While I was beginning to starve tonight, I noticed I had no idea what I’d cook. I was getting a bit fed up of noodles, and didn’t eat vegetables for a while. I can already hear you saying (actually, I can’t, unless I’m hooked to your micro, but that’s very unlikely, isn’t it?) “Hey wait, vegetables are dull”… No, they’re not! Not when you cook them properly, and it kind of accidentally happened to me just about an hour and a half ago.
You may also be wondering what the hell a kesäkurpitsapaistos can be. Well, it’s the Finnish name of gratin de courgettes. My Finnish friend Pasi took some time to find out what a courgette is, and he blamed me for not telling him in Finnish (well, now at least I know a word of that weird wonderful language).
I quite didn’t respect the original recipe I found, for lack of an egg (has anyone ever seen a gratin including eggs, anyway?). Here are the ingredients you’ll need, in order to feed two persons:
- A courgette (not a too little one, unless you’re both anorexic)
- Cubes of ham (I used smoked ones, about 100g)
- Some rice (yes, for real! 50g should be enough)
- A bit of creme fraiche (I used slightly thick one, it’s likely to be better if it’s more liquid - 10cl)
- Tomato purée (about 70g - this is what I replaced the egg with)
- A shallot
- Seasoning (optional): garlic, Cayenne pepper
In a zeroth time (remember, in C, we begin counting with 0), slice the courgette. This will save you some time for later and help you find the good timing.
The first step is to slice the shallot into tiny bits, and to put it to brown with the ham cubes in a frying pan. That’s where I decided to sprinkle the pan’s content with Cayenne pepper, just for the perfume it has.
As soon as you’ve put these ingredients in the pan, you can put the rice to cook (important note: i used rice that takes twenty minutes to cook - obviously you won’t have the same timing as me if yours cooks faster).
After three minutes of letting the shallot and ham brown, you can add the slices of courgettes to the pan. Make sure to make it cook over low heat, for a good 15 minutes, and to stir the ingredients in your pan regularly.
At this step of the recipe, I was out of ideas for the sauce, and wondered if it was possible to make a sauce of out tomato purée and creme fraiche… And the answer is, yes, it is! Google found me a few links about sauces based on such ingredients, which reassured me that it would be likely to be edible. So, I mixed my purée and creme into a glass, and added a pinch of ground garlic to it.
Then, I waited for the courgettes and the rice to be ready (and, as I’m lucky, the rice had just finished draining all the water in the saucepan where I put it to cook), and put both of them in a dish (a dish for gratins :D). I then added the sauce and made sure that everything was well mixed.
The next step is to add grated Emmental all over the dish. Well, this eventually happens in every recipe of gratin, anyway. Then, all you need do is put your dish in the over, at approximately 150°C, for twenty-five to thirty minutes. And of course the final step of this rather long but dead simple recipe: have a nice meal!
By the way, on a completely unrelated note, I pushed the Albatross theme to our Mercurial repository today, and began working on an xscreensaver theme for it (and begged Pasi for a cool logo for the theme, too). As soon as these steps will be done, you can expect a first, long time due, release. Keep in touch!