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

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding from worrisome milk

Years ago, I worked with a wonderful woman called Jadz. We worked on the same study at the Institute of Psychiatry, looking at how nature and nuture affect behaviour. I’d feel insecure that my colleagues were all researchers and academics, when I was ‘just’ comms and business. I talked more about food and fashion than stats and theories, and got my boss to bring me copies of American Vogue (one time it was a record breaking September edition…). It’s lucky that I moved industries, right?

Jadz told me how her mum would make bowls of rice pudding as a special breakfast. She smiled as she said it, in that time-warp way that some memories have. I went home and made a batch for my eldest, and she was in heaven.

Nowadays, I make my eldest rice pudding for breakfast when I know she’s got a rough day ahead. After 11 years on a nature X nuture study, the armchair psychologist in me says that nature (child and grandchild of comfort feeders) + nurture (erm, child and grandchild of comfort feeders) means there’s going to be rice pudding for breakfast for years to come, thank you Jadz.

Note

Rice pudding will keep for a couple of days, but if you have any scrapings leftover, whack them into a pancake batter or bread dough – remember it’s all about relay race cooking, where one ‘leftover’ sparks a new idea.

Rice pudding

You can use pudding rice, but I have a giant bag of arborio rice that my bestie sent me from Italy. Short grain would even be fine at a push.
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 500 ml leftover milk cow/goat/soy/coconut
  • 50 grams pudding or risotto rice
  • 25 grams unsalted butter or vegan alternative
  • 25 grams sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

Tools

  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon

Ratio

    1 part rice to 10 parts milk: if you have 250 ml of milk to use up, it's 25 grams of rice. 1 litre? 100 grams of rice.

      Instructions

      • Weigh the rice, place it in the sieve and rinse. Allow to drain.
      • Add the milk, rice, butter, sugar and salt to the pan. Turn the heat to medium, place the lid on and bring to the boil.
      • Milk can boil over VERY QUICKLY so don't walk away!
      • Once it is simmering, turn the heat down. Stir every 10 minutes of so until done - around 30 minutes.
      • Serve on its own or with jam

      Storage

      • If there is any leftover, then place in a lidded container in the fridge. You can mash any leftover rice pudding that no-one wants into bread dough or pancake batter.

      Leftover Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs

      Leftover Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs

      Leftover mushrooms

      90% of the mushrooms we eat in the world are good old button mushrooms. Cheap, easy to cultivate all year round, a nice little package. They’re the 3rd most chosen veg, after potatoes and tomatoes. So why, then, when I was at Wellness HQ in Tunbridge Wells (giving the first EVER StorrCupboard talk), did everyone tell me that leftover mushrooms were a problem?

      I think it’s because mushrooms are so easy but, because of their strong flavour and hard shape, we get used to thinking “mushrooms are only for breakfast” or “mushrooms go with steak”. So when I say to people “how about mushrooms on toast for lunch?” I often get an “ohhhhhh, yeah of COURSE” reaction. We have our habits that make life more simple. But sometimes those habits leave us blindsided and not seeing the ingredient sitting in front of us.

      This recipe is barely adapted from the latest Honey & Co cookbook. If you’ve not heard of the Honies but you like good food, then you’re in for a treat. Sarit and Itamar’s Palestinian and Israeli cooking is superb, their recipes a delight. I don’t know them but a few weeks ago I was having a coffee in the deli and saw them leaving with trays and boxes of food for some lucky customer. They are always hugging and the love they have for each other seems to come across in their food. These indulgent mushroom eggs are heavenly. Don’t miss out the cinnamon. It sounds odd if you’re not used to it but the warmth of the cinnamon is just lovely. And if you can afford a tenner on a lunch and you can get to Fitzrovia then good god do it. The cookies are to die for.

      Leftover mushrooms can be the springboard ingredient to a full-flavoured, incidentally vegetarian feast.

      Leftover mushrooms with scrambled eggs

      Adapted, barely, from 'Honey and Co at Home', p27
      Prep Time10 mins
      Cook Time20 mins
      Total Time30 mins
      Servings: 2 people

      Ingredients

      • 25 grams unsalted butter
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 large leek or a couple of shallots, or a few spring onions
      • 2 cloves garlic
      • around 250 grams mushrooms
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • pinch cinnamon
      • 1 small bundle fresh thyme twigs, tied together with string
      • 4 eggs
      • 50 grams Italian hard cheese
      • 50 ml cream or milk
      • freshly ground black pepper

      Tools

      • Knife and chopping board
      • Mixing bowl
      • Cheese grater
      • Large frying pan/wok
      • Measuring jug
      • Garlic crusher (optional)

      Instructions

      Prep

      • Slice the mushrooms into similar sized slices. Clean and halve the leek, and cut into 5mm-ish slices. If using spring onions, cut into rounds or if using shallots cut into dice. Crush the garlic with a little salt or a garlic crusher.
      • Measure the milk or cream. Add the eggs and cheese and a little seasoning. Whisk together and set to one side.

      Cooking

      • Turn the heat to about medium and add the oil and butter. Once the fats are foaming add the mushrooms, leek/onion and garlic, turn the heat to high and mix well. Next add the salt, pinch on cinnamon and thyme bundle and mix well. 
      • Season with plenty of black pepper. Stir off and on for about 10 minutes, until a lot of water has evaporated from the mushrooms. Once they are cooked through and wilted remove the thyme. 
      • If you're cooking for a crowd or in advance, then leave the mushrooms at this stage and only add the eggs when you are almost ready to eat.
      • When you are almost ready to eat, if you need to heat the pan back up, do it. If the pan is still warm, pour the egg/cream/cheese mixture into the mushrooms. Allow the eggs to set for a minute and then stir again.
      • Repeat this until the eggs are cooked to the set that you like (I'm on the dry end of the spectrum...)

      Storage

      • If you don't eat them all, store them in a lidded container for up to 5 days. Reheating isn't a great idea as they will go rubbery. Stir them through some rice or whack in a sandwich with plenty of sriracha.

      Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

      Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

      I love green beans but they are a problematic veggie. We’re so used to having them week in and out when, really, they need a lot of warmth to grow. We don’t have a lot of warmth in the UK. So, if you’re going to be buying a packet of green beans that have been flown in from Kenya, then for fuck’s sake do not waste a single one.

      This is a riff on a classic late-spring Italian recipe; green beans with pasta, potatoes and pesto. That’s it. It’s real cucina-di-povera. Yes it’s double carb but just, you know, don’t be greedy. If you can be bothered, cut the potatoes and beans so that they are a similar length to the pasta.

      If you have an errant salad pack or bag of baby leaf spinach sitting in your fridge, then make your own pesto! Okay it’s not a stunning jar of authentic basil/pine nut/parmesan pesto but, remember the roots of pesto: people making the most of what they have around them every day.

      A handful of green beans can be the inspiration behind tonight’s supper, and I hope you enjoy making sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

       

      Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

      Prep Time5 mins
      Cook Time30 mins
      Total Time35 mins
      Servings: 4

      Ingredients

      • leftover green beans
      • 200 grams short pasta, such as fusilli or penne you can use anything, it's just nice to have the food a similar size
      • 200 grams salad potatoes
      • few tablespoons pesto

      Tools

      • Scales
      • Slotted spoon/tongs
      • Knife & chopping board
      • Saucepan with lid
      • Colander/sieve
      • Spoon
      • Mixing bowl

      Instructions

      Optional: make the pesto using this recipe

      • Rinse the potatoes and place in the pan and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil
      • If your potatoes are lots of different sizes, or you just need to cook very quickly, you can cut them into smaller pieces.
      • Whilst the potatoes are cooking, cut the green beans to a similar length to the pasta.
      • Check for 'done-ness' - depending on the size they'll be ready in anything between 20 and 30 minutes.
      • When they are soft, remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon/tongs and place in the bowl. Do not drain the water. Stir pesto through the potatoes whilst warm.
      • Get the water boiling again and cook the pasta; check it 2 minutes before the packet suggests as sometimes they aren't quite accurate.
      • When the pasta is done, again remove with a slotted spoon and add to the pesto and potatoes.
      • Boil the beans in the potato pasta water. Remove when done, around 4 minutes.
      • Add more pesto if you wish (I like a lot) and serve.

      Storage

      • This will keep in a lidded container, in your fridge, for up to 5 days, although it'll be better within a day or two of cooking.

      Leftover Celery Salad

      Leftover Celery Salad

      Leftover celery salad

      Love it, hate it; celery is a backbone of many recipes because of its strong flavour. But if you’ve bought a head of celery for your Bolognese or Jambalaya, what to do with all the leftovers?

      If you really hate celery, you can slice and freeze it; this means one head will last you months, saving you money and food waste.

      For the celery lovers out there, this salad will make you v happy. A simple blue cheese dressing + green stuff + walnuts (toasted if you can be bothered) will plough through two sticks of celery per person. If you’d like to make a nod to a classic Waldorf salad, chuck in an eating apple, diced. Got some avocado that wants eating up? It would be perfect in this. It’s a nod to American chop salads and, really what got me into eating salads for lunch because I found that I was full and had energy for the afternoon ahead.

      Punchy and strong, this is what my 80s childhood iceburg, cucumber and tomato salads weren’t, and I hope you enjoy this.

      Leftover celery salad

      Chop up that peppery celery and mix it with other strong flavours to make the perfect, waste busting, light lunch
      Prep Time10 mins
      Cook Time5 mins
      Total Time15 mins
      Servings: 1
      Author: Ann Storr

      Ingredients

      • 2 stalks leftover celery ideally not too soft yet - if it is, you'll want to cook it up
      • 2 handfuls lettuce or salad leaves, washed and dried
      • 100 grams or so other stuff- I used cucumber, but chuck in any greens, avocado...
      • 50 grams walnut pieces you can use walnut halves but pieces are much cheaper

      Blue cheese dressing

      • 2 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
      • 50 grams blue cheese

      Tools

      • Baking tray
      • Scales (or you can eyeball, it is a salad)
      • Colander & salad spinner/clean tea towel
      • Chopping board
      • Knife
      • Mixing bowl
      • Whisk

      Instructions

      • Optional: Turn the oven to 180C and place the walnuts on a baking tray. Place in the warmed oven and toast for about 8 minutes, keeping a close eye on the time. Once toasted, remove from the oven place to one side.
      • If preferred/you're pushed for time, don't toast your nuts
      • Whisk the blue cheese and mayo together in a bowl. I like to leave some lumps as I like texture in a salad, you may prefer it smooth, up to you
      • Cut the celery up and mix with the veg. Mix the dressing into the veg and taste for seasoning, adding salt and black pepper to taste.
      • Add the walnuts and eat!