Sidmouth set for cookery classes

Get recipe for courgette chutney

RESIDENTS can become a dab hand in the kitchen with the help of cookery classes which begin at Sidmouth College next Monday, September 16.

“I really enjoy teaching the class and it keeps me on the look out for new recipes,” said its organiser Lois Kelly.

Newcomers can learn some good basic meals and how to be aware of fat, salt, sugar, and portion control.

Anyone interested in attending can contact Lois on (01395) 577038.

Lois said: “I had some friends to stay recently and they came laden with courgettes, and then found even more courgettes on offer, free, in Salcombe Regis on Sunday. So what to do with them and how not to waste them? They can seem a little dull, especially if boiled. I often cut them into slim sticks and cook them quickly in a frying pan with just a little oil and a teaspoon of cumin seeds.

But another use is courgette chutney, which I confess I once bought from a farm shop in Suffolk. I searched on the internet to see if I could find a recipe that seemed similar and found 2 which I then adapted a little and here the result; nice with smoked mackerel.”

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750 gms courgettes (that’s all I had left in the end. You could add another and add a little more vinegar I’m sure.)

I medium sized onion

1 medium cooking apple

A small green pepper

125 gms moist brown sugar

125 ml/ � pt white wine vinegar

A ‘finger’ length of fresh root ginger

A level tablespoon pickling spice

A level tablespoon of whole grain mustard

Half teasp of salt.

If you like things hot, add � teaspoon red chilli flakes

Lois added: “Have a large thick bottomed saucepan : Thinly slice and cut up the courgettes. (If they have got very big and have large seeds you can cut the courgettes in half longways and scrape a few seeds out first) . Chop the onion finely. Peel and core and finely cut up the apple. Take the seeds out of the pepper and finely cut up into little pieces. Grate the root ginger (You will find you have a fair bit of the skin at the end so just discard this).. Crush the garlic.

Put it all ingedients in the saucepan and bring to the boil and stir for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn the heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally until the juice has reduced and looks a bit syrupy. This will take about 30 minutes.

Wash some jars and ideally dry them in a hot oven for a few minutes and boil the lids and put to dry. Pack the chutney into the jars while the chutney is hot and put on the lids while it is hot. It will cool and form a vacuum and keep better.

So if you really are a beginner then it is good to come to the earlier class or to take it a bit further.”