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Creamy Chicken Stuffed Round Courgettes is a light meal with a whole lot of veggies like sweet peas, red pepper and carrot for a fun, creamy and colorful bite. Bechamel Chicken filled courgettes

Chicken stuffed yellow courgette

This recipe is basically the filling of a chicken pot pie trapped in a mini courgette, a great light way to eat chicken leftovers. Every single time I see those precious round courgettes whether they are green or yellow, I simply cannot resist buying them. If you don’t have such courgettes at your market you can do the exact same recipe with long zucchinis. Simply cut on the length, empty them and voila! They might not look as fun but the end result for your tastebuds will be the same.

Bechamel making

Since cooking school, I love to make bechamel, knowing it’s not that fatty as let say… Hollandaise or cream. Plus it’s fairly easy to make, the golden rule is using fat (butter or olive oil) and cook the flour for a minute or so, adding a cold milk, aromatics to it and whisk until it heats up and thickens. Why cold? Because this way it breaks the lumps. What kind of heat? I saw all kind of recipes… I personally leave the heat on medium high because I’m not patient but if you are distracted cook and scared to burn it, simply make it on low heat to make sure… The thickness is up to you, if you want a lighter and smoother sauce add more milk and if you prefer a better holding texture add less. I’m a firm believer in nutmeg, I believe bechamel absolutely needs a touch of it, a tiny bit make a gigantic difference.

Chicken stuffed yellow courgette
Adaptable

This recipe is highly adaptable, you can use whatever veggies you feel like or the leftovers from the fridge. I’ve added some peppers, carrot and peas to mine put it could have been replace by some leeks, sweet potatoes, etc… As you wish! Could even turn into a vegetarian dish. The main idea here is to use your leftovers and makes a smooth bechamel with it and fill up those cute little courgette with it. (Check here my Round Courgette filled with Tomato Sauce)

 

Chicken stuffed yellow courgette

The scooping

I’ve gently scooped out the inside of the courgettes to keep a 5mm shell, you can use the inside and cut it into small dices and add some to the chicken filling or keep it for a salad or even a soup. Nothing goes to waist here! Once the courgettes are ready to receive the filling, don’t forget to sprinkle a little salt in them before. This helps give them flavor in the end! (*perso note* I’m always in a big dilemma about the words: flavor-flavour, color-colour… so excuse my preference for the -or version it seems like a millisecond less to tap, that’s the only reason I use the US way)

So let’s get those colorful and creamy bites going!

 


Creamy Chicken stuffed Round Courgettes

Makes 4 portions | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 45 minutes

Ingredients
  • 4 round courgettes (yellow or green)
  • white rice
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
The creamy chicken filling

Chicken stuffed mini courgette

  • 1 pre cooked (leftover) chicken breasts (or equivalent) cut into small dices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into small dices
  • 1 carrot cut into small dices
  • 100g sweet peas
  • 4 tbsp of flour
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 200ml of milk
  • nutmeg, salt and black pepper
  • *optional estragon or thyme
Directions

Bring the oven to 180°C (350F)

  1. Start by cutting the carrot, pepper and chicken breast into small cubes (8mm)
  2. In a pan add a bit of olive oil and cook the diced carrot and pepper for 2 minutes, medium high heat
  3. Add the chicken dices and the green peas and cook until hot (1-2 more minutes)
  4. Add the butter, let melt and add the flour on top and mix, let cook for 1 minutes until the flour is cooking
  5. Add the cold milk all at once and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper (plus estragon, thyme or any herbs you’d like), still on medium high heat
  6. Keep whisking until the liquid becomes thick (takes about 1-2 minute)
  7. Check the seasoning and reserve the chicken mixture
  8. During that time, clean up the courgettes and cut the top part, with the help of a round scoop take out the inside of the zucchini gently, salt and pepper the inside (keep the inside for a soup, salad or add some small pieces to the chicken mix)
  9. Fill up the courgettes with the creamy chicken filling and spray a light layer of olive oil on them
  10. Cook at 180°C (350F) for 30 minutes, serve on white rice

 

Enjoy!

Courgette chicken stuffed bechamel

Cauliflower gratin

Cauliflower gratin, it’s a smooth dish! and not unhealthy at all. See… I know the word “gratin” make you think “heavy” but the truth is: Bechamel sauce is mostly milk. There is a spoonCauliflower gratin of butter, not much cheese and some flour but it’s nothing… compared to the famous calories bomb sauce Hollandaise… The word gratin mean “grilled cheese on the surface” but if you are thinking about you health, just cut the amount of it. Also, cauliflower contains practically no calories so we need a little substance somewhere.

With this recipe you’ll get the full flavor of that white veggie, because the sauce is so delicate. I didn’t add much cheese, only a little bit of old cheddar on top to salt things up. Also a little nutmeg in the bechamel and thyme, pepper as a topping decoration. Sometimes simplicity has way better taste!


Cauliflower gratin

Makes 2 main meals, or 4 side dishes

Ingredients
  • 1 Cauliflower cut into floretsCauliflower gratin
  • 800ml of milk
  • 100g butter
  • 100g flour
  • grated old cheddar or your favorite cheese (the amount you want on top, can even add nothing at all it will still get brown)
  • nutmeg
  • salt, pepper
  • thyme
Directions

Bring the oven to broil at the highest temperature

  1. Start by cooking the florets of cauliflower into salty water for 4-5 minutes
  2. Make a bechamel by melting the butter in a sauce pan
  3. Add the flour, medium-high heat, mix for a few seconds until it smells nutty
  4. Add the cold milk and whisk
  5. While it cooks add the good amount of nutmeg, pepper, salt
  6. Reserve
  7. Add the cauliflower into oven proof plates, add the bechamel over it
  8. Add the amount of cheese desired on top of the dish or at the end of coccion from the bechamel
  9. Broil until light brown (few minutes only, stay close by)

Enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh thyme!

Crepe forestiere

This is also a crepe Bretonne, just like my earlier post. I just changed the filling for some nice girola mushrooms, spinach, thyme and a bit of béchamel to make a creamy and soft inside, into a crispy “crêpe Bretonne”.

Crepe forestiereFirst of all, buckwheat is technically no wheat product…  Let me explain; it’s actually the seeds of a flower that makes the flour, nothing to do with the grass. It’s also a gluten free flour, so for those of you who are sensible to gluten, it’ s a great alternative. This flour has so many health benefits… although I can not cover the whole list here but check it out.

I used those small “Girola” mushroom they call in Spain, I suggest you use your favorite ones, or even simple button mushrooms will do. I’m never satisfied with the texture of my mushroom made in the pan, and since this is a quite “busy” recipe already, I simply do my mushrooms in the oven, I forget them there for a good 20 minutes, they end up perfect, evenly cooked and such a nicer texture. I mix them up with onions, garlic, thyme, mushroom salt a little olive oil before adding them to the oven and it’s just fantastic. So let’s make crêpes!


Crêpe forestière (Forest thin pancake)

Makes about 6 crepes… because the first one is “never ever” good… it would be 7

Ingredients

You’ll need a non stick crepe pan for this

Crepe
  • 300g buckwheat flour
  • 550ml of water
  • 1 egg
  • salt
Filling
  • your favorite mushrooms (they shrink a lot in the cooking so calculate that)
  • 1/2 onion finely cut
  • few baby spinach leaves
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • mushroom, truffle salt *optional
  • pepper
  • thyme
The bechamel

you will need an extra, small saucepan for this

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cup  (500ml) cold milk
  • nutmeg
  • salt, pepper
  • grated gruyere, old cheddar *optional
Directions
Crepe preparation
  1. Mix the salt into the flour
  2. Add the egg in the center
  3. Add water in the center slowly in a well and whisk from the center to the sides (to keep it smooth)
  4. Once all mixed, pass through a sieve to eliminate the unwanted lumps
  5. Let set in the fridge for 1-2 hours
The mushrooms

Bring oven to 180°C (350F)

  1. Wash your mushrooms good, without soaking them
  2. Cut finely the onion, add to the bowl of mushrooms
  3. Add thyme, garlic, salt and the olive oil
  4. Cover a cooking tray with baking sheet, spread out the mushroom mix on it
  5. Let cook about 15-20 minutes, depending of the size of your mushrooms

*make the béchamel while the mushrooms are cooking

The Bechamel
  1. Add the butter to a saucepan to melt at medium-high heat
  2. Add flour when melted, cook about 1 minute until it smells nutty
  3. Add the cold milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk it until it thickens, add milk if too thick.
  4. When sauce is done, add the grated cheese of your choice in it *optional
  5. Mix it up with the mushrooms mix
The crepes
  1. Bring your nonstick pan to high and add a little fat of your choice with a paper, really little
  2. Mix your base again, add a little base to the pan in order to test your crepes, not too much (because the first one is always just a test)
  3. When adding the mix, make sure it barely cover the surface, and it’s not too thick (you’ll see the holes forming right away if good consistency, always can add water if too thick).
  4. Add the baby spinach and the mushroom mix to the crepe while it cooks
  5. Cook the crepe until light brown, fold it up, transfer to a plate
  6. *optional- If you are not on a diet, brush a little melted salty butter on top.

 

Enjoy with a nice apple cider or a light white wine!