Polenta and Cream of Courgettes

To answer the question of what to serve with lamb shanks cooked in red wine, a polenta came to mind.

It provided a quick and delicious accompaniment and I added some crème de courgettes. To complement the polenta, a generous topping of the cooking jus rounded the taste.

The polenta I use is a pre-cooked maize one and it is ready in a few minutes. You have to stir it constantly as it has a tendency to plop out of the saucepan if left unattended and it thickens very quickly. It sometimes looks like the lava of a volcano and it is certainly very hot!

The addition of the crème de courgettes gave a different flavour to it and incorporated the vegetables. The meat jus, essentially meat gravy with a strong red wine, was pleasing to the palate.

Serves 4 :

  • 500ml salted water
  • 3 tablespoons maize polenta
  • For the Cream of Courgettes:
  • 2 medium-size courgettes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 frozen cubes of garlic and parsley sauce
  • 125ml single cream

 

  1. Cook the courgettes and onion in a pressure cooker and whizz.
  2. Add the cream and the garlic and parsley sauce.
  3. Bring the salted water to the boil and add the polenta, stirring all the time.
  4. When it is cooked (refer to the instructions on the packet for the cooking time), add the cream of courgettes and stir.
  5. Transfer into an oven-proof dish for 10 minutes at 180C.
  6. Just before serving, ladle some of the meat jus on top.

Bon Appétit!

Note:  I have mentioned before how to make garlic and parsley sauce, garlic and basil sauce and garlic and coriander sauce in convenient ice cube containers for some of the previous recipes. I will do a separate post to recap all that.

Or… see the post of Coquilles Saint Jacques à ma Façon

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Velouté de Courgettes = Creamy Courgette Soup

In a hurry to produce something tasty and healthy?

If you have courgettes in the fridge, that’s it.

Serves 4:

3 medium-sized courgettes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 onion, peeled and quartered

125 ml single cream

2 vegetable stock cubes

a few croûtons

goat cheese

dried wild marjoram

  1. Put the courgettes, the onion and the stock cube in a pressure cooker and cover with cold water.
  2. When it is cooked, whizz and add the cream.
  3. Spread a little goat cheese on the croûtons and sprinkle a little marjoram on top.
  4. Serve immediately with the croûtons.

A cool Chablis – or champagne – if you some left in the fridge, goes well with this soup.

Bon Appétit !

Tip: Do not add salt as the stock cubes will already contain some.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bean and Courgette Soup with Basil

A quick and easy soup for tonight, ideal for vegetarians or anyone wanting to eat more vegetables.
The basil and olive oil are typically Mediterranean but this soup can be prepared anywhere, as long as you can obtain the ingredients. Alternatively, you can grow the vegetables and the basil. For the olive oil, it is more difficult, my olive trees refusing to produce olives !!

Serves 6:

300g runner beans, rinsed, string removed and cut into 2cms pieces
2 courgettes, peeled and cut into thick rings
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
A handful basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Garlic croûtons

1. In a big cooking pot or pressure cooker, put all the vegetables into 1,5 litre of salted water.

2. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.

3. When it is cooked, add the olive oil and the crushed basil leaves.

Serve immediately with garlic croûtons.

Bon Appétit!

Beignets de Courgettes ( Small Courgette Fritters)

Courgettes are abundant and there are many ways to prepare them.
There is also the courgette flowers fritters which are a delicacy in their own right. But the flowers are not easy to find, unless you are growing your own courgettes.
So, this time, I shall simply make Beignets de Courgettes.

This can be a starter, a main dish, served with a salad, or a vegetable dish.
I have even eaten these delicious fritters at breakfast in my favourite place in Corsica.

Simple to make but very tasty, you should be able to enjoy them at any time of the day. They are great on a picnic, they can be frozen and warmed up in the oven. Ideal for a packed lunch as well, they are so versatile you will want to make them in batches to have in reserve in your freezer.

Makes approximately 30 fritters

2 medium size courgettes, peeled and thinly sliced
A handful of basil leaves, rinsed and torn to be incorporated in the batter plus a few leaves kept intact for decoration.
200ml sunflower oil

For the batter:
1 large egg
120g Self Raising flour
100ml milk
1small glass beer
Salt and pepper

1. Heat up the oil in a non-stick frying pan or in a deep-fat fryer.

2. Dip each slice of courgette in the batter and fry . Turn once to ensure even cooking on both sides.

3. When the fritters are golden, remove them from the frying pan and place on kitchen paper to absorb excess fat.

4. Decorate with a few basil leaves.

Serve warm with a cool rosé wine.

Bon Appétit!

Gallery

Gratin de Courgettes

Courgettes are one of my favourite vegetables and I always find a way to prepare them either as a main course with stuffing or as an accompaniment like this gratin.
I chose to steam the vegetables as it is a healthier option. The fat and proteins were provided by the Crème de Brie which I found in my local supermarket.
I will probably use this creamed cheese for gratins from now on.

Serves 4:

2 big courgettes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 big leek, rinsed and cut into rings
A teaspoon of celery salt
100g of crème de Brie
A handful of flat leaf parsley

1. Steam the vegetables.
2. Put them in an oven-proof dish and mix in the celery salt, the parsley and the crème de Brie.
3. Place in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 15 minutes.

Serve as an accompaniment to meat or fish or on its own.

Bon Appétit!