This is my ‘queen’ of lasagnes! It is loaded with luscious fresh ingredients and it’s gluttonously good. It is rich, filling and wholesome and a great dish for those colder evenings; for ravenous teenagers returning home after school or something satisfying to look forward to after a long day at work, as it can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge.  I like to serve it with either a green salad or garden peas. Either way, it is always a welcome meal in our house. Alas, you won’t lose weight eating it, but sometimes – so what! It freezes really well, so I usually make up a large tray, cut it into portion sizes and freeze it for lazy days or when I don’t have time to prepare a meal from scratch. It is also much more healthy than buying pre-made lasagnes which are often loaded with chemicals and  preservatives. I can guarantee it will definitely be more tasty!

This is my quick ‘how to make’ in photos, followed by the recipe!

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Slice the aubergines and salt to drain the bitter juices.

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Pan fry the aubergines.

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Chop and pan-fry the ‘rainbow’ vegetables.

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Add the tomatoes and liquid ingredients.

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Cover with béchamel sauce and grated cheese. Bake!

This lasagne can also be made leaving out the meat. It contains so many vegetables and more can be added, such as spinach and courgettes. The variations are endless! With fresh sheets of pasta so easily available to buy in the supermarkets and given it can be made for the freezer, why buy a factory made version? Give it a go – it’s always fun to cook!

 

 

 

Lasagne!

Prep Time: 1 Hour Cooking Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 1 Hour 35 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil + additional for frying the aubergine slices.
  • 2 large aubergine, sliced
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 or 4 leeks, cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped, or a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • A squeeze of tomato paste
  • 1kg of minced meat ( I use half beef and half pork)
  • a tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 4 sheets of fresh lasagne
  • 150g grated cheese
  • FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE: 60/70g of butter,1/3 cup plain flour, 4 1/2 cups of milk, 75g of parmesan cheese, finely grated, pinch of salt, pinch of nutmeg.

Directions:

  1. Salt the sliced aubergines and leave to sweat in a colander. This gets rid of the sour juices.
  2. Wash and dry off the aubergines.
  3. In a saucepan with olive oil, pan fry the aubergines, then set aside on kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.
  4. In a large pan, add the olive oil, onions, garlic, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, celery.
  5. Add salt and pepper and fry gently for 10 minutes. Add the wine. Then, add the tomato paste and oregano. Simmer.
  6. Add the meat, and mix to combine all the ingredients – making sure the meats cook through.
  7. If the mixture has too much liquid, make up a paste of cornflour and water (as directed on the cornflour packet) to thicken.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Make the béchamel sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour. Keep stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until bubbling. Remove from the heat. Slowly add the milk, stirring until mixture is smooth  and then then return to the heat . Cook on for about 10 minutes, keeping the sauce lump free. Take off the heat and add the parmesan, salt and nutmeg.
  10. In a large oven dish, spoon in a layer of the meat mixture and dot over some of the aubergine slices. Add a layer of pasta, another layer of the meat mixture, a few aubergines, another layer of pasta, a layer of meat and then the last aubergines. Pour over the béchamel sauce. 
  11. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and a sprinkle of dried oregano.
  12. Bake in the oven at 180/190 degrees centigrade for 35 minutes.