Today has been a pretty crazy day. We have been cooking up a storm and I was joking with Nate that we should have just put everything we made into the mould and called it a “conical day”. Believe it or not, we made dinner rolls, barbequed pull pork, coleslaw, this eggplant and red pepper terrine with a tomato sauce AND banana cream pie! Yes, we had a party today with over 10 people and now we’re rushing to get this post out.
For the Royal Selangor Jellyrific challenge, we made this eggplant and red pepper terrine. The recipe was something I found on Simply Recipe’s site and which I have been wanting to make since the beginning of this challenge. The reason I have not made this earlier was because it’s so hard to find fresh mozzarella around here. Finally, I gave up and just substituted with processed mozzarella instead. And it worked out beautifully anyway.
I will say that the Royal Selangor Jelly Mould is the BEST mould to use when making this terrine. Just look at the picture of it—it is so festive and beautiful. Nate and I oohed and ahhed when we took it out of the mould. We couldn’t have asked for it to look any more beautiful than it did. I immediately thought of Christmas when we unmolded it. And the flavors were phenomenal too!
Besides substituting the fresh mozzarella, we also changed out the raw tomato puree for our tried and true marinara sauce. All in all, this was not too hard to do and everyone who ate it came back for seconds and thirds. I told Nate I can’t wait to make this again and another friend also said she would love the recipe. So here it is…
Eggplant and Red Pepper Terrine
adapted from Simply Recipes
3 large red bell peppers
3 Japanese eggplants
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1/2 bunch of Thai basil leaves (Sweet basil would be better but we could only find Thai basil)
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz processed mozarella, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1. Preheat your oven to 450 F or 220 C.
1. Place the red bell peppers over a flame on your stove (if you have a gas stove) or put it in your oven to broil until the skin of the bell peppers have become blistered and black all over. Then put the bell peppers into a ziplock bag or in a bowl covered with saran to let them steam for about 10 minutes. Remove the skin from the bell peppers (it should slip right off if it’s been broiled or flamed enough.
2. Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices (yes, this does seem thick but once it’s cooked it will be soft and easy to squish down). Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and brush with peanut oil on one side and then sprinkle with some salt. Turn the eggplant over and repeat the brushing with oil and sprinkling with salt. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until eggplant is soft (a fork will easily pierce through the eggplant). Remove from heat.
3. Blanch your basil in hot water for 10 seconds. Remove and immediately plunge into cold water. Once it is cool, take it out and dry it with paper towels.
4. Assemble your terrine: Start by placing plastic wrap over your mould so that you can easily unmould the terrine. Then, place the smallest piece of eggplant at the tip of the cone. Follow that with a slice of mozzarella, then take a slice of red bell pepper (if needed, cut to fit) and lay that on top of the mozzarella. Finally, lay down a thin layer of basil leaves. Repeat the layering (adding more to fill the layer completely for each layer). The final layer at the top should be the eggplant layer. Once you have finished layering, cover with the plastic wrap and press down to ensure that the terrine is well compressed.
5. Put the terrine in the fridge to set further.
6. In the meantime, make your marinara sauce (Recipe follows).
7. When ready to serve, spoon some marinara sauce onto a plate. Unmould the terrine and place it in the center of the sauce.
Marinara Sauce Recipe
adapted from The Best Recipe
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer whole tomatoes that I crush myself)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and stir for 10 seconds.
2. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
3. Add dried oregano, dried basil and seasonings while simmering. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
4. Remove sauce and transfer to a blender (or use a hand blender if you have one). Blend till smooth.