Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Corgete redondo recheado, a Lidl bit different

What happened to marrow? I have always had a soft spot for stuffed marrow at this time of year.Halloween has come and gone, and pumpkins and squash are prevalent in the market.Stuffed vegetables are a staple of home cooking. I like the hot, wet blandness of this annual culinary tradition and because it has virtually no taste it is the perfect foil for bold strong flavours. However a good sized marrow is hard to find in Portugal. A vegetable that is a heavy enough blunt instrument to be used in defence if being accosted on the way back from the market (if only). However a marrow is is basically just an oversized courgette that someone has forgotten to pick, and by coincidence when I was recently combing the Algarvian aisles of Lidl,just past the popsox and mens lycra my eyes were drawn to cylindrical shaped courgettes (yes believe it or not and forgive my veering off the straight and narrow but shopping in Lidl  can be an education.There are some quality gems to be found in Lidl aside from Nuremberg sausages and pfefferkuchen).And if you are brave enough to cross the threshold of emporio Lidl without adhering to a a strict shopping list, it can be like a visit to Ikea. Who knows who or what you might come out with on your arm.Well having found the perfect alternative to marrow for stuffing (they have lids too if you want them to)I set off home to find a braveheart filling.
Nigel Slater´s ground pork with baked marrow recently re-vitalised as Roasted courgettes with Thai style minced chilli and lime pork by Marmaduke Scarlet came to mind. Slater describes it as "a contemporary take on mince stuffed marrow." I liked the sound of that and thought I could be tempted, but I was  drawn more to a traditional Mediterranean slant of anchovy, garlic and breadcrumbs with a piri piri or picante tomato sauce.
Corgete redondo recheado com anchova,alho, 
pão rolado, parmesan e molho picante

4 Corgetes redondos
Extra virgin olive oil
i medium onion peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
Nigel describes this "a contemporary take on the mince-stuffed marrow". I think of it more as a deconstructed version with Thai-infused flavours of chilli, garlic and lime with a hint of aniseed from fresh dill. But either way, it is probably nicer than many traditional stuffed marrows, which if done badly are soggy and tasteless! Here Nigel roasts his marrow or courgettes first, which prevents the sog-factor and gives far more flavour. - See more at: http://marmadukescarlet.blogspot.pt/2013/08/nigel-slaters-roasted-courgettes-with.html#sthash.u78doP2E.dpufCorgete recheado com anchova, alho e pão rolado
2oog crisp home made breadcrumbs
80g of tinned salted anchovies
60g freshly grated parmesan

FOR THE PIRI PIRI SAUCE
3 cloves garlic
2 red chillies
2 red peppers left whole
50ml olive oil
2 bay leaves1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp white or red wine vinegar
11/2 tsp Flor de sal

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
Place the garlic,chillies and peppers in a small roasting tray so they are not too spread out.Add the oil and cover the tray with foil.Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers are very tender.When they have cooled,pull as much of the skin and seeds from the peppers as you can leaving the chillies intact.Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have arough bright orange paste.

FOR THE COURGETTES
Preheat the oven to 180C/350f/gas 4.Lightly oil and moisten a baking dish with 2 tbsp of water.
Cut 4 decent sized lids from the top of the courgettes and set aside.With a teaspoon hollow out the flesh from the courgettes and set aside.If you are using long courgettes or marrow cut them in half first.The scooping is best done by scraping the spoon towards you, and in the case of the long ones imagine you are hollowing out a polynesian canoe.Reserve all your scrapings and make sure you leave a fairly decent shell to the courgettes so they dont collapse when cooking.Arrange the courgettes in the prepared baking dish.They should fit snugly enough to hold each other up.
Heat a frying pan to to high then add a little oil and the onions,followed by the courgette scrapings. Saute until the onions soften the stir in the garlic and saute for a further 2-3 minutes.Add the anchovies and the surplus oil from their packaging and then mash them into the mix, almost to a paste.The anchovies do not need to cook,they just melt; this only takes a few seconds.
Stir in the breadcrumbs gradually and most of the parmesan, (retaining some to sprinkle on top at the end of cooking)  until you have a moist paste. Spoon the mixture into the dug out courgettes,drizzle with some more oil and scatter a small amount of breadcrumbs over the top.Replace the lids and bake for 30 minutes or until the courgettes accept the sharp tip of a small knife.Make sure the baking dish does not dry up with the courgettes starting to fry and burn,add more water if necessary.when done remove from the oven,take off the lids and sprinkle the reserved parmesan over the tops.Serve on plates with the piri piri sauce poured around them not over them.

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