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Marrow? Stuff that!
Some friends came over last week and left us with a marrow. I hear you say, they must be close friends indeed for us to accept such a burden, but there you are. So this recipe is to help everyone who suffers a similar encumbrance.
Marrows are bland, there is no getting round it, and so any recipe that involves them better have something else that tastes good. I also recommend having chutneys, mustards and pickles available on the table when served.
I should point out that I have a similarly low opinion of most squashes, especially pumpkins but thats a different story. It also takes a long time to cook in the oven about an hour so the total time for this dish is about 1½ hours.
So this recipe is inspired by the much talked of, but not often eaten, Stuffed Marrow
Put the oven on to 200C
Cut the marrow in half and de-seed with a desert spoon, then slice diagonally into 2cm wide slices.
Place the slices in a baking tray and cover with plenty of olive oil, you can use a brush if you a tidy minded or you can just slosh it on an shake the tray about to cover if you are more like me.
Put the marrow in the oven and then go and have a lie down for 15 minutes
Sprinkle some woody-herbs like rosemary, thyme or lavender over the marrow if you have any and baste and turn the marrow slices.
Make the stuffing mix in a pudding basin and when the water is fully absorbed put in the oven to cook.
Prepare and shred the cabbage and steam for 15 minutes.
Finely chop the onion and gently fry in olive oil until transparent.
Add 1 heaped dessertspoon of cornflour and stir in to coat the onion.
Add 1 dessertspoon of yeast extract and another of soy sauce.
Add water a little at a time, it should go through the usual sauce stages (despite the onions) so 1st to a paste then a thick gravy add any woody-herbs now and simmer for 15 minutes.
Leafy herbs such as basil, parsley or tarragon should be added just before you re-heat the gravy prior to serving.
About 10 minutes before the stuffing should be cooked boil the noodles and re-heat the cabbage (I simply put the steamer on the pan Im boiling the noodles in).
Start to reheat the gravy, adding more water if necessary you should have about 300-400ml
Turn the stuffing-pudding out onto a hot serving dish, arrange the noodles round the base and then arrange the cabbage also so you end up with a hat, with the noodles as the brim and the cabbage as the hat-band.
Check the marrow is cooked with a fork and set out on another dish and pour over the gravy.
To be honest I still found this quite bland, but my teenage children both really liked it.
An improvement that came to me after the event was to use a flavoured oil or sesame oil to cover the marrow for roasting.
Once during Prohibition I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
(W. C. Fields)
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