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Hungarian Courgettes With Dill Sauce

ingredients

serves 6.
6 large courgettes
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
10 oz (300 g) minced lean veal
3 1/2 - 4 oz (100 g) minced cooked ham
1 egg
2 oz (50 g) long-grain rice (uncooked weight), boiled or steamed
1 1/2 oz (40 g) grated Gruyere cheese
4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
10 fl oz (300 ml) single cream
1 tbsp plain flour
1 lemon
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 oz (50 g) butter
white wine vinegar
nutmeg
salt and pepper

serve with:

Sweet-sour Baby Onions

method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) mark 4. Bring a large saucepan two-thirds full of salted water to the boil; add 2 tbsp vinegar. Rinse the courgettes and cut off about 3/4 in (2 cm) from each end. Use a potato peeler to remove a very thin layer of skin from them; if they are very long cut them in half. Hollow out the centre of each courgette with an apple corer.

2. Blanch in the boiled acidulated water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Fry the onion very gently for 10 minutes in 1 oz (25 g) butter and 1 tbsp oil, stirring frequently. When tender but not browned, stir in the meat, season with a little salt and pepper and stir over a higher heat for 2 minutes.

3. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the minced ham, the egg, cheese and boiled rice, adding a little more salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of nutmeg. Stuff the hollowed courgettes with this mixture. Oil a wide, shallow ovenproof dish and arrange the stuffed courgettes in it in a single layer.

4. Melt 1 oz (25 g) butter in a small saucepan and add the dill; fry gently for 1 minute; add 3 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) water and the finely grated rind of the lemon. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Mix the cream with the flour and stir into the contents of the saucepan, continuing to stir and cook until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

5. Pour this sauce all over the stuffed vegetables. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then serve without delay.

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