Tag Archives: pastry

butternut squash, red pepper and feta quichelings

squash, pepper and onion quichelets

I had a party to go to last night, and wanted to make a contribution to the festive board. Looking at the ingredients in the fridge and freezer,  I settled on squash and red pepper filo parcels. There was no feta in the fridge, but no matter – I hurtled up to Jacksons to buy a block, to find that the normal budget one had been replaced with an oak-aged one, at over twice the price. Still, time beggars can’t be choosers, so I paid me money.

The squash went in the medium slow cooker for about 5 hours, with a heaped teaspoon of Ras el Hanout, and about half a glass of white wine. A brace of slightly wizened peppers (one red, one yellow), were sliced thinly, together with an onion similarly sliced, and placed in the baby slow cooker for about three hours. I added some olive oil and cumin seeds to these. The filo pastry was removed from the freezer.

At about 5.30, I descended to the frozen wastes of the kitchen to make the things; I mixed the ingredients together, with about half the block of the fairy dust feta cheese, diced into small cubes. I oiled a baking tray, opened the filo, and started. And darlings – a disaster. The pastry had been in the freezer a fair while (understatement), and had completely dried out. Pete hurtled back to Jacksons, but filo had they none. Indeed, ready made shortcrust had they none. By now it was 5.50 – scream.

So into the food processor went 8 oz plain white flour, a good pinch of salt, 2.5oz of baking marg and 1.5oz of Trex (I really do recommend Trex for pastry, it makes a lovely short crumb). Added a tiny dribble of cold water, then summoned Pete to roll it out. as he is much better than I at such things. In the meantime, I beat a couple of eggs and stirred them into the squash mixture, along with some black pepper.

Into the oven (preheated to 180C fan) went about 20 baby quiche, and we watched them with some trepidation. They had about 20 minutes, so I even got time to cool them a bit before our lift arrived. And readers – they were gorgeousI shall make them, or something similar, again.

Although they weren’t the filo parcels I was hoping for …

 

leek, spinach and goat cheese flan

leek, spinach and goat's cheese tart
Two fat leeks, a bit wrinkled, looked accusingly at me every time I opened the fridge. There was also about 1/4 of a bag spinach left, and some rather elderly eggs.

I trimmed and washed the leeks, and sliced them up, then sauted slowly in olive oil and butter; threw in some fresh thyme part way through. I was going to do some garlic, but I forgot! I shredded some spinach, and when the leeks were softened, I hurled in the spinach and turned the heat off.

Made some pastry with 6oz of wholewheat flour, 2oz of Trex, and 1oz of margarine, rolled it out and lined a rectangular flan tin (such a useful thing – much easier for serving than a round one). I beat three eggs with a dash of milk and some seasoning (I’d normally use cream, but we didn’t have any in). Poured the veg mix into the pastry case, then poured the egg mix on top.

Then, with what I will describe as a flash of genius, I crumbled half a pack of goat’s cheese that was lurking at the back of the fridge and sprinkled it on the top. Into the oven for about 25 minute at 200 in a fan oven. It really was lovely.

chicken pie

There’s always some scratty chicken left after a roast … so today I have fashioned a Pie.

Made a pastry with 9oz wholemeal flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 4oz of Trex and some water. That’s now in the fridge, chilling (man).

Then chopped a leek into slices, 2 carrots into small dice, and 2 cloves of garlic finely (Pete did garlic and carrot). Fried that lot off with a rasher of bacon that needed using up. In went some finely chopped sage from the garden too, then I put a lid on the pan and left it to cook for ten minutes. Then added a couple of spoons full of wholemeal flour (we always use wholemeal these days) and a teaspoon of grain mustard and stirred it all around.

Then added milk bit by bit till the consistency was right, lobbed in the chicken (all shredded up), seasoned it, and left it. I shall marry pastry and filling later, and bake at gas 5 for about 35 minutes.

This will be followed by rhubarb with an oaty crumble topping, which I know is bad, but Pete brought some home yesterday – what can I do?