We have been on a bit of a health kick recently, cutting out potatoes, pasta, rice, white bread, its amazing how quickly it makes a difference.
Of course there are a few things that you miss and pasta happens to be one of them, for a few reasons, including ease of preparing a meal and the various sauces that you can create.
I decided that we needed to incorporate a few more vegetables in to our diet too, we are generally quite good, but we needed a concerted effort, well ok, I needed to make a concerted effort as of course it is me who creates, prepares and produces the meals in our house. (My choice, as I always have to be doing something new).
I had seen the latest craze with the spiralizers and all the wonderful ‘spaghetti’ that can be made from the various vegetables, so I am on a mission to see how many new recipes I can create using the Cuizique spiralizer.
Tonight’s recipe is using courgette (zucchini) , they are great for this as they are usually straight(ish) and easy to whizz through the Cuizique spiralizer. I have used broccoli and celeriac, and I will write up the recipes for them and link them back shortly.
I took 2 large courgettes and whizzed them through the Cuizique spiralizer, this new unit is great as the handle is above the vegetables, pushing them down onto the blades and it only really needs the weight of your hand to push it through the blades and then the cup underneath catches the spaghetti. Its really easy to clean afterwards and all the blades can be stored in the jug for storage.
I popped the spaghetti into a large pot filled with salted water, bringing it to the boil and blanched the courgette for 2 minutes, then drained them and left them in the colander until the sauce was ready.
I started on the mushroom sauce, I used the white button (Paris) mushrooms, I know they are not known for their flavour, but I find here (in France) they are great and not over powering, I split the caps from the stocks and cleaned them with a paper towel, NEVER wash mushrooms as they just soak up the dirty water, the best thing to do is to use some kitchen paper or if they are really bad, use a small pastry brush. I roughly chopped the stocks and sliced the mushroom caps.
I melted some butter in a medium pot on a low heat, and once melted I added the chopped shallot and cooked until they were soft, but no colour, then I added the crushed garlic and mushroom stocks, and cooked for another 2 minutes. Then I added the white wine and brought it to the boil, letting it boil for 2 minutes, burning off the alcohol, then add then I added the chicken stock and simmered for 5 minutes.
(** Use vegetable stock for a Vegetarian sauce)
I removed the pot from the heat, and using my trusty hand whisk, blitzed the mixture, (of course it did splash a bit, but I just tilted the pot so it wasn’t all over me) until the stock has been pureed, it will be a bit thicker with the shallots and mushroom stocks, I returned the pot to the heat and added the mushroom slices.
I gave it a quick mix and allowed the mixture to come back to the boil and simmered it for 5 minutes, before adding the cream, this is always the tense moment to see if the sauce will split, with the hot stock and cold cream, I have found that if you pour the cream in and leave it to stand for about 1 minute it is less likely to split, but if it does, I have a couple of handy tips to bring it back (see tips below) without throwing it away and starting again…. allow the sauce to reduce a little and thicken, taste the sauce to see if you have the flavour (creamy mushroom), if it is still not ‘just’ as you expect, then continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Sometimes the flavour is there, but its just not thick enough, so I add a little corn flour mixture and it does the trick. Make sure your cornflour mixture is very watery, 1 tsp cornflour + 3 tsp cold water, the more diluted the mixture, the quicker it is to thicken the sauce and no floury taste 🙂
To serve up, I poured boiling water over the courgette to just refresh it, I added it back into the pot (it was boiled in) and added a couple of spoons of the mushroom mixture and mixed it all through, then using tongs I grabbed a big portion and twisted it around then placed into a bowl, and then it was mushroom sauce time….. mmmm… yummy, I do like this mushroom sauce.
This was a great meal, creamy and delicious.
Essential kitchen tool : Cuizique PREMIUM Spiralizer