Archive for October, 2012

Goodbye, cruel world!

The Oval Epicure is moving. Strictly speaking, TOE moved over a year ago, but the blog hasn’t caught up with my new location until now.

As of today, all the existing TOE content will (hopefully!) be moving to a new home in South East London at The Greenwich Gourmand. As well as all the fabulous recipes, side-splitting banter and general fabulousness you’ve come to expect from TOE , TGG (doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Oh, well) will be featuring regular updates about South East London’s burgeoning food scene. Ooooh yes. Apart from Borough Market, because it’s horrible there.

So pop in and say hello.


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Low-carb moussaka

Okay, moussaka’s quite low-carb anyway (except when people put potatoes in it – what is that about, exactly? But this is quite a fun variation, using butternut squash and courgette instead of aubergine, fromage frais instead of bechamel, and with added puy lentils. No, not really moussaka then. It’s lovely though.

Serves 4 generously

2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, grated
4 sticks celery, chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
500g minced lamb
500ml red wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
200g puy lentils
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
3 courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways
3 tbsp fromage frais
1tsp cornflour
1 egg
3 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt

Saute the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and garlic in a large pan with a little olive oil, while you brown the mince in another pan. Once the vegetables are translucent, add the lamb, wine, tomatoes and spices. Allow the mixture to simmer and reduce a little before you add the lentils. Cook until the lentils are tender and the mixture has reduced until it’s quite dry. Meanwhile, lightly brush the courgette and butternut slices with olive oil and place under the grill until they’re turning golden brown (the thin end of the BNS makes better slices than the end with the seeds!).

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix the cornflour into the fromage frais until smooth, and beat the egg and yoghurt together. In an ovenproof dish, layer the meat mixture, grilled vegetables and fromage frais (I do meat, fromage frais, veg, meat, fromage frais, veg, meat), and top with the egg mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes until it’s piping hot and the topping is brown (as you can see from the pic, mine got slightly blackened but it was none the worse for that!). Serve with a salad.

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