Monday, October 31, 2011

Cheesy courgettes

Since I've never been in the habit of making white sauces, It's hard to know how to use them, and have been racking my brain for ideas on how to complete the several variations on this theme without becoming too repetitive.

The obvious use for cheese sauce (p188) is of course cauliflower cheese, or possibly macaroni cheese. The thing is, both of these are included as separate recipes in the Edmonds book. I had to come up with something else, so when I saw some early courgettes at Riccarton Market the other day, I decided that a cheesy courgette bake might be a good way of ticking off this one.

I started by melting some butter in a saucepan and adding flour. When this had gone 'frothy' (or in reality, had clumped into a big yellow blob) I began adding the milk. I actually didn't do this gradually enough and ended up with slightly lumpy sauce. A brisk whisking eliminated most of the lumps, but some remained in the finished product.

When all the milk had been added and the sauce was reasonably thick, I took it off the heat and added cheese. I didn't have the tasty cheese specified in the recipe, so I used edam and added a little parmesan for extra flavour. A little salt and pepper and my cheese sauce was done.

I'd briefly boiled sliced courgettes and arranged them in a casserole dish. I poured the sauce over, and topped it with a little extra parmesan for good measure. After a few minutes baking, I got impatient and stuck it under the grill. All the components were already cooked, after all - I just wanted a little colour.

My courgette bake was fairly successful. The cheese sauce was tasty, though I'd say the flavour depends a lot on careful seasoning. I think most of us would probably add more cheese than it says in the recipe too - 'cause you can never have too much cheese! All in all, I'm pretty happy with my efforts - which is saying a lot since white sauce of any variation is not really my thing.

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