Imam Bayeldi

A classic Turkish dish of aubergines stuffed with tomatoes, raisins or currants and onions and cooked in oil, Imam Bayeldi (im-mahm bah’ell-dee) means, literally, ‘the priest has fainted’. The story goes that the priest, or Imam, who first tasted the dish was so overcome by its excellence that he fainted. Serve Imam Bayeldi as a light luncheon dish, or as an extra-special first course to a dinner party.

4-6

4 medium-sized aubergines

1½ teaspoons salt

2 oz. butter

10 fl. oz. plus

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 oz. raisins or currants

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. With a sharp knife, hollow out three or four deep slits, |-inch wide, crosswise in each half, reserving the scooped out flesh. Sprinkle the aubergines with 1 teaspoon of the salt and set them aside to degorge for 30 minutes. Drain the aubergines on kitchen paper towels and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large frying-pan, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and garlic and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the tomatoes, raisins or currants, reserved aubergine flesh, the remaining salt, the pepper, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture has pulped. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).

When the mixture is cool, spoon it into the incisions in the reserved aubergine halves. Spread the remaining mixture generously over the top of each half.

Place the aubergines in an ovenproof dish large enough to hold them in one layer. Spoon

1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each aubergine half, then pour the remaining oil carefully around them. The oil should come roughly one-quarter of the way up the sides of the aubergine halves.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 1 hours, or until the aubergines are very soft and there is a A classic French confection, He Flot-tante makes a sumptuous dessert. slightly sticky residue on the bottom of the dish.

Remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the dish in the refrigerator and chill the aubergines for 1 hour, or until they are very cold.

Remove the dish from the refrigerator and, with a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the aubergines to a serving dish.

Discard the cooking liquid and serve at once.

Immos

A Lebanese dish of lamb, Immos (im-moss) was originally made with ewe’s milk, but this is not so often used now and yogurt is an ideal substitute. The lamb is very well cooked and the whole dish is very soft and creamy so it is best served with a crisp green salad and boiled rice.

8 fl. oz. water

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 onions, sliced

2 lb. leg of lamb, boned and cut into f-inch cubes

1½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley stalks

1 pint yogurt

1 tablespoon cornflour mixed to a paste with

1 teaspoons water

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

In a large saucepan, bring the water and oil to the boil over moderate heat. Add the onions, lamb, half the salt, the pepper, garlic and parsley stalks. Cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hours or until the lamb is very tender and the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds of its original quantity.

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the yogurt, cornflour mixture and the remaining salt over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to very low and cook the yogurt mixture for 8 minutes or until it has reduced by half its original quantity.

Add the yogurt mixture and the lemon rind to the lamb mixture and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the immos into a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle the coriander over the top and serve immediately.

Impanata di Pesce Spada

A delightfully fragrant dish from Southern Italy, Impanata di Pesce Spada (im-pah-nah-tah dee pesh-eh spah-dah) makes a colourful dinner party dish. Serve it with rice and a green salad and accompany with a well-chilled white Soave wine.

4 swordfish steaks, at least

8 oz. each, halved

3 oz. dry white breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 oz. butter

2 fl. oz. olive oil

2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 medium-sized courgettes, trimmed and cut into J-inch thick slices

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon capers, drained

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

First, make the sauce. In a large, fairly shallow saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic and courgette slices to the pan and cook them, stirring and turning occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions and courgettes are lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes, with their can juice, the capers, cayenne, salt and pepper and stir well to blend. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the s.auce for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, wash the swordfish pieces under cold, running water and pat them dry with kitchen paper towels. In a medium- sized mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, oregano, salt and pepper together with a fork. Place the eggs in a small shallow bowl. Dip each swordfish piece into the eggs, then into the bread-crumb mixture, coating each one thor-oughly.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the swordfish pieces to the pan and cook them, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer the swordfish pieces to the tomato sauce, basting them well.

Continue to simmer the mixture, stir-ring and basting occasionally, for a further

15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve at once.

Imperial Measures

The British system of weights and measures is known as the British Imperial system. The exact origin of the system is not known, but some of its units date from the time of the Roman conquest of Britain.

The basic units of the Imperial system are the yard, the pound and the gallon.

The Imperial yard is defined as the distance between two fine lines engraved in gold on a bronze bar made in 1845 and known as ‘Number 1 standard yard’. It is subdivided into 3 feet of 12 inches each.

The Imperial pound is defined as the weight of a cylinder of pure platinum

1.35 inches high and

1.

15 inches in diameter.

This is the only pound for legal use in Great Britain and is also called the avoirdupois pound. It is subdivided into 16 ounces.

The Imperial gallon is defined as the volume of ten pounds of avoirdupois water weighed against brass weights. The gallon is a unit of capacity, liquid or dry. It is subdivided into 4 quarts or 8 pints, or 160 fluid ounces.

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