Friday, 22 June 2012

Midsummer Friday Quickie

And so it's here again. The most wonderful of days, Friday. The moment you leave work on Friday, and know it's over two whole days before you have to return... Bliss! This week is a bit special, or at least would be if I was back home. In Finland, Midsummer (or Juhannus) is one of the biggest holidays. For many it's the start of the summer holiday month. Everyone packs family and food into their cars and head out to the summerhouse by the lake. Helsinki is almost deserted and even those who don't have their own summerhouses have rented one or are forcing themselves on friends or family who have one. Then you are stuck in endless traffic jams for hours. But when you finally arrive at the summer house, after hours of sweating and swearing, unpack, get the fire in the sauna going, and then have a dip in the lake or the sea... It's all worth it. For an expat, Midsummer means reading endless Facebook updates about how everyone is celebrating. Me, I went to work. Then for my weekly grocery shopping, cooked a bit, went for a run and cooked some more. And now finally I'm sitting here on the sofa, feet up, enjoying my Friday quickie. Friends have stopped updating Facebook as they are probably starting to get a bit tipsy. Lucky bastards! And now days will start getting shorter. It will be Christmas in no time.

When I was planning my weekly menu, I was totally at a loss of what to cook this Friday. Thankfully, Pinterest came to the rescue. I'm totally obsessed with Pinterest these days, it's a foodporn addict's heaven!! I am in agony every time I browse people's food boards, as there are so many amazing things to cook in this world, and so little time to cook them. And then the added complication of the ever expanding derriere, which puts some limits on the cooking as well... Anyways. I had decided that since I have been (almost) good with my eating for the last two weeks, I could award myself with something yummy, this time I ended up choosing a lovely fluffy white ball of mozzarella as my treat. And I was going to cook these oven baked courgettes from Proud Italian Cook, as I had a poor lonely courgette in my fridge that needed to be eaten sooner rather than later. I know it's not terribly new and exciting after the whole aubergine post last week. What can I say, you need some sort of vessel to pile the mozzarella on, be it aubergine or courgette. I also had a sudden craving for prawns earlier today, so I decided to add some on. And when I was browsing the seafood isle, I ran into some lovely mussels as well, and inspired by a wonderful dinner I was treated to last night, also decided to add mussels to the recipe. How decadent, by the way, to eat mussels two days in a row!! So I ended up with this concoction, which turned out absolutely amazing. Then again, even a piece of cardboard would taste heavenly if it had some garlic and mozzarella on it. The cherry on top was having fresh cherries for pudding. Bought myself a whole kilogram of cherries, and am working my way through them very efficiently. My guess is, there are none left after tomorrow.

Seafood courgette thingys
1 courgette
5-10 cherry tomatoes
1/2 tbsp oil (I used a lovely garlic infused rapeseed oil)
juice from 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
garlic pepper spice mix (regular black pepper will do fine, too)
100g prawns
50g mussels
125g good mozzarella

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Halve the courgette lengthwise, and cut off a little bit from the bottom so that the halves are stable in a oven proof dish. Mix the oil, lemon juice, pepper and finely chopped garlic, and drizzle half of it on the courgettes. Cut tomatoes in half, and place on courgettes, drizzle on some more oil. Save a little bit of the seasoned oil for later. Bake for about half an hour. Add seafood and mozzarella, finish by drizzling still more of the oil on top, and bake until mozzarella melts and turns lovely golden brown. 

Step 1: courgettes and tomatoes ready to go
into the oven for about 30 min. 
Step 2: courgettes and tomatoes looking
hot and lonely, waiting for some company
Step 3: Still looking a bit naked although courgettes
 and tomatoes are joined by prawns and mussels
Step 4: It's the mozzarella that makes it all perfect.
Come and get it while it's hot!
The verdict:
This is again a lovely example of how cooking amazingly good food doesn't have to take many minutes of your time. The preparation steps only take a minute or two. With the rather large amount of mozzarella, this is admittedly not the most healthy of dishes, but some Fridays a girl just needs a treat. It could of course be debated how badly that treat is needed after said girl stuffed her face with mozzarella, garlic pasta with mussels and dreamy chocolate ganache dessert with ice cream and biscotti... But hey, that was yesterday, and this is today. Like I said before, you cannot go wrong with a combination of mozzarella and garlic. 

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