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El Ejido Whitebait

Fried whitebait is a popular Spanish dish but as you can see, it isn’t made with whitebait, but instead with courgette cut into very thin strips, a quick and easy starter or snack.

chanquetes-ejido

Ingredients

  • Courgette
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Method

Wash the courgettes and cut skin into julienne strips (5 to 7 cm long).

Dry them with a towel and cover in flour, remove any excess flour by shaking them in a colander.

Heat the oil and when it starts smoking, fry the courgettes for two to three minutes.

Remove and place on some absorbent paper. Serve with a slice of lemon; they’re lovely with salt and vinegar too!

Provencal-Style Stuffed Courgette

Calabacin-relleno-estilo-provenzalThe recipe for the Provencal stuffed Courgette comes from Italy and is guaranteed to impress your guests. It can also be easily modified to your taste.

Ingredients 8 serves

  • 8 round courgettes (1/2 pound each).
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 3 meaty slices of bacon, minced.
  • 1 large onions, finely chopped.
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 1 pound minced pork.
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs.
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives (3 ounces).
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil.
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • 2 teaspoons thyme

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off the tops of the courgette and reserve. Using a small spoon, scoop out the flesh and finely chop it. Season the courgette cups with salt and pepper and turn upside down to drain for 15 minutes. Set the cups right side up on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the bacon and cook over low heat until the fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the ground pork, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, breaking up the meat, until it is mostly white. Add the aubergine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the chopped courgette and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, olives, basil, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and thyme.

Mound the stuffing in the courgette cups, top with the lids and bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Notes: If using long courgettes, halve them lengthwise and don’t prebake. Stuff and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Courgette and Sirloin Steak

The courgette’s edge of bitterness is preserved in this recipe by keeping it raw and real.

calabacin-y-solomillo-de-cerdo

Ingredients

  • Serves 2.
  • 2 courgettes.
  • 250g sirloin steak.
  • 7 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped.
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds.
  • 1 tbsp dried shallot (or toasted dried onion).

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp sugar.
  • 4 tbsp water.
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce.
  • 1 tsp root ginger, grated.
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil.
  • Juice of 1 clementine.

Method

Cut the courgettes in half lengthways and use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin slices.

To make the dressing, put the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat. When the sugar has completely dissolved, add the soy sauce followed by the grated ginger and the sesame oil. Cut the clementine in half and squeeze the juice into the pan.

Soak the courgette slices in the dressing for 3-5 minutes then set to one side. Cut the sirloin steak into thin slices and marinate in the dressing for 5 minutes, then lightly sear the sirloin in a frying pan or on a griddle.

Divide the sirloin between 2 serving plates. Arrange the courgette strips alongside the seared sirloin. Sprinkle the chopped coriander, white sesame seeds and shallot over the beef.

Sautéed prawns with Courgette Pappardelle

Another good recipe for kids disguising the courgettes as pasta, it’s a quick, simple and healthy dish.

pappardelle

Ingredients

  • For 2 people.
  • 4 Courgettes.
  • Medium onion.
  • 250 g of prawns.
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • A splash of white wine.
  • Black pepper.
  • Salt.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Finely chopped garlic.
  • Fresh basil.
  • 50 g of goat’s cheese.

Preparation

Wash the Courgettes and remove ends. With the help of a mandolin cut into strips lengthways until you reach the Courgette seeds. Do the same on the other sides.

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan; add the onion cut into thin strips.Brown the onions and add the Courgette strips. Stir a little and add the chopped garlic. Continue heating for another 2 min and add a splash of white wine, continue browning everything until the Courgette is cooked. Add the peeled prawns, cover the pan and leave them to heat for a few minutes.

Put the papardelle in a dish, and season with a little olive oil and lemon juice. To give it a special touch; shred a little goats cheese on top and decorate with a little chopped fresh basil.

Courgette and pine-nut linguine

A novel way to “trick” the kids with a very special linguine made with courgettes instead of pasta. A delicious dish full of vitamins and minerals.

linguine

Ingredients

  • Serves: 2
  • 4 Courgettes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 75 g of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100 g of pine nuts unroasted
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A few fresh basil leaves

Method

Wash and dry the courgettes. Cut into very thin strips well with the help of a sharp knife or a mandolin.

Cut garlic into four pieces and chop the Basil well. Leave them for later.

Put a little olive oil in a pan, and add pine nuts. Let them toast, and when browned add the garlic, and cook until golden brown. The taste of the garlic with oil and pine nuts is spectacular. Once the garlic is golden you could remove it if you don’t want it on your plate.

Add the courgette and a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep moving everything until the Courgettes have softened.

Once the courgette is tender, grate the Parmesan cheese into the pan and add the Basil ribbons.

Sauté one minute more, until the cheese has melted and serve the slices in a nest shape with a bit of Parmesan cheese on top. If you want you can accompany the dish with a little grilled chicken or tofu.

Courgette lasagna

Replace the normal sheets of lasagna with a few thin slices of Courgette. And as filler… Ham and emmental cheese.

lasana calabacin

Ingredients

  • Serves: 2.
  • 2 Courgettes.
  • 8 slices of cooked ham.
  • 150 gr of emmental cheese sliced.
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs.
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Method

Cut the Courgette into strips with the aid of a mandolin, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Get a baking tray or dish and put a little virgin olive oil on the base. Then put a layer of courgette strips, on top of the courgette a layer of enmmental cheese and on top of it a layer of cooked ham. Follow the same steps until you finish with the courgette.

With a brush cover the last layer of Courgette with olive oil and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs to give it a golden topping.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, until you see that top of the lasagna is well browned and the bread crumbs are crispy.

Some thirty families benefited from different varieties of Courgettes which were donated

Last Friday, 8th November, some thirty families benefited from different varieties of Courgettes which were donated by Escobar and Castaneda to the Food Bank of Caritas, a local charity based in El Ejido, after the recording of their new advertising spot for the release of their brand website, King Courgette.

caritas-calabacin

The donation was of first quality products used for the photo shoot and although the products could have been disposed of the donation was enough to help thirty families who needed food aid on that day.