Courgettes in egg-lemon sauce

May 15, 2013
My boys are crazy for my tomato sauce dishes; they consider them the best ever. Believe me, this is a great compliment, since they are extremely difficult and demanding.

So with this culinary skill under my belt, this year I am making a real effort to improve my egg-lemon sauce, which I really love because... it contains egg.

Of course I have no problem admitting that I suffered many failures before attaining the desired level, because the concept is quite tricky. Amalgamating the sauce for example requires patience and caution, not just hope and prayer. But eventually I was able to master the technique and now it is time to share with you another of my favourite delicacies. In this recipe, as with all egg-lemon sauces, it is very important to use unwaxed lemons. I am fortunate in this respect since my mother frequently brings me some really nice ones from a friend who has her own orchard, which fill the kitchen with a delightful aroma. Apart from their juice, you will also be using the zest. The result is sensational.

Baby courgettes in egg-lemon sauce

Ingredients

  • 15 medium courgettes
  • 500 gr minced meat, half beef, half pork
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 spring onions, finely chopped (including one or two green stalks)
  • Dill, parsley and mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp  rice (the type used in stuffed vegetables) for each courgette
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Bovril or 1 cube beef stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest

Preparation

Wash the courgettes well, slice off their tops and scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or grapefruit knife (this is the hardest part of the recipe). Do not discard the tops; you will be using them to seal the courgettes.

Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl along with salt, pepper 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp of water. Fill the courgettes without packing them too tightly, otherwise during boiling the mixture will expand and split the casing. Close the courgettes with the tops to prevent the filling from spilling out and place them in a pan, one next to the other in rows. A shallow, wide, cast aluminium saucepan would be best.

 Pour in enough water to just cover the courgettes, add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp Bovril, season with salt and pepper and simmer on a low heat, ensuring that there is always enough water but only very little when ready. It is better to use only a little water at the beginning and add more (always boiling) rather than ending up with too much at the end.

When the courgettes are cooked, beat the eggs with the lemon juice and zest and follow the amalgamation procedure. Add a ladle of broth from the pan to the egg-lemon mixture a little at a time so the eggs don’t curdle, stirring continuously, and when thoroughly mixed, pour the mixture back into the pan (which you have previously taken off the heat). Gently move the pan about so the sauce goes everywhere and... say a little prayer! If the sauce has too much liquid, you can thicken it with corn flour, but with proper care you shouldn’t have to and the result will be much tastier.

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