Thursday, November 18th

Another slow day at the cottage….Felix spent some time outside but, thank goodness, stayed away from the septic tank.  I worked on the bills (I’m still trying to figure out our electric usage….you get one bill for a base line charge, then another for estimated usage, then another for actual usage….and, as if this isn’t difficult enough to figure out, they’re all in French!).  Craig worked on the boat….at least until we were paid a visit by the water department.  The man who came out to read the meter told Craig there’s a leak in the water pipe….on the cottage side of the meter, not the company’s side….so Craig’s afternoon project changed from working on the boat to finding and fixing the water leak.  He tightened the fittings and thinks it’s fixed…..we’ll find out when we get the next water bill (also in French). 

I have time to cook on these slow days, so I chose another recipe from British telly….. Potato Bake with Courgette (Zucchini).   Craig’s not a fan of zucchini so he had his doubts about this recipe but was won over by the melding of the delicate flavors in the dish….each ingredient adding to its complexity….the sum was definitely greater than the parts.  The recipe (converted to American measurements) is:

Potato Bake with Courgette (Zucchini)

  • Preparation time: 10 mins
  • Cooking time: 1 Hour 25 mins
  • Serves:  4

2 lbs potatoes, peeled
1 ½ lbs onions, peeled and finely sliced
5 tbsp olive oil
2/3 lb courgettes (zucchini) cut in 2cm cubes
1tbsp thyme, finely chopped

1¼ cups vegetable stock
1 cup crème fraiche
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
½ lb Taleggio cheese, chopped (or any semi-soft “stinky” cheese like Camembert…. I used St Albray)
Butter to grease
Salt and white pepper to taste

1. In a large frying pan, fry the courgettes in the olive oil on a medium heat for approx 15 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.

2. Over a moderate heat, cook the onions with the sugar in the same pan that you cooked the courgettes  for approx 20 minutes until soft and caramelised.  Stir occasionally.

3. Meanwhile place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes.

4. Drain and once they are cool enough to handle, slice in 1cm thick circles. Place in a large bowl and gently mix with the crème fraiche and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Butter a 2 quart shallow ovenproof dish and cover the bottom with half of the potatoes.

6. Sprinkle over the onions with the courgettes and two thirds of the chopped cheese.

7. Cover evenly with the remaining potatoes and pour over the vegetable stock.

8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and cook in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 400f for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Allow to rest for 5 minutes out of the oven.

10. Once ready spoon on a plate; serve immediately with a vegetable or a crispy green salad.



About Languedoc Lady

I'm a newly retired woman from California getting ready to spend a year (or more) with my husband living the good life in Languedoc in the southwest of France.
This entry was posted in Canal du Midi, France, Retirement, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Thursday, November 18th

  1. Sharmyn says:

    Yum! How would you translate creme fraiche?

    • Creme Fraiche is similar to a thick sour cream….almost always available atTrader Joe’s 🙂

      And it’sa delicious topping for many desserts….we put it on our Tarte Tatin last week.

  2. Judi Meyers says:

    Hi Gayleen and Craig,
    I have really enjoyed your daily journals. Felix is a real character, and the details of your daily outings is worthy of Rick Steves’ travel program. Jim and I are also retired, just at our humble 5-horse home in the central valley foothills. Do you ever see Sun-Maid products on the shelves?
    Thanks, Judi

    • Hi Judi,
      Good to hear from you….can’t wait to hear more about your retirement! Haven’t seen SM products here… one of our co-workers said, “why would the French use perfectly good grapes to make raisins?”
      Take care, Gayleen

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