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.

(Learning to love) not keen on ricotta

(Learning to love) not keen on ricotta

Three weeks ago I had a leftover milk glut.  I made lots of things, including paneer and ricotta.  The paneer went into a pea and paneer curry (which I’ll post another time … so many recipes from one milk mistake!).  So, leftover milk lead to me having a dish of home-made ricotta. But, as I confessed last week, I don’t really like ricotta.  Ha!

I know that we can learn to tolerate, like or love many different foods.  What we like is informed by where we’re from, the rules we grow up with, what our friends and family do and don’t like.  And, it’s also a way of explaining who we are to the world – if you eat meat, you don’t eat sugar, you’re plant based or a foodie or a McDonalds lover.

(Interested in learning more?  Read Bee Wilson’s First Bite, it’s fascinating.  Or just this essay – in 1989, a lawyer called Jeffrey Steingarten was approached by Anna Wintour to be American Vogue’s food writer.  He said yes, obvs.  Quite the career change.  Having agreed to take the job, he realised there were many foods and flavours he loathed – clams!  dill (yep, foul stuff TBH)! lard!  He taught himself to like these foods.  Yes he’s unnecessarily rude about Greek food – skip that nonsense and work onwards to how he overturned his tastes and found it much more exciting to eat, especially in restaurants, because he now liked everything on a menu and everything was up for grabs. Hoorah!).

So I took my own, small, ricotta based challenge, sought the help of my lovely Insta helpers and got on it. I did have spinach and ricotta cannelloni, courtesy of Dad Storr.  I can report that I’m Still Not Keen on cooked ricotta, sorry dad (though thank you for lunch).  So I made some more ricotta to further experiment.

Molly Wizenburg’s second book, ‘Delancey’, is where I first learned about making ricotta (though I used Victoria Glass’s recipe).  So, I returned and took some breakfast inspo from Molly.  She writes about smearing fresh ricotta onto hearty toast and adding fruit compote or freshly roasted fruit.  I have no fruit compote and it’s a terrible time of year for fruit, so I went for some heaped teaspoons of my dad’s raspberry jam.  MUCH BETTER, and my dad makes fucking amazing jam.  The sharp jam with the sweetish cheese was just lovely and would be an ace breakfast.

Verdict: good!  I learnt that ricotta is just basically cream cheese, and I like creamy things.  Kinda simple, very quick, and very nice indeed.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Leftover milk) ricotta

(Leftover milk) ricotta

The fresh milk-using-up-debacle continued with the fresh hell that is a ball of ricotta.

Last June, I was at a food event, chattering away over good wine and amazing nibbles (the struggle is real, I know).  Mid-convo, someone tapped me on the shoulder “We went to school together” – “No we didn’t” I replied without even thinking. I’m a real charmer.  I have a familiar face, so I’m often asked if I was at another party (sadly not), if I was at another event (possibly). She persisted – “I was – the year above you” “What, did you go to St Greg’s” I rolled me eyes “YES!” and low, dear readers, I was mortified. The most Marvellous Victoria Glass wrote a food waste book last year; quite why 2 food waste writers went to the school I don’t know.  We did do home ec (as it was then), but it was hardly the hotbed of food education.

When I put out my plea, Victoria suggested rictotta from her book, ‘Too Good to Waste’.  It’s too hard!  I worried “Piece of piss” she said – and she was right!

The ricotta is a doddle to make – but now I have to think of ways to cook it.  Because I made it.  And I, weirdly, don’t love it. But I know I’m in the minority here.  And I’m determined to overcome this one.  I don’t *have* to, but I’ve found a love of olives, stronger cheeses and spicey curries through determination and, really, I just want to be able to be more greedy.

Note: you can only make ricotta if you have whole milk; there isn’t enough fat in other milks.  Preachy time – I try to buy food in its least fucked around with form.  That is, of course, a fairly impossible branding standard to explain.  So I buy cheese not sliced or grated cheese; whole milk which I can water down if I need to; tins of tomatoes rather than a jar of sauce.  After years of skintness I know that I saved money because sour milk can mean soda bread, but a jar of mouldy sauce just has to go in the bin.  So, can I tempt you to buy whole milk? And go nuts and stretch to organic unhomogenised if you can.  Not everyone can.  Money is tight.  If you can, just try it.

I think it’s the idea of cheese and pudding.   So next week, you will have three ideas for using your leftover ricotta.  You’re

(Leftover milk) ricotta
From ‘Too Good to Waste’ by Victoria Glass

Ingredients

1 litre whole milk (it has to be whole milk!)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
60 ml white wine/distilled malt vinegar

Tools

Saucepan
Thermometer
Wooden spoon
Slotten spoon
Fine mesh sieve
Bowl
Cooking muslin
Lidded container for storage

Time

About an hour and a half (though an hour is leaving cheese to drain)

Method

Pour the milk into a good sized saucepan and heat until it reaches 93 C/200 F, just before it boils
Stir in the vinegar and take the pan off the heat
Leave to stand for 15 minutes

Line the sieve/fine mesh strainer with 2 layers of muslin/cheesecloth and set over the bowl
Using your slotted spoon, collect the curds that have formed and transfer them to the sieve
Leave to drain for an hour
After the hour is up, tie the muslin and squeeze out the remaining liquid
Leave for around another 30 minutes to drain again
Place in lidded container until ready to serve

Storage/further meals

When ready to serve, peel off the muslin
Ricotta will last for up to week in the fridge

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Leftover milk) cheese sauce extravaganza

(Leftover milk) cheese sauce extravaganza

During my fridge full of milk conundrum, lots of people suggested a cheese sauce freezing for another day.

So I thought: I’ll let you know why MY mum’s cheese/white sauce is the best.  You’re WELCOME.

My mum taught me to gently heat the milk with a bay leaf, seasoning and nutmeg, and leave it to stand for a few hours.  I go a little further and add a leek stalk (if I have it, or some onion ends or half an onion), a parmesan rind (if I have it – it means I need less cheese in the final sauce), and maybe some parsley – preferably just the stalks.  Don’t let the milk boil.  And then leave the milk to stand for anything from 5 minutes to overnight – take the onion/leek out after an half an hour though, else the flavour will dominate.

If, when you go to make your white/cheese sauce, you don’t need all the milk, just freeze it and label it “seasoned milk”.  So you don’t put it in your tea.

Once you’ve tried seasoning your milk you won’t go back…

Now this cauliflower cheese is how my mum made it, to feed a family of 6 a few days before payday.  A ring of mashed potato because cheese sauce and mash are heavenly; plus it was cheap as chips.  The plum tomatoes in the middle are beloved by my dad.  As a kid I didn’t get it at all, but the sharp tang and thin sauce just work.  Don’t fight it.

So make your cheese sauce, and if you like, make your cauliflower cheese and freeze it for a skint January evening.

(Note – my mum made this for 6, but I’ve given quantities for 4, as not many people are mad enough to have a family of 6 these days)

(Leftover milk) cauli cheese

Serves 4, heartily

Ingredients

For the mashed potato:

700 grams floury potatoes such as white/red/King Edwards/Maris pipers
50 grams unsalted butter
50 ml milk

For the cheese sauce

500 ml milk
Aromatics – all optional but all lovely: freshly ground nutmeg, parsley stalks, leek tops/half an onion, parmesan rind
Salt & pepper
50 grams unsalted butter
90 grams plain flour
Around 100 grams strong cheese – whatever you like, including cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese, even emmental, gouda – this is a great way to clear the fridge
1 teaspoon mustard

Optional: 1 tin whole plum tomatoes

Tools

Colander
Saucepan with lid
Optional: pan and steamer
Saucepan
Balloon whisk
Scales
Serving bowl
Heatproof jug
Ovenproof dish

Time

About  an hour and a quarter (though around 35 minutes of that is the baking time)

Prep

Place the milk in a saucepan with any aromatics
Gently heat until about blood temperature and then leave for at least 5 minutes or up to a day
Remove any onion flavourings after half an hour

Method

Turn the oven to 180C

Make the mash

Steam or boil your potatoes with plenty of salt
Once they are cooked through, mash with plenty of butter
Only add enough milk to make the mash the right consistency for you; you can use more if you like
If you have a potato ricer or mouli, this is the time to break it out – you want a really creamy mashed potato.  No lumps thanks.

Make white sauce

Strain any aromatics from your milk
Place a saucepan on the hob and melt the butter
Add the flour and, using the balloon whisk or a fork, mix the flour in
Splash in about 50ml of the milk and make a thick paste
Keep on adding around 50ml of milk, whisking until all the flour/butter mixture is combined
Bring gently to the boil and, once it’s popping gently, turn the heat down and stir occasionally for 5 minutes
Add in the cheese/cheeses and mustard (if using)

Steam the cauliflower for about 15 minutes, so that it’s not fully raw

Mix the half-cooked cauli and cheese sauce together

Assemble the dish

Squash the mash around the edge of your oven-proof dish
Next, pour in the cauliflower cheese
If using the tomatoes, make a well in the middle and pour in
Cover with a thin layer of grated cheese

NOTE – if freezing the whole dish, leave it to cool, cover, label then freeze

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked through

Storage/further meals

If you’re not planning to eat this dish within 3 days I’d play it safe and pop it in the freezer

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Forgot to cancel) freezing milk

(Forgot to cancel) freezing milk

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I had a few problems with milk over the Christmas period.

Over autumn, I moved to glass milk bottle milk deliveries, in a bid to cut  down on my single-use plastic.  I love having the glass bottles and teaching my kids how to just push the foil lid just so.  As much as I enjoy the chink of the glass bottles, the online system for reminders is hopeless; by that I mean it doesn’t exist.  So, Christmas comes, the hot chocolate loving milk guzzling kids left and I had 12 pints of milk to get through.  And they were starting to go off.

First off I grabbed a sharpie and labelled which day the bottles had come on; this way I knew which bottles to prioritise.  And then I hit insta.

Freezing milk used to be a weekly activity for me, as I’d get it delivered with my veg box.  But, thanks to insta user Sarah Leigh Mitchell, I learnt that you *can* freeze in glass – you just need to shake up the milk beforehand, empty a little to leave room for expansion and bob’s your uncle.

I was a little unsure of freezing a bottle that might (hopefully) have been washed and used hundreds of times, but you can always pour into a plastic bottle.

If, like me, you buy whole milk, then KUDOS BECAUSE IT’S DELICIOUS and gives you more leeway in terms of using it up (you cannot use semi skimmed or skimmed milk to make cheese etc).  Also, be warned that it can go a strange shade of yellow when you freeze it.  This is because the fat slightly separates.  There’s nothing wrong with the milk at all, don’t panic!

To defrost your milk, simply take it out of the fridge a day or so before you think you’ll want to use it.  If the plastic milk bottle is still sealed, then you can float it in a bowl/sink of cold water to speed up the defrosting.  Then use as normal.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

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