(Too much) feta quiche

(Too much) feta quiche

Here’s another food that I used to find a bit gross.  Quiche.

For the leftover lover, though, quiche is brilliant.  Buy a base, buy some shortcrust pastry or make your own, it’s up to you,  Fill that pastry with egg, cream/creme fraiche and lots of cheese.  And then, your veg.

In this quiche, I used handfuls of greens, because I had them.  Frozen spinach, jars of roasted peppers and/or tomatoes would be great here, too.  One big quiche and you’ve got lunches sorted for days.

Feta and greens quiche

Serves 4, heartily

Ingredients

Either:

1 shop bought pastry case
OR:
1 packet short-crust pastry + flour for dusting

OR:

50g cold butter/25g each butter & lard
110g plain flour + more for dusting
Pinch of salt
Cold water
Little butter/oil for greasing paper

Filling:

1 or 2 onions
50g butter/50ml oil
Around 200g cooked greens * or 300g raw
Around half a packet of feta
3 eggs
Salt & pepper
Optional: fresh nutmeg, bay leaf

*spinach, baby spinach, rocket, kale or a weird mixture (what I tend to have)

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Saucepan
Scraper/spatula
Teaspoon
24cm pie or shallow cake tin
Greaseproof paper
Baking beans/dried beans
Rolling pin
Frying pan
Grater for nutmeg
Sieve
Fork
Scissors
Whisk
Pastry brush
Wire rack

Time

20m if making pastry
30m prepping and cooking veg
1 hour to bake and soften onions

Level

Harder, and quite involved

Prep

If making pastry:

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter/butter & lard

Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of fat remaining

Sprinkle over 2 teaspoons of water & stir in with a regular knife or your hands. If this isn’t enough to bring the pastry together in a ball, add a little more and try again

And again if needed!

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 20-30 minutes

Alternatively: use a food processor.  Put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour.

With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm as before and chill for 20-30 minutes

Prep quiche filling

Slice onions & set aside

If greens are raw, cook them gently in a pan with some water for about 5-10 minutes (it depends on the greens: baby spinach will be quicker than kale), or just a minute or 2 in a microwave

If you have time, pour the cream into a saucepan and add the onion leftovers, salt & pepper, nutmeg and bay leaf (if using).  Turn the heat to medium, stir once or twice, and turn off after 5 minutes

Cut a length of greaseproof paper that is wide enough to line the inside of your tin

Method

Place frying pan on heat and add butter/oil.  Turn the heat to medium and add the onions

Turn the oven to 200C

Take pastry from the fridge; dust your counter with a sprinkling of flour

Place the pastry in the middle and start rolling it out: go backwards and forwards a few times then turn the pastry 45 degrees and repeat

Do this until your pastry is about 2mm thick

CHECK ON YOUR ONIONS, don’t let those fuckers burn; turn down the heat if you need to.  You want them squidy, sweet and brown, and that takes time (around 30 minutes)

Bring your tart tin *close* to the pastry

Wiggle the pastry; if it feels as though it’s a bit stuck, take a spatula and wiggle it under to break the pastry free.  Don’t worry if there are little gaps, you can patch them up later

Take the rolling pin and wiggle the pastry on, and then place the pastry onto the tin

*GENTLY* push the pastry down into the tin, right into the corners

If you have any holes, take a little pastry from the sides of the case and just patch it up

Take a fork & prick the pastry around 15 times

Take your greasproof paper and paint it with the butter/oil (use your fingers if you don’t have a pastry brush)

Place the paper greased side down onto the pastry

Pour in the baking beans/dried beans

Bake for around 20m, or until the sides of the pastry are golden brown

While the pastry bakes, take the cream and, if you’ve been letting it sit with the onion
etc, sieve it into a large bowl

Crack the eggs into the cream and beat until mixed in

Stir in the cooked onions, the cooked greens and crumbled feta

As soon as the pastry is cooked, remove it from the oven. Turn the heat to 180C

Pour the egg/veg mixture in

Return to the cooled oven for 35 minutes

After 35 minutes the egg should be set; the very middle will feel firm

Leave for at least 10 minutes and serve alone or with a salad

Storage

If you have any leftover, leave to cool completely and then place in the fridge

It should keep for 5 days; a little worried?  First give it a sniff.  Still not convinced?  Nibble a little of the egg.  You will know, very quickly, if the quiche has gone off.

If you want to reheat DO NOT microwave because the pastry will go gross; place in a warm oven for 10m, but that is a lotta electricity for a slice of warm quiche

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Feta Rag Pie

Feta Rag Pie

I have not always been an adventurous eater.  At all.  And honestly I still struggle.  My first instinct is, mostly “ergh oh god no” because what if I don’t like it and then I have something gross in my mouth and have to spit it out and people are watching?!  WHAT IF!! And I know that our tastes can change, partially because I love to read about food and used to work in psychology.  But also because I have changed my tastes in my adulthood.

So when I was looking around for recipes that use feta, well, this *blew* my tiny mind. It’s in Nigella’s most recent but 1, I think – with the perfect pink cover.

Feta.

For pudding.

With honey.

So if your feta is a bit old but not *too* old, it’s perfect. It’s great for lunchboxes and picnics, too.

I cooked it.  I put it on the plate.  In the kitchen, alone, with the other 2 feta recipes on the table.  I side-eyed the door.  I sniffed it.

Crunchy pastry.  A slight saltiness and lovely sweetness from the honey.  I finished this dish, and I think you’ll finish yours (and that half packet of feta), too.

Rag Pie

Ann Storr
Barely adapted from Nigella Lawson, 'Feast'
Course Dessert
Cuisine greek
Servings 3

Equipment

  • small square tin/baking tray
  • grater
  • bread knife
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients
  

  • 25 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 75 grams frozen filo pastry thawed
  • 65 grams feta cheese around: more or less is fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated parmesan/any Italian style hard cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon leaves fresh thyme or 1 pinch dried
  • 1 medium egg
  • 35 millilitres full fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey such as Greek thyme honey or orange blossom honey if possible, plus more to serve

Instructions
 

  • METHOD
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then take it off the heat. Crumble the feta, grate the hard cheese
  • Line the tin with a layer of filo, making sure it comes up the sides, then pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the pastry.
  • Using one third of the remaining filo sheets, tear and scrunch the sheets up and drop them into the pan, and top with half of the crumbled feta, a teaspoon of hard cheese, a pinch of thyme and pour over a third of the remaining melted butter.
  • Repeat, so that you use up all but a little of the butter and a small amount of thyme. For the last layer, use larger pieces of filo “rags” (as it’s the lid), filling the pan a little more tightly, but still scrunching them.
  • Fold the edges of overhanging filo over themselves, and pour the remaining butter on top. Using the sharp point of your knife, make 2-3 cuts width ways/cross section across the pie from edge to edge. It’s important that you don’t use a blunt knife, as you don’t want to drag the filo or press down on it.
  • Beat the egg with the milk, then pour over the contents of the tin. Sprinkle the last bit of thyme along with the sesame seeds on top. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes in a cool place before baking. If 2 hours is easier for your timetable, then put it in the fridge. And you can do this in advance.
  • Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400°F, and bake the pie for 30 minutes. When it’s ready, the pastry will be golden and puffed up, and the inside set.
  • Let it stand for 10 minutes, then spoon 1 tablespoon of the runny honey over the top.
  • Cut into slices or slabs – using a serrated bread knife and sawing action to prevent squishing the filo on top too much, then pushing the knife down to cut through. Serve the pie directly from the tin and put the jar of runny honey, with a spoon in it (or you can pour it into a jug) on the table for people to add extra as they eat.
Keyword feata cheese, feta, filo pastry, flio, honey, parmesan, sesame, thyme

(Too much) feta with tomato sauce

(Too much) feta with tomato sauce

Feta is the leftover that set StorrCupboard in motion.  I was sitting at my workspace and thinking – why do I often end up staring at half a packet of feta and looking at that red mould that’s grown on the sides of the packet? (I think about food most of the time…)

 

And I thought: I am quite good with leftovers.  My friends tell me so, but to me it’s just how I cook.   Can I show how cheese, or some apples, or soggy pasta, that have gone a bit grungy and grim – can be amazing?  And why do I struggle with feta?!

 

 

Salty, lovely but so strong that it dominates.  At anything from 80p – £2.50 for a packet, it’s a lot of money to waste.

 

Cow and goat dairy production also uses a shit-tonne of resources, from feeding the animals through processing the cheese and getting it moved around the UK or even from Greece to get to your fridge.  So don’t fucking chuck it, let’s get creative.

 

Your leftover feta will keep better in a container, as little airborne spores can’t get it.  Also, the cheese will not dry out so quickly.  I use small lock and lock style containers because they are strong and don’t flip open when they fall out of the fridge.  Ahem.  Now your feta is stored carefully, you’ve got a good few days.  Before you even look at that bin, look at it:

Does it look okay?  Yes?

Sniff it?  Does it smell the same? Yes?  Then it’s fine.

Maybe a tiny bit stronger?  Fine.

Still unsure? Break off a tiny crumb and taste it.  Fine? Eat it!

Gross?  Chuck it.

If your feta is still okay, here’s a great, simple recipe.  Warm tomato sauce + crumbled feta + toasted pitta breads for dipping = fucking lovely and super simple.  Kids and adults will love it as the feta goes a little soft, but the sweet and tangy tomato sauce is the perfect pairing with the feta.

Warm feta and tomato sauce

Serves 2-4
Barely adapted from Rose Prince, ‘Kitchenella’, p128

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 400g whole tinned tomatoes
2 pinches dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Leftover feta (up to 1 whole packet)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
black pepper

To serve: pitta breads, toasted and dipped.
or flatbreads, or plain tortilla chips

Tools

Frying pan
Lid for frying pan
Wooden spoon
Bowl
Measuring spoons/teaspoon
Chopping board and knife (if cutting up pitta bread)

Toaster

Time

10m prep
20m cooking

Level

Simple

Prep

Empty the tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands

Method

Heat the oil until it is *just* beginning to smoke
Pour the tomatoes quickly and place the lid on immediately
LISTEN; as soon as the sizzling dies down, take the lid off
Add oregano & coriander
Simmer for 10 minutes (Simmering: not quite boiling, just how you want a tin of soup to heat)
When the 10 minutes are up, start toasting your pitta breads/warming wraps
Add the feta to the pan and stir gently
When the cheese begins to melt remove from the heat and crack black pepper all over

Serve with bread/tortilla chips

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Not terrifying) leftover rice stir-fry

(Not terrifying) leftover rice stir-fry

There are a whole lotta rubbish about the PERILS OF LEFTOVER RICE!  YOU MIGHT DIE BECAUSE OF A LEFTOVER BIRYANI.  I’m going to stick my neck out and say – millions and probably billions of people all over the world eat leftover rice every day.  White people prob are just less used to how to safely store rice and fear it – “It’s so hard to cook!”, “It’s dangerous”. As with any food it’s not dangerous if you know what to do with it.

 

Rice is one of the foods that has massively increased in price over the past 10 years.  I remember my feelings of dread as I stood in the supermarket and wishing I could bulk buy one of those sacks but I couldn’t afford it and certainly didn’t have the space, either.

 

I buy a mixture of rices; these recipes were trialled with long grain because it is cheaper than Basmati, but Basmati would work, too. White or brown, too.

Note: Rice *can* harbour spores of a bacterium called Bacillus cereus. So a little care is needed.

As soon as you know what rice will be left over, spread it out on a baking tray.  This lets the rice cool down quickly which is important for food safety.  As soon as it’s room temperature store the rice in a lidded container – an old takeaway tub, an old jam jar or tupperware.

Eat within a couple of days.  Give it a sniff, taste a grain – what do you think?  Trust your judgement! If you are pregnant or have a suppressed immune system go with greater care

Fried rice is a wonderful, brilliant friend of the hungover at breakfast or a quick supper. If you can afford sesami oil, do it!  The nutty flavour is *delicious*.

The other bonus about fried rice is its fridge clearing capacity; got 1/4 of a broccoli? Chuck it in.  Handful of baby spinach?  Leftover bacon rasher? In. It. Goes. And if you’re having it for supper, of course: put an egg on top.

(Not terrifying) stir fry with leftover rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

Ingredients

60ml sesami oil
1 onion/bunch salad onions/1 leek
2 cloves garlic
400g leftover rice
1 inch grated ginger
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce/Tamari
Handful of leftover green veg: broccoli, peas, green beans, spinach
Optional: 125g bacon/chicken/halloumi/nuts
To serve: 4 eggs

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls
Knife
Chopping board
Grater
Wok/large frying pan
Smaller pan for frying eggs

Time

20 mins prep
10-15 mins cook

Level

Simple steps but you need to pay full attention – no soggy stir fry veg, ta

Prep

Finely slice your onion/leek
Crush or mince garlic
Grate ginger
Chop your bacon/chicken/halloumi into small pieces
If your meat is raw, cook it in the wok/frying pan in a little oil until crispy
If using veg, cook lightly – steam for a couple of minutes in a pan or about 1 minute in the microwave

Method

Pour in a third of the sesame oil into the wok/frying pan and turn the heat to medium
Add onions and cook for a few minutes, until you can smell their sweetness
Add garlic and keep stirring so that it doesn’t catch
Turn the heat down and add the rest of the oil, the ginger, veg (if using), meat/cheese/nuts (if using), rice and soy sauce/tamari
If you are confident and juggling two hot pans, start frying your eggs now.  If not, wait!
Stir so that everything is covered with the soy sauce and oil
If you have waited to fry your eggs, take your fried rice off the heat and set aside
Now fry your eggs!
Put a quarter of the fried rice on a plate/in a bowl and top with an egg

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Why do I always have leftover) cream of tomato soup

(Why do I always have leftover) cream of tomato soup

I love Heinz cream of tomato soup.  You love Heinz cream of tomato soup.  This isn’t anything like Heinz, it’s just different: it’s a bit chunky, it’s creamy and sweet and really filling.  You can peel the tomatoes if you like, and it will make for a smoother soup, but I don’t mind a little texture/am lazy. I add a few chilli flakes, for fruitiness and spice.

Have this at home, have this at work and enjoy the flavour of a fresh tomato soup.

Chunky cream of tomato soup

Serves 2 for a filling lunch/4 small people

Ingredients

15g butter/1 tablespoon oil
1 onion
300g over-ripe tomatoes/1 tin whole plum tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon tomato puree
around 100g double/whipped cream
*1 teaspoon fresh/half a teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Salt & pepper

To serve

Chilli flakes (optional)
* so, about a 5cm stalk, leaves picked

Essential

Scales
Chopping board
Saucepan
Measuring jug
Sharp knife
Saucepan
Teaspoon
Immersion blender

Helpful

Measuring teaspoons

Time

10m prep
30m to cook

Level

Easy

 

Prep

Dice the onion
Chop the tomatoes into big pieces
If using fresh oregano, pick the leaves off the stalk

Method

Heat the oil in the saucepan
When warm, add the onion
Cook gently for about 10m. You want the onion to be see through and soft so it breaks easily when squashed with the back of a wooden spoon but NOT BROWNED!
Only when the onion is soft, add the tomatoes and tomato puree
Season and add tomato puree, oregano and sugar (if using)
If you have vine-ripened toms, pop the stalks into the pan. They have flavour, too!
Place lid on and turn the heat down so that it’s simmering/gently boiling rather than going too fast
After 20 minutes give it a good stir and smoosh any chunky bits with your spoon
Remove the tomato vines (if you added them)
Blend with your immersion blender! Keep going until it’s smooth-ish
You may have a few bits of skin; you can sieve it if you like…
Bring to the boil and serve, with a few chilli flakes

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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