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New Ways To Cook Courgettes

By: Mollie Kay Smith

Every cook with a bountiful garden experiences from time to time the overwhelmingly disappointment when dishes they have cooked are placed on the table receive the response: ‘Oh, not that again!' This is perhaps often the case with courgettes. But it need not be so! Here are delicious recipes collected and adapted from all corners of the world for you to try out.

COURGETTES WITH DILL SAUCE (ZUCCHINI MIT DILL - Austrian)

Serves 4 to 6

2 lbs (1 kg) courgettes, peeled, seeded if necessary, cut into julienne strips. 1/2 inch (1 cm) x 3 inches (6 cm) long 1/2 teaspoon salt 1oz (25g) butter 2 tablespoons flour 5 fl ozs(150ml) live yoghurt 1 teaspoon sugar 2 teaspoons white vinegar 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill seeds

Place the courgettes in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Leave for approximately an hour then pat dry with paper towelling. Melt the butter in a deep frying pan, when the foaming subsides add the courgettes. Toss them until well coated with the butter then cover the pan and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until barely tender. Ensure yu do not overcook the vegetables. Beat the flour into a little of the yoghurt and then mix into the rest. If using dill seeds add at this stage. Pour the mixture over the courgettes stirring carefully, simmer for 2 or 3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir in the sugar, vinegar and dill if using the fresh Taste for seasoning before serving.

Note: I have successfully used fennel in place of dill with this recipe.

COURGETTE FRITTERS ( BEIGNETE- French with a Japanese Type Batter)

I like to make these without peeling the courgettes. Wash and dry them and set aside.

First make the batter. I use a Japanese style light batter. It may be that you have made these fritters before, try them with this new batter and notice the improvement. They are deliciously light and not in the least greasy. I make the batter in the following quantity and if there is some left over I put it in the freezer. It keeps well for a week or two.

The Batter

225 g ( 8oz) Plain Flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg separated 1 tablespoon Olive Oil 300ml (10 fl oz) Lager 125ml (4.5 fl oz) Cold Water

In a large bowl beat all ingredients except the EGG WHITES and frying oil into a smooth fairly thin batter. Leave aside for approximately 30 minutes. Beat the egg whites until they reach a soft peak consistency. After the required amount of time carefully fold in the egg whites to the batter. Do not worry if there are a few small ‘lumps' of egg white remaining. These create a delicious crispy texture to the fritters.

The Courgettes

Cut off the top and bottom then slice lengthwise from top to bottom into julienne strips - 1/2 inch (1 cm) x 3 inches (6 cm) long - about the thickness and length of a thin chip. Salt lightly and leave for quarter of an hour. Drain and dry carefully before cooking.

Finally heat a deep pan of vegetable oil until it is fairly hot. Fry the fritters a few at a time until the batter is medium brown. Drain the fitters well after removing the fritters from the oi and drain again on crumpled kitchen paper before serving.l.

Serve as an accompaniment or as a starter with mayonnaise or a sweet and sour sauce alongside.

STUFFED COURGETTES (ZUCCHINI RIPIENI - Italian)

Serves between 4 and 6 people as a main course.

INGREDIENTS

A little over 1/2 pint of good tomato sauce, home made or from a carton. 4 medium sized courgettes scrubbed but not peeled 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 oz (50g) finely chopped onions 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic 1/2 lb (225g) lean minced beef (chuck) 1 egg lightly beaten 2 oz (50g) finely chopped prosciutto (or lean bacon chopped) 1 oz (25g) fresh white breadcrumbs 2 oz (50g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 small teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat Oven to Gas Mark 5/ Fan 170°C /Electric 190°C/ 375°F Cut the courgettes lengthwise and with a small spoon scoop out most of the pulp leaving hollow boat shaped shells. Set these aside and chop the pulp coarsely. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy frying pan, non-stick preferably, add the onions and cook over a moderate heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the courgette pulp and the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring frequently. Drain the contents of the frying pan through a sieve set over a mixing bowl to drain. Meanwhile add the minced beef to the pan and brown it over a moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden fork to break up the lumps. These should be drained in the same manner as the vegetables. In a large bowl mix the beef and the vegetables together adding the egg; proscuitto; breadcrumbs, 2 small teaspoons of the parmesan, oregano and salt. Spoon into the courgette shells mounding to use all the mixture. Bake in a suitably sized shallow dish to take the stuffed shells placed on top of the ALREADY BOILING tomato sauce . Drizzle with a little olive oil and cover with foil. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, removing the foil after 20 minutes so that the tops of the courgettes are browned. Serve from the dish.

Information about the Author:

These recipes are taken from '‘Recipes of a World United' which will be ready for publication early next year. For further information visit: http://www.etribes.com/molliesmith Each chapter concentrtes on a single fruit or vegetable providing at least six recipes for each. (c) Mollie Kay Smith


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