I really enjoy learning new recipes, experimenting with food and of course, taking inspiration from a good cookbook. Over the last few weeks I’ve been diving into My Family Kitchen by Sophie Thompson. If you’re a fan of Celebrity MaserChef then you may remember that Sophie won back in 2014 and others may recognise her from EastEnders or Four Weddings and a Funeral.
My Family Kitchen is packed full of Sophie’s favourite family recipes from four generations. There are lots of comforting and warming recipes throughout the book as well as a good selection of salads and interesting drinks. Like any good cookbook the recipes are accompanied by lovely photos which were taken in Sophie’s kitchen.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this cookery book is that Sophie has made it very personal. Each recipe is introduced with extra tips, a cheeky story or background on why it’s a family favourite. You almost feel as though you’re sat right around her kitchen table listening to these anecdotes.
The recipes are very easy to follow. I recently made the Melanzane (one of Sophie’s favourites from her vegetarian days). Let me show you how I got on:
What you’ll need:
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1.2kg ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1tsp brown sugar
– Salt and pepper
– 2 large aubergines, sliced
– 100g parmesan
– 2 x mozzarella, torn into chunks
– Handful of fresh basil leaves
– 75g fresh breadcrumbs
You can always half the recipe like I did if you want a smaller portion or simply double it if you’re having a party.
Making the tomato sauce is very easy. Heat up the oil in a large pan and add in the onion. Soften over a medium heat for 5 mins and then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Next add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a summer. Leave it on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Pre heat your oven 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6
Place a griddle pan over a medium-high heat and dry griddle the aubergine slices in batches. Ensure that they’re charred on both sides. Pop them to one side and drizzle with olive oil.
Take an oven proof dish and spread a layer of tomato sauce over the base and top with a little parmesan, basil leaves and torn mozzarella. Add a layer of aubergine slices and repeat the process twice. End with a layer of tomato sauce. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Finally, top with parmesan, mozzarella and breadcrumbs then bake for another 10 minutes. Dish up with a side of salad and enjoy.
I’ll be making more from this cookbook over the winter months and look forward to sharing my foodie adventures on Twitter and Instagram. Next on my list from My Family Kitchen is Uncle James’s Bavarian Orange Pie. Fancy getting involved? click the link for step by step guide.