Make a cut into the flower end of aubergine, wrap in a cling film and microwave for 5-6 minutes at 500 W.
When the aubergines cool down a little, cut off the ends, and cut into 1/8 lengthwise each. Cut the bacon into 1 cm widths. Take off the hard ends of shimeji mushrooms.
Heat the margarine in a frying pan, fry the bacon, then shimeji mushrooms until wilted.
Turn off the heat, add the flour all at once. Mix with the heat still off, until it's no longer floury for about 30 seconds.
Next, add the milk, stirring all the time until it thickens over a medium heat. Put the consomme bouillon and grated hard cheese, and the white sauce is done.
Layer the aubergines in an ovenproof dish, pour the white sauce.
Top with melting cheese, bake in the oven for roughly 15 minutes at 250°C until golden brown.
Isn't it easy? Even a beginner in gratin-making can do this effortlessly. Have a go.
Story Behind this Recipe
There are two ways of making gratin; either use plain four or rice flour to make the white sauce. I keep on experimenting with different ways of cooking the vegetables to bring out the best flavour. As for the aubergines, steaming is definitely the best way.
For those without an oven: The white sauce is already cooked through, so you can top with cheese and toast in the oven toaster. It's tasty enough without browning the cheese, and the heat from the white sauce will melt it! It's a tasty dish.