Ready Steady Cook #1

So hello and welcome to the first installment of our Ready Steady Cook cooking challenge – I’m going to come up with a short catchy title, I promise – let’s start today’s post by looking at the ingredients that Fi picked for me to cook with…


one aubergine / 250g beef mince / one can of evaporated milk /

one pack of raspberry jelly / a tin of peaches

Honestly when I first saw this selection of food I had a bit of a panic. I had no idea what I was going to cook. I just couldn’t get my head around what to do with these five items. Straight away I separated the aubergine and mince into the the savoury main course and the remaining three ingredients into my sweet desert option. Then I set about brainstorming. A good 24 hours later I was set and ready to go, with a beef and aubergine lasagne and a peach and raspberry trifle. I decided to get cooking on the bank holiday Monday so that I’d have plenty of time to get everything done as I knew there were a lot of steps that I needed to get through.

Beef and aubergine lasagne

Bought ingredients – aubergine, mince

Store cupboard ingredients – onion, pasata, herbs, lasagne sheets, milk, butter, flour, salt & pepper

Here’s a look at what I did…

  • chop the onion and fry in a little oil
  • once softened add in the mince and brown off
  • add in the pasata and the herbs and simmer over a low heat to lose some of the liquid
  • meanwhile slice the aubergine along the longest length and then make your white sauce using the milk, butter, flour and seasoning
  • Now layer the lasagne up. I went for a thin layer of mince, aubergine, lasagne sheets, white sauce, meat, aubergine and so on. Finish with a layer of pasta and then the remaining white sauce
  • Cook in the oven – takes about 30 minutes.

Peach and raspberry trifle

Bought ingredients – evaporated milk, peaches and raspberry jelly cubes

Store cupboard ingredients – eggs, margarine, sugar, flour and vanilla essence

and here’s what I did…

  • first I made a basic sponge cake, with all the ingredients from the cupboard. Thank god we make a lot of cakes in our house!
  • make the jelly as per the packet instructions
  • I read online here that you can whip evaporated milk into whipped cream so this was my aim. I did think about using the milk in the lasagne but thought that this might be a better option instead – just to try something different.
  • Right next it’s time to layer up the trifle. I cut the cake into squares and started by layering that at the bottom of the bowl. Then goes the jelly, the peaches and the cream, I did three layers of everything ending with the cream on top.

Yes I do realise that my pudding would have looked a lot better if it was in a glass bowl, but we don’t have one so in came the second option *must add to my christmas list*. I was also tempted just to make two small trifles, but then I would have been left with a lot of extra jelly and cake so I thought why not make a mahoosive one – practice for the next Evans family Christmas maybe…

I had so much fun making these dishes, personally I loved the aubergine with the lasagne, it gave a lovely flavour throughout the dish. Plus it was so filling – luckily I’d been spinning so I was hungry!

The pudding was slightly different, the jelly and the cake were delicious but there was a slight issue with the whipped cream – I forgot to snap a picture but it went into the fridge all full and when we took it out to serve the cream had basically disappeared – we were just left with a bit of foam. We decided to dive into the dish anyway and actually it was great, all I can think is that the sponge had soaked up the cream as it was so soft and perfect with the jelly and peaches. Plus both Fi and I aren’t huge fans of cream so actually I think this worked in our favour!

Now the only thing left is for Fi to get marking my dishes…

Use of ingredients: 8/10 I’ve gone with eight because I think an aubergine and beef lasagna was a genius way to mix the ingredients – and it hadn’t even crossed my mind! As for the missing two points, well I think Lau should really have used the milk in the two meals, that would have shown true cooking cleverness!

Ingenuity: 9/10 A trifle was inspired, I would never have thought of making a cake with these ingredients, and using the evaporated milk as cream was rather clever I think – so bonus points for that!

Taste: 9/10 Both parts of this meal were seriously scrumptious. I particularly loved how the aubergine flavoured the lasagna and the milk softened the cake, so delicious.

Until next time… Lau and Fi xx


One thought on “Ready Steady Cook #1

  1. Pingback: Ready Steady Cook #3 | cook bake and eat

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