Wednesday, 26 August 2009

At the moment it seems as though my courgettes are doubling in size when I inspect them every day. So I have lots of courgettes to use up. I'm unable to bring myself to pick them at less than 6" long. In practice, mine are at least 10", sometimes longer. They do stay nice and tender and are not bitter, even at a larger size.

Tonight I cooked chicken thighs on a bed of courgettes. It used up a 10" courgette. Even better it was a delicious way of cooking them.

Chicken thighs with courgettes

quantities for 3-4

6 chicken thighs
1 large courgette, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 big cloves garlic, crushed
2 big tomatoes, sliced
olive oil
juice 1 lemon
oregano, salt, pepper, ground coriander berries, ground cumin, paprika

Mix all vegetables in a wide shallow ovenproof container. Add 2 tsp oregano, lemon juice and enough olive oil to moisten. Roughly level off the veg. On top place the chicken thighs which have been coated with a mixture of 2tsp paprika, 1 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cumin, salt and pepper. Put into oven at 180C for about 45 minutes.

This was really delicious. The vegetables still retained some texture. There was enough liquid thrown off to make it nicely moist, and the combination of the flavourings was really tasty. A definite recipe for next years glut of courgettes.

The plum crumble was made with plums given to me by a neighbour. I used wholemeal flour and brown sugar for the topping.,

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Many years ago I had a delicious potato salad in the French Alps. I remember cubes of potato, cubes of cheese, possibly bacon and some salad greens. But what really made it outstanding was the flavouring of walnut oil. This is my attempt to create something similar.

Potato and walnut salad

Potatoes cooked in their skins. Skins taken off when cooled slightly, then cubed.
Toasted walnuts
French beans, cooked al dente
Walnut oil
Walnut vinegar
salt and pepper

Mix all together, adding the vinegar and oil to taste.

This worked well taste wise. It looked slightly untidy because I used potatoes I had grown, Kestrel, which aren't a salad variety. Still, they the cubes held together well enough.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Shepherds Pie

This was really nice. I had some leftover mashed potatoes, cooked broccoli, a small bowl of cooked courgettes with coriander and tomato, and another small bowl of tomato sauce with olives and anchovies. I browned a mixture of lamb and beef mince and drained off the fat. Meanwhile I softened chopped onion, garlic and carrots. I reheated the meat, adding a tablespoon of curry powder. Then I tipped in the two tomato sauces and the onions and carrots, added some water, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Then spread the meat in an ovenproof dish. In a separate bowl mix the mashed potato, chopped broccoli, and a good handful of grated cheddar. Spread on top of the meat mixture. Put into a hot 180C oven and cook for about 25 minutes.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Courgette risotto
from a recipe by Sophie Grigson

1 onion, chopped
2 nine inch courgettes, one grated, one cut into small pieces
1 cup arborio rice
1 clove garlic, chopped
white wine or dry cider
chicken stock (cube is fine)
grated parmesan

Soften chopped onion in a little olive oil. Tip in the grated courgette and the chopped garlic and cook for a few minutes. Brown the chopped courgette separately in olive oil and reserve. Stir in the rice then add 2-3 tablespoons wine or cider and let evaporate. Add the hot stock, top up at intervals until rice almost cooked. Stir in the cooked chopped courgette and warm through. When rice is ready stir in parmesan to taste.

With this we ate:

Chicken thighs roasted with lemon juice and black pepper

Brown the thighs in butter. Put in a small roasting pan pour over the juice of a lemon and some salt and black pepper. Cook at 180 C for about 35 minutes. The skin was very crisp and brown.


Tomato and spring onion salad

Halved golden cherry tomatoes,mixed with chopped spring onions and a little sugar.

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