For two years now, I've been wondering when exactly I'd take a stab at Eggplant Timbale. After watching Giada De Laurentis effortlessly craft this beauty on TV, I decided that I would wait until the perfect occasion and do it myself. And when I got a springform pan for Christmas last year, it is of the timbale - and not a cheesecake as intended - that I dreamt.
So when I heard that each of us would be responsible for a meal while at the condo this week, I knew immediately that I would try the timbale. I usually don't try daring new meals for the first time when I am trying to impress people, but I figured I'd throw caution to the wind this time and give it a whirl. So when Tom got back from golf this morning we headed to the local Piggly Wiggly to pick up our supplies for this meal. Plus some snack, breakfast and lunch foods... and about 60 dollars worth of alcohol and mixers. And when the final tally rang up at $200, I thought to myself "this meal better be good."
Despite Giada's warnings, I must say that this recipe was really not too difficult. I didn't cook my eggplant on the grill, and just put it in a pan on the stove to cook, but other than that it was pretty straightforward. If you can line a pan with eggplant and fill it with meat, pasta and sauce and then cover the whole pile of goodness with more eggplant and bake it, well then you too can make a timbale.
Cooking the eggplant (a little olive oil, salt and pepper on each side)
The finished product
Take-home message: Don't let a difficulty rating keep you from making a recipe for two whole years. You've got it in you, and it probably really isn't that difficult to make anyway. If you find yourself questioning yourself, enjoy the process, look out the window to gain perspective, and start again with gusto. Julia Child wasn't born a chef, but she sure did have a lot of fun. And really, can there be anything more admirable than taking joy in creating something out of nothing?