There’s been nothing little about the rays of sunshine that have occasionally burst forth from behind the big ol’ black clouds of June rain sitting heavily in Antibes these last few days. When the sun comes out it is hot and humid and I’m not sure I’m ready yet for such heat. Will I ever be? I think I am an English rose at heart and despite my younger days spent searching for the sunshine, I can honestly say that now, I love a British summer more than anything. There’s nothing like the seasons and the British ones at that. Maybe I’m just a bit home-sick but that’s my 33 year old opinion…
Oh okay, I admit it, I’m no longer 33. Yep, I had a birthday and now I’m 34. However, I won’t be changing the name of my blog. I still feel 33 (no I don’t, I still feel 29). Anyhow, we’ll just ignore my little passing of age for convenience sake shall we? Cheers.
|Cutting the cake. Thanks crew!|
Moving on swiftly (I don’t think they noticed) I did say I’d cook those proper little rays of sunshine in my last blog, the courgette flowers. And here they are. I did nothing clever or different with them; I stuffed them with buffalo mozzarella and deep fried them in a tempura style batter. They were absolutely delicious as a starter with some cold rose wine. Tim cooked dinner that night giving me a little night off which was needed. I won’t tell you what we did with the left-over batter, still hot deep-frying oil and some mini Mars Bars later on after dinner for desert, you’d be disgusted with us. It was Tim's idea...
The courgette flower season isn’t long so if you can find courgette flowers, they’re really not hard to make and in no time at all you have a plate of pretty cool and tasty…um, well, ray’s of sunshine!
You will need;
10 baby courgettes with flowers attached
1 ball of buffalo mozzerella
5 tbsp plain flour
5 tbsp cornflour
200 ml fizzy water, cold
Sunflower oil for deep frying
Zest and juice of one lemon
- To make the batter, sieve the flours and some salt, a good pinch or 3 into a big bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the water slowly into the well whilst whisking all the time to make the batter. Set aside whilst you stuff the flowers.
- Very gently open the flowers just enough so that you can tease as much of the mozzarella in as you can. Then re-seal the flowers by twisting them gently back up again. There, that was easy wasn’t it?
- So now all you have to do is heat up the oil in a big deep-ish pan. The rules for deep frying are to turn your extract fan off and have a big flat baking tray handy for if the worst happens and you have a fire. Simply place the tray over the pan to cut off any oxygen. Easy. Now, just because I’ve talked about fires, doesn’t mean you can whimp away from this one. No whimps in my galley thankyou.
- When your oil is hot and you are ready to fry them, simply immerse the entire courgette and flower into the batter so it is perfectly covered in batter and then plop very gently into the oil taking care not to splash yourself with any hot oil.
- To know when the oil is ready what you do is take a small chunk of bread and plop it into the oil. If it goes a nice golden colour pretty quickly then it’s ready. Place the battered courgette flowers in the oil, 2 at a time. When they are lightly coloured after a few minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate or tray covered with a good few layers of kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil. Continue to dunk and batter and then fry the courgette flowers as you go.
- To know when the oil is ready what you do is take a small chunk of bread and plop it into the oil. If it goes a nice golden colour pretty quickly then it’s ready. Place the courgette flowers in the oil, 2 at a time. When they are lightly coloured after a few minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate or tray covered with a good few layers of kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.
- When they are all ready serve as soon as you can with lemon wedges or I reckon a good lemony, garlicky mayonnaise would be perfect to have a little dip into, hope nobody shoots me down for that one! You could garnish with lots of fresh, roughly chopped flat leaf parsley and lemon zest too. I was serving mine to 2 boys, Tim and George so to be honest I didn’t bother. Sorry guys but you wouldn’t have noticed anyway.
Racing starts on Thursday and today we had our first training session. There was so little wind, the sea did that glassy thing where you can't comprehend where exactly the sea and sky collide on the horizon. We put some sails up and bobbed around for a bit, then took the sails back down and came back in to port. Hey, it’s all good practice.
I’m really enjoying Antibes so far. There are plenty of nice little shops and some nice little restaurants too. I’ll be trying a few out for you soon hopefully. Don’t say I never do anything for you! It’ll be tough but…
So thanks for reading. Stay here for exciting, cutting edge, classic yacht racing news coming your way! And hopefully some wind…