The audience has a hushed silence hanging about it…the kind of silence that you only hear with baited anticipation holding everyones’ breaths deep within them as individual excitements mount to create a palpable collective and universal thrill as what lies in store.
The heavy auditorium curtains give little away as the audience’s excited anticipation reaches fever pitch.
Then…the curtains begin to slowly open and commence their seemingly torturous slow journey to reach their destinations at either side of the impressively large stage. Slowly the heavy fabric sleeves holding their secret are opening with a come-hither look of seductive prowess about them to reveal what the whole auditorium have been waiting for…no other than the Cooking Duo!
Yes, foodies! Live, on stage! With each beaming the widest of smiles and waving cheery greetings of “Hello, fellow Foodies!” to everyone gathered here to see and watch this dynamic Cooking Duo’s show.
Dawn: Well Andrew, what do you have for me today?
Andrew: I’ve been busy in the Love Food garden, Dawn. Have you seen the size of my marrow?
Dawn: (raises eyebrows) My! That’s an impressive size!
Andrew: The more it’s loved, the more it grows!
Dawn: I don’t wish to know that! But what to do with the beast; it looks a real monster!
Andrew: The marrow is from the same family as courgettes, but unlike its smaller cousin, it is an advantage to be this size.
Dawn: It’s about 15 inches long. Should fit nicely into that baking tray.
Andrew: Marrow is delicious, nutritious, easy to grow and cook. However, the taste is often quite bland.
Dawn: Shall we spice it up a little?
Andrew: You know I can never decline an invitation like that!
1 large marrow
1 red or white onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or a teaspoon of chili flakes)
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
200g chorizo, cubed
250g baby plum/cherry tomatoes
Small glass of wine (or water)
Handful of breadcrumbs
Grated cheese of choice – we used mature cheddar but anything you have in the fridge will work just as well as well as manchego or parmesan would be just as good
Andrew: Definitely going to be a kick from this combination.
Dawn: Let’s get this party started!
- Preheat the oven to 200⁰C.
- Cut the marrow in half, scoop out the seeds and the flesh leaving about a centimetre depth in each half. Season with black pepper and salt, and place in a baking tray.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan or frying pan, heat a tablespoon of any type of cooking oil – sunflower, olive or rapeseed oil – over a medium heat.
- Sweat the onion for 5 minutes, then add the peppers for a further 5 minutes, allowing them to soften.
- Add the garlic, herbs and spices. Mix well.
- Add the chorizo and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, allowing the flavour and colour to develop.
- Throw the tomatoes in (whole or halved depending on taste).
- Pour in the wine or water, cover and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes until the tomatoes have split and the liquid reduced.
- Turn off the heat, add the couscous, mix and cover again. The couscous will cook in the liquid and absorb it.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the halved marrow.
- Cover with tin foil, place in the oven and bake for half an hour.
- Remove from oven, discard the tin foil, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese evenly across the marrow.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted, the breadcrumbs toasted, and the marrow is tender.
- Serve with a salad of your choice, with chicken or lamb if hungry.
Andrew: Half of one of the halves will be sufficient for a lunch.
Dawn: And cold the next day, the spicy flavours really penetrate the marrow.
Andrew: Another winner from the Love Food kitchen.
Dawn: And excellent use of our home grown vegetables!
For more inspiring and easy-to-make recipe ideas from the Cooking Duo, keep following forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and the Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK.