Thursday, 17 October 2013

Pudding Last Sunday left me in a quandry - how do I soup up the strawberries when there is no cream to make creme anglaise?  After all, while we live in the centre of strawberry land, they are a daily item in our diets.

I found a bottle of Marsala (that of Nigella Lawson fame) and steeped the sliced strawberries in it.  Then I placed them in some pretty glasses and topped them off with my new favourite topping - full cream greek yoghurt, lemon curd, vanilla and a touch of icing sugar. Delicious!

We are having a house warming this weekend, and I am busy working away, so next week's blog will be complete with pics and recipes.  On the menu this weekend:
mini yorkshire puds with rare roast beef and a cream cheese horseradish dressing
Spring rolls - duck with shitake mushroom and ginger and some vegetarian spring rolls
Pesto chicken and Rosemary Olive and lemon chicken
Baby potato salad
Baby spinach, blue chees and pear salad
Chocolate meringue stack
Marsala strawberry dessert

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Courgettes, Zucchini and baby marrows galore

Gardeners all know that flood of baby marrows, which rapidly turns into a glut of large vegetable marrows if we are not fast enough off the mark. The trouble is that none of your friends want your gifts either as they have plenty of their own!

This week, I am going to share some ideas for using up baby marrows - they are definitely much nicer eaten as baby marrows.  We've all had this vegetable cut as coins or as julienne strips and boiled or steamed. Courgette fritters are great and can often succeed in getting picky eaters to eat these! Otherwise try them grated and softened down in butter. If you are going to use grated courgette, grate them into a clean tea towel and wring out the moisture first. If you don't, your dish will be swimming in a greenish watery substance.

Another idea is to use them to replace pasta in a low carb meal.  I fried some mushrooms and leeks in a little butter and olive oil till translucent.  You can use the plain old button mushrooms for this as they keep their texture and flavour quite well in this type of dish.
Then use a peeler to cut long thin strips out of the baby marrow lengthwise.  It becomes a tad difficult towards the end of each marrow.  Toss these into the mushrooms and leeks and give them no more than 4 minutes.  They become slightly translucent and soft and malleable.

If you're not on a diet, you could always add some cream to the mix to create an instant pasta sauce.

The other recipe that I am favouring at the moment is using the baby marrows as a base for pizza toppings.  Mix the grated baby marrow with an egg and plenty of grated parmesan cheese. Press into a shallow pie dish and then top with your pizza toppings - you probably do not need too much more cheese though. Baby tomatoes work well halved and sprinkled with fresh thyme, as do anchovies and olives.

The jury is out on the use of baby marrow in cakes - I have seen a number of recipes for loaf cakes using courgettes. Any thoughts?