Ratio: Quiche

Ratio: Quiche

Ratio Cooking: Quiche

StorrCupboard is coming over all new-term and talking ratios.
As a veg-box customer I’ve got used to making quiche from loads of different things. Using just egg yolks for luxury, or an egg and an egg-white when that needs finishing up. Half a jar of roasted peppers and a few olives? A little bacon and loads of greens? Half an egg left from egg washing some scones & some cream from Sunday crumble?
Read on and find out how your small leftovers are the perfect inspiration for a quiche. Solving food waste and making something tasty all in one meal.

Quiche base

Simple

Buy a pre-made base. At £1 for one, I don’t find it great value and they can get broken easily. But, if you don’t have any type of tin or dish, you may need one of these bad boys.

Easy

A packet of ready made shortcrust pastry. Again it’s a quid. Again not great value if you don’t know how to make your own but this is still pricey. Those who want a more wholefood approach won’t be happy with the whole margarine element. You’ll need some sort of pie dish or tin; if you don’t have one yet then look in the charity shops, you can usually find them for a couple of quid.

Tiny bit harder

Make your own. Going imperial with your scale is where this is at.
For a 15 cm dish, you want 4 ounces of flour and 2 of fat. That’s it. You really don’t like imperial? That 115 grams of flour and 55 grams of fat. Got a great big lovey tart dish, 40 cm across? Double it!
If you’re buying Sainsbury’s plain flour at 50p/kilo, you’re looking at 6p of flour. 2 oz of regular butter will set you back 30p. So, about 36p, rather than a quid! If you’re money conscious but worrying about the environment, then try buying organic flour and a really good organic butter – this is also where your StorrCupboard & ratio skills can really come in handy. When I have rendered lard, I’ll use 1 oz of butter and 1 oz of lard. Using rendered lard saves expensive butter for another dish and adds a layer of flavour to my finished dish. , Organic farming is better for the animals and for soil health; some home cooking can make it cheaper than processed food.

The filling

How much egg?

Now, you can use egg yolks, whole eggs …
I’ve bought mixed size organic eggs for years and my cooking is fine.
The white and yolk of 1 large egg is about 45ml.
If you’ve made a big old meringue and you have 3 egg yolks leftover, you can make the most luxurious tart. If you have one yolk, well, I’d still work with two whole eggs and add that little luxury.
For this recipe let’s start with x2 eggs and x2 egg yolks. But you could always use x3 egg yolks, x1 egg and a little more cream. This isn’t rocket science or Vienoisserie, this is thrifty, budget and environmentally conscious cooking.

Cream

You can use single, double, whipping. You can even use slightly cheesy cream…
#THRIFTTIP
If you don’t already store the rinds from your Parmesan/Italian Style Hard Cheese, then start. Ideally, a couple of hours before you make your quiche, warm the cream with a parmesan rind, some seasoning and a bay leaf, maybe some thyme. The flavour from the cheese rind will GO TO the cream and mean you don’t have to use as much cheese. Woohooo!

Veggies, a little meat

The great thing about quiche is that you can shove loads of random stuff in there. Greens, roasted peppers, a little bacon. I suppose a slice of cold roast beef would be better on the side, but all of these work…

The total weight you want it around 500 grams cooked weight. If you have some cold, leftover greens, a few olives, a little meat – read on for some ideas about quiche fillings to clear out your fridge and make something from nothing. Check out the recipe for ideas and tips.

The cheese

You can use most cheeses here. Cheddar, Emmental, blue cheese, goat. Chunks of feta stirred through a roast pepper mix. A couple of slices of that not-amazing Brie you picked up or some crusty bits of blue.
The point is to use up what you have, and enjoy the mix! If you love greens and feta, then go for it. Love cheese and onion? The cheddar and onion is your friend.
You know what you enjoy eating, so start there. And message me with questions.

 

Quiche: Ratio Guide

Want to clear out the fridge and make a quiche? Here's your ratio guide to make a perfect quiche or tart from weird leftovers.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Keyword: cheap recipies, empty the fridge, no food waste
Servings: 4
Author: Ann Storr

Equipment

  • Scales
  • Optional: food processor
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowl and lid
  • Tart/pie tin
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking beans and greaseproof paper
  • Measuring jug
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Frying pan

Ingredients

For home-made pastry

  • 115 grams flour (can be, say, 90 grams plain white + 25 spelt...)
  • 55 grams fat (all butter/half butter half lard/margarine)
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

For the custard

  • 2 whole eggs around 90ml of egg
  • 2 egg yolks around 30 ml egg yolk
  • 300 millilitres cream double, single, whipping... slightly cheesy...
  • 1 rind Grana Padano/Italian style hard cheese
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • nutmeg optional
  • spring onion greens or leek top optional

Cheese

  • around 100 grams cheese Cheddar, gruyere, double gloucester, Parmesan...

Veggies and/or meat

  • 1 kg raw veggies onions, mushrooms, greens...
  • oil/fat to cook them - lard, butter, olive oil...

or

  • 500 grams cooked, leftover veg
  • up to 150 grams bacon/sausage/chorizo

Instructions

The custard - ideally a few hours before you want to cook the quiche/tart but ** not essential **

  • If you have a parmesan rind and/or bay leaf/freshly ground
    nutmeg etc, place them in a saucepan with the cream and bring the heat to
    medium. Season with salt and black pepper. After about five minutes and before it
    boils, turn the heat off and leave to one side/in the fridge overnight, if you wish.

If making your own pastry

  • Either process the flour, fat & salt in your food processor and then add a little water until it comes together in a ball.
  • Or, if making pastry by hand, rub the fat(s) into the flour/salt mixture until sandy. When there are no lumps of butter left over, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until it comes together in a ball.
    Either way, place the pastry in the small bowl, cover with a lid (I just use a plate) and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

Blind baking

  • Turn your oven to 220C
  • Lightly flour your kitchen counter and place the pastry in the middle. Roll out the pastry to about 10 cm wider than the tin/dish you are using.
  • Move the dish to next to your raw pastry. Either by nudging the pastry onto the pin, or by lightly folding the pastry into quarters, lift the pastry over the tin.
  • Gently push the pastry into the 'corners' of your tin. If your pastry is breaking and you are swearing, squidge and wedge it into the tin. Make sure to really push and squash the sections together and make sure to place a lipped oven tray underneath. You can always use a little water on the pastry if it's really dry.
  • Prick the pastry all over with a fork and trim off any excess. Cut a length of greaseproof paper and grease it a little. Oiled side down, place it on the pastry and cover with the beans.
  • Put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sides are golden brown.
  • Once ready, remove from the oven. Carefully pour the very, very hot baking beans into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool down. Dispose of the greaseproof paper.
    You can either go straight on to cook from here, or leave to cool and bake the quiche/tart another day.

The meat/veggies

  • Greens (around a kilo): wilt in a frying pan and after about 5-10 minutes tip into a colander and then squeeze out any water or other ideas.

Cheese

  • Grate; if feta, into chunks

Baking

  • Turn the oven on to/down to 180C. Place a tray in the oven to heat up. Strain the cream and discard the cheese rind.
  • Take the eggs and/or egg yolks and whisk into the cream. Taste and season as necessary. Stir the cheese through.
  • If using spinach/onions, I tend to stir them into the custard. For peppers/feta, I pour in the custard and attempt to make a pretty dish by placing them carefully.
  • Place the tart on the waiting try in the hot oven and bake for between 30 and 40 minutes.
  • Check on it after about 25 minutes; if the top is brown but the middle is still very wobbly, you can turn the heat down and continue to bake. It’s ready when the middle of the tart feels firm to the touch.

Eating

  • If you’ve used a loose-bottomed tin, you can release the tart by propping it onto a tin and letting the side fall down. If you’re using a solid tin or ceramic dish, just leave on the wire cooling rack until ready.

Storage

  • The tart will keep in the fridge for around 5 days. If you want to reheat, it's best to let the tart come to room temperature and then place in a warm oven until warm through. Don't reheat again. And don't microwave! The pastry will go all floppy and foul.

Leftover Green Pepper Jambalaya

Leftover Green Pepper Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Creole and cajun cuisine has always interested me, and I don’t really know why. I think because the flavours and layers and history are fascinating – how French, African-diaspora, American and English histories combine.  I started cooking some Louisiana style food when the StorrCupboard babies were small, having photocopied (yes it was 2006…) most of a little book from my South London library.
It may be incidental, but there’s a lot of baked goods in creole and cajun cooking.  And whiskey.  And fat.
I won’t ever understand marshmallows and sweet potato, or frito pie, or pumpkin pie.  But a chunky cornbread?  Jambalaya?  These foods enabled people on limited means to eat joyfully, making the most out of bits and bobs and, as I’ve talked about, that’s how I managed to feed my family when times were lean. And a small amount of leftover meat can be used perfectly. So … yes please.
Your leftover green pepper is one of the essentials in building your jambalaya.  Like onion, carrot, garlic and celery in French or Italian cuisine, green pepper, onion, celery and garlic is what you need for cuisine from the Deep South.  The bitterness that some of us (cough) struggle with is essential.  In a dish like this, rich with smoked sausage, chicken and fish, and filling with rice, the bitter note is perfect and stops it from being too rich.
Note: if you have access to amazingly diverse food shops, Andouille sausage is ideal.  If not, Tolouse, or a Polish smoked sausage.   I had only fancy fresh hot-dog sausages that have been in the UK supermarkets for the past couple of summers, and they were great.
With the meat, it’s about weight. I went for white fish as there are many ethical problems with prawns eaten in the UK, and they are hellish expensive.  Mussels would work, or salmon – this is a dish where the rice and the veg pad out and showcase the meat.  Keep the ratios the same and make it the dish that you love.

 

Jambalaya

Adapted, barely, from Felicity Cloake, Guardian.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: eating on a budget, family recipies

Equipment

  • Tools
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Large saucepan pan
  • Lid for the pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Slotted spoon/flipper
  • Plates
  • Optional tools
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 3.5 teaspoons cajun spice mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 smoked sausages
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 onion 150g
  • 1 green pepper 300g
  • 1 celery stick 70g
  • 3 cloves garlic 10-15g
  • 4 spring onions 70g
  • 800 ml Chicken or pork stock
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce
  • 300 g long grain rice
  • 300 g fish I used coley fillets

Instructions

Prep

  • If using frozen fish, remove from freezer
  • Slice the sausages into 2cm-ish slices
  • Finely dice the onion, celery and green pepper
  • Crush/finely chop the garlic

Method

  • Pour the oil into the pan and add the sausage until it sizzles - quite hot, not max
  • Brown both cut sides and remove
  • Repeat with the chicken
  • Turn the heat to medium and allow to cool for a minute
  • Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic to the pan and cook until tender (about
  • 10 minutes); some people like to place a lid on the pan (I find it helps)
  • When tender, add the garlic and and stir around for a minute
  • Add the spice mix and stir well to make sure that the veg is well coated in spice mix
  • Return the chicken to the pot, pour in the stock and the Tabasco
  • Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender then add the rice
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Next, stir the rice once, place the lid on and leave for 15 minutes
  • After the 15 minutes are up, remove the chicken and set aside
  • Turn the heat to low
  • Add sausage and fish to the rice mixture
  • Stir the rice around the meat and fish once, replace the lid and leave to steam
  • As soon as you can, shred the meat off the bones
  • Stir the chicken through the rice mixture

Storage/further meals

  • Store in a lidded container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days
  • Reheat CAREFULLY until piping hot
  • You can freeze, in a lidded container, for a month or so

Leftover Green Pepper Curry

Leftover Green Pepper Curry

Green Pepper Poriyal

This green pepper recipe was a fluke find, many years back.  I was staring at some green peppers and feeling fed up, because I don’t like them.  But I had them and I needed to eat them. And not wasting food is, sometimes, just cracking on through.
This recipe to use your leftover green peppers doesn’t even need you to chop an onion.  I know! I guess it’s a Jain recipe, as followers don’t eat onion or garlic.  I chose this recipe, and have repeated it, because we often have plain yoghurt in the fridge.  Leaving the pepper to rest in yoghurt takes away some of the bitterness, and makes a simple sauce.  I know it looks gross but, you know, try it!  (I thought of having a food blog called “brutti ma buoni” – Italian for ugly but delicious.  I will never be a food stylist …)
The whole spices are nice because of the crunch, but if you’ll never otherwise use them, use ground and just let them fry for about 30 seconds.

 

Green pepper poriyal

Adapted, barely, from ‘The Classic 1000 Indian Recipes’, Ed. Wendy Hobson
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: eating on a budget, empty the fridge
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Tools
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Lid for the pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Optional tools
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 450 g green peppers before de-seeding; 400g after de-seeding
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt preferably full fat
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 30 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

Instructions

Prep

  • Chop the peppers into dice (aka sqaures), around 2cm
  • Stir the yoghurt into the peppers and leave to one side for 15 minutes

Method

  • Pour the oil into the pan
  • Add the whole spices
  • When you hear the seeds pop, add the peppers, water and salt
  • Simmer for around 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender
  • Sprinkle with curry powder and leave to simmer for about 3 minutes
  • Serve with rice or as part of a bigger curry meal

Notes

Storage/further meals
Store in a lidded container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days

Egg and bacon quiche

Egg and bacon quiche

Egg and bacon quiche.

Okay, there is more than one egg yolk in this dish, but what I want is to inspire you to have a zero waste, adaptable set of recipes.

If you’re veggie, or don’t have bacon, then just leave it out. Add in more onions, or leeks. Or some tuna and sweetcorn.

If the thought of making your own pastry is a little intimidating, then buy a packet of shortcrust or a ready made base. If you can learn to make your own it’ll cost you about 50p in flour and butter, not £1.39.

There are a lot of steps in this recipe. If you’re new to making pastry or quiche, then take it one step at a time. The pastry can be made a day or two in advance, it can be baked and left to one side. GO at your own pace and then enjoy your zero waste egg and bacon quiche.

 

Leftover egg yolk tart

Okay, this is a leftover smashing meal. Good luck!

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 125 grams plain flour + more for rolling out
  • 65 grams unsalted butter

OR

  • 35 + 30 grams lard/unsalted butter, respectively
  • pinch salt

For the leftover egg yolk filling

  • 1-2 leftover egg yolks
  • 1-2 whole eggs
  • 150 ml cream (double or single)
  • 1 onion add in another one or two if not using bacon
  • 100 grams bacon (optional) you could use mushrooms instead
  • 150 grams cheese - cheddar, Gruyere, double Gloucester.... just a melting cheese, it doesn't really matter which one
  • optional: 1 parmesan rind
  • optional: bay leaf, nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper

Tools

  • Scales and mixing bowl
  • Food processor or mixing bowl
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Bowl & cover for pastry
  • Measuring jug
  • Rolling pin
  • Pie dish, ceramic or metal
  • Cheesegrater
  • Baking beans
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Fork
  • Optional saucepan

Instructions

If using bay, parmesan rind ....

  • Place the cream, flavourings and seasoning in a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and leave them to one side for up to a day.

If making your own pastry, processor method

  • Place flour, salt & butter in the processor. When they look like sand, add a little water and process. Turn out onto a floured surface and squish together. 

If making your own pastry by hand

  • Cut the butter/butter and lard into cubes. Rub the fat into the seasoned flour until it looks like sand.

Both methods

  • Add just enough water to make it come together. This means that, when you squish it about, it doesn't crack and crumble.
  • Place in the bowl, cover and leave for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Make the filling

  • If you're using bacon, cut the fat off and put it in the pan to render. This will give the whole mixture the flavour of bacon.
  • Dice or slice the onion. Put the pan on around medium heat. Add the onions and DON'T LET THEM BROWN. 
  • It'll take at least 15 minutes for the onions to squidge down. Make sure you cannot see any white. 
  • Fry the bacon in with the onions. Grate the cheese.
  • If you've seasoned the cream with parmesan rind and bay, strain the cream into a bowl. Beat the egg yolks and whole egg into the cream. Stir in the cheese.

Bake the pastry

  • Turn the oven to 220C. Place a tray in the oven to heat. 
  • When the pastry is golden and lovely, turn the heat down to 180C. Remove the
  • Flour your counter (if you've been tidy enough to clean it since making the pastry). Take the pastry from the fridge and roll it out. Place it into the tin/dish. Prick it all over with the fork. Place the greaseproof paper over the pastry, cover it with pastry weights..
  • Place the quiche onto the hot tray and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, mix the onions, bacon and cheese custard mixture. Taste and season further if needed.
  • When the pastry is cooked, carefully remove the hot baking beans and leave them to cool. 
  • Pour the custard into the hot pastry case and return to the oven. Bake for around 30 minutes or until set.

Storage

  • The tart will keep in the fridge for around 5 days. If you want to reheat, it's best to let the tart come to room temperature and then place in a warm oven until warm through. Don't reheat again. And don't microwave! The pastry will go all floppy and foul.

Classic American/Scotch Pancakes

Classic American/Scotch Pancakes

Scotch pancakes with worrisome milk

Pancakes are a useful recipe to have always in the back of your mind for leftover milk, yoghurt, cream or even porridge. They are cheap, they are healthy. If you are so inclined, you can start experimenting with mixes of wholegrain flours and oats.

I took a picture with golden syrup drizzling down in honour of my eldest, who can think of little finer than a brand new tin of syrup, looking almost red and daring you to dunk a finger. We both, usually, do.

If your milk is on it’s best before, or near it – never pour it down the drain. The stats are staggering: 3 1/2 million litres are wasted in UK homes every year. 7% of all the milk that we produce. So play your part, testing your milk and trusting your senses over an over-cautious jet printed date.

A fried egg, some butter and loads of marmite or ketchup is what I love most of all. Either way, make sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

 

Scotch pancakes

You can use all plain flour, or a mixture of lots of scraps. I wouldn't go over 50% of wholewheat flours mind, or they'll be heavy AF. Don't miss out the melted butter, there's a softness that seems a pity to waste.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 225 grams plain flour or use a mixture of plain and wholegrain
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder or just weigh 20 grams, that's what I do...
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml worrisome milk
  • 30 grams unsalted butter & more for cooking

Tools

  • scales
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring jug - really big one if possible
  • whisk
  • frying pan
  • pastry brush
  • spatula
  • flipper

Instructions

If you have a digital scale and a 1 litre mixing jug...

  • Place the jug on the scale and pour in the milk and crack in the eggs. Whisk. Set the scale back to zero. Then carefully add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Remove from the scale and whisk until you have a good batter.

If you don't...

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a measuring jug, whisk together the milk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until you have a thick batter.

Either way

  • Turn the heat on under your pan to medium-hot and add the 30 grams of butter. Once it's melted, pour it into the batter and mix well.
  • When the pan is nice and hot, add just a pinch of butter and let it sizzle. If you can't get it to coat the base of the pan nicely, then use a pastry brush.
  • Pour in the batter, probably making neater circles than I have ever managed. Don't crowd the pan - around 3 or 4 to a large pan at a time.
  • When you see lots of little bubbles rising up, take your spatula and flip the pancakes over. They should only take a minute more to cook through.
  • Keep going until all the batter is used, using your spatula to leave a clean-enough bowl behind. 

Storage

  • Leftover pancakes will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Reheat in a dry frying pan.

Dried Mushrooms

Dried Mushrooms

Zero-waste home dried mushrooms

A couple of years ago, I spent too much money on veg in a farm shop. This is not unusual. A barbecue for all fifteen members of the Storr clan was needed; about half of the adults insist on vegetables (the other half seem to find them garnish). I love to barbecue mushrooms, sweetcorn, cauliflower, tomatoes. So, I bought them.

Mushroom burgers on the barbecue, stuffed full of garlic and parsley butter was what I wanted. I stacked the pan full of charcoal, flipped open a cider and watched the little cousins play in the courtyard. It was the headless space I needed, adding coals to the fire and hitting them with a heavy, dusty poker.

Somehow the mushrooms never made it as far as the barbecue. Back home, through a mind blasting hangover, a heatwave and business, 4 fat mushrooms were starting to decay in my fridge. And I didn’t want the fucking mushrooms or anything that looked backwards.

So I sliced the mushrooms, laid them onto greaseproof paper and shoved them in the oven. A couple of hours later I had a home-grown version of porcini; not as fancy or full of flavour but a million times cheaper (don’t quote me on that stat). Your leftover mushrooms can be used tomorrow, in 2 months or a year.

 

Home dried mushrooms

You can use any that you have going to waste, or if you see loads going cheap at the supermarket

Ingredients

  • mushrooms

Tools

  • Knife & chopping board
  • Baking tray(s)
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Wire cooling rack

Instructions

Prep

  • Turn the oven to 140C. Line the tray(s) with greaseproof paper.
  • Wipe the mushrooms if needed. Slice them into 5mm pieces. Arrange on the tray(s) in rows with no overlapping.
  • Place in the oven for around 2 hours, checking on them from time to time.
  • Once they are dried out, leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. 

Storage

  • Store in a lidded airtight container. Use within around a year.

Use

  • Rehydrate in warm water as and when needed.