So many pumpkins, so little time. To eat them before they rot apart and stink my flat out.
After Pumpkin Palooza
it took me 6 days to do all the washing up,
and another 4 days to finish eating all the cooked leftovers. It's been just like Christmas!
I cooked up quite a few of my spare ingredients into a surprisingly unappetising
Tomato, Beans, Feta, Black Olive and Feta Bake
which I then froze. So I'll probably never
I managed to stuff a pumpkin
with most of the rest of the vegetables,
which just leaves a fridge-full of bloody marys, another dish of cooked borlotti beans, those bloody egg yolks and a score of pumpkins...
Does a dish really count as leftovers
if you have to buy more ingredients to make it?
Well, when answering the question what to do with almost a dozen leftover egg yolks?
I bought a pack of bacon and some leeks to make a quiche
so a partially leftover supper then.
I also came this
close to buying some pre-prepared shortcrust pastry from the local Fucking Supermarket™ too
but then I came to my senses. It takes about 5 minutes to make a batch of shortcrust pastry, people, and maybe 5 minutes to wash up,
plus you get to experiment with slightly different variations each time as part of your evolutionary strategy for developing that perfect crust.
(You do faithfully record all those failures along the way right?)
Look it's only a short step from ready-made shortcrust pastry to the
sellout madness of Delia
which can only end with the buying of bags of frozen mashed potatoes and tins of mince. So just don't.
In the interests of transparency, though, I should confess I've been known to buy ready-made puff pastry. And jars of mayonnaise.
Two weeks later and I've finally used up the last non-pumpkin leftover in a much
borlotti bean stew
Something along the lines of Mum's fabulous fasolia
but with bacon. And chorizo. And feta cheese.
Only 16 pumpkins to go...
Leftover Tomatoes, Borlotti Beans, Feta, Black Olives and Broccoli Bake
Not the best dish in the world I'm afraid - too many confused flavours, but there's some worthwhile ideas in here -
the beans, pork, tomato and Feta (surprisingly!) work well together, as do the broccoli, tomatoes, black olives and Feta.
Just not so much all together.
I just happened to have all the ingredients lying around and begging to be used up, so in they went.
I think you'd probably be better off picking one or the other, but anyhoo, for what it's worth here it is...
- leftover Bloody Tomatoes and their celery stalks, chopped
- leftover belly from fennel crackling, sliced
- leftover Serrano ham, cut into 1cm cubes
- leftover wine. Red is fine.
- 2 heads of broccoli which never made it into a side dish, separated into florets
- 1 cup dried, soaked borlotti beans which never made it into the pulled pork
- small bunch of parsley, sliced
- half dozen garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1-2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2-3 celery stalks, finely sliced
- a dozen or more black olives, stoned, halved
- 200g Feta cheese, cubed
Soak the beans overnight, then cook them until on the point of softening. Drain and set aside.
Cut up the leftover Bloody Tomatoes
and their innards, assuming you've kept them.
Boil up with any leftover wine and spare herbs until collapsing.
Strain, then reduce the liquid.
Roughly chop an onion or two and fry to soften in a little olive oil.
Finely slice a few stalks of celery and add to the pan.
Chop up leftover pork belly, Serrano ham, any other cooked meats and add to the pot. Continue to fry until the meat is glistening.
Add a half-dozen finely sliced garlic cloves and cook until the harsh aroma has gone.
Add the strained tomato sauce, a bunch of sliced parsley, the par-cooked beans and the broccoli.
Cook until the beans and broccoli start to soften, then pour into a casserole dish, mix in black olives,
scatter with cubed Feta cheese and bake for 10 minutes at Gas Mark 6 until the cheese becomes almost fluffy and browns a little at the edges.
The classic open pie with a custard and bacon filling
main snack meat
Makes 8 slices
I was quite tempted to make some of Dan Leppard's
pastry for the base,
but it looked like every bit as much effort as making real
puff pastry, and I'd only just managed to stop myself from buying ready-made shortcrust.
So I didn't.
I also had 10 egg yolks to use up (which was the whole reason for making this in the first place), so I replaced the suggested filling liquids below with
- 9 egg yolks
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 150ml single cream
- about 50ml milk
Incidentally, some feedback on the original recipe suggests that three eggs might be insufficient.
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 tsp water
- 200g pack bacon, unsmoked or smoked
- 50g Gruyère
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 200ml double cream
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- pinch ground nutmeg
For the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp cold water into a food processor.
Using the pulse button, process until the mix binds.
Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can.
Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base.
Trim the pastry edges with scissors (save any trimmings) so it sits slightly above the tin
(if it shrinks, it shouldn't now go below the level of the tin).
Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork ,
then chill for 10 mins.
Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Line pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot sheet for 15 mins.
Remove foil and beans and bake for 4-5 mins more until the pastry is pale golden.
If you notice any small holes or cracks, patch up with pastry trimmings.
You can make up to this point a day ahead.
While the pastry cooks, prepare the filling. Cut the bacon into reasonably generous lardons.
Heat a small frying pan, tip in the lardons and fry for a couple of mins.
Drain off any liquid that comes out, then continue cooking until the lardons just start to colour, but aren't crisp.
Remove and drain on paper towels.
Cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest.
Scatter the diced cheese and fried lardons over the bottom of the pastry case.
Using a spoon, beat the crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in the double cream.
Mix in the beaten eggs. Season (you shouldn't need much salt) and add nutmeg.
Pour three-quarters of the filling into the pastry case.
Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the flan tin on the baking sheet.
Quickly pour the rest of the filling into the pastry case - you get it right to the top this way.
Scatter the grated cheese over the top, then carefully push the shelf back into the oven.
Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 mins, or until golden and softly set (the centre should not feel too firm).
Let the quiche settle for 4-5 mins, then remove from the tin.
Serve freshly baked, although it's also good cold.
Leftover Tomato Sauce
sauce veg vegan
Firstly; I make no apologies for the anaemia of this tomato sauce - it's made from leftovers and uses tomato juice!.
Makes about 1 cup
Secondly; I think the celery is a mistake. Skip it.
- olive oil
- 1 leftover onion, finely chopped
- 2 leftover sticks celery, finely chopped
- 3 leftover cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ leftover glass white wine
- ½ leftover litre tomato juice
- 2 tblsps tomato puré
- leftover beef tomatoes
- leftover herbs: thyme, parsley, basil if you have any
- salt & pepper
Gently sweat the onion in the oil, then add the celery and cook until soft. Add tougher herbs .
Add the tomato purée and fry until oil separates, add the garlic and fry until the harsh aroma is gone, then deglaze with the wine.
Skin and de-seed your whole tomatoes, add the seeds and juice to the pot retaining the flesh.
Reduce the sauce, then add sufficient tomato juice to be able to blend it until smooth. Pass through a sieve if you can be bothered. Add the remaining tomato juice and leave to simmer.
Chop the tomato into 1cm cubes and slice any softer herbs you have .
Add to the sauce and simmer until thickened.
Season and serve
veg vegan side
Not as tasty as roast potatoes or roast parsnips - in that they go more soft than crispy, but it still works.
One small pumpkin will easily serve 4
They'll cook a bit quicker than roasties too, so put them after 15 minutes or on a lower shelf.
- whole pumpkin
- coriander seeds
- generous salt & pepper
- olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
Quarter or eighth the pumpkin, peel and de-seed it, and cut into decent chunks (about 2" pieces) and lay out in a roasting tin.
Crush your spices
with a little salt and pepper and sprinkle over the pumpkin.
Pour over a generous amount of olive oil and turn the pumpkin to make sure the pieces are all well coated.
Cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and caramelised; 30-45 minutes (depending on the oven temperature).
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
Baked pumpkin stuffed with whatever you like
This could be quite a centre-piece dish to be honest, and you could make it using either couscous or rice.
You could even adapt it to hosting a decent biryani
Would serve a dinner party
I just made it to use up some leftovers vegetables, not to mention a pumpkin.
One more down, 19 to go!
- sauce or stock
Cut the top off your pumpkin and scoop out the gubbins.
Scrape out some extra flesh, chop it up and put it to one side.
Fry some onion and then garlic, then any firmer vegetables that might need a bit of frying, deglaze the pan with wine or cider,
reduce then add reserved pumpkin flesh, any soft vegetables or fruit and sauce or stock to cover.
Simmer a little to get things going.
Meanwhile make up some rice - fry finely chopped onion until it caramelises, add the rice, salt and pepper and stir thoroughly.
Add twice the quantity of hot water or stock, grate in the peel of a lemon or two,
and simmer off excess water until the rice is dry and par-cooked.
Mix the rice with the vegetables, herbs and juice of the lemons, season generously and fill the pumpkin with the mixture.
Preheat the oven to Gas 5 (or 4 if it's a big pumpkin I guess) and bake the pumpkin with its lid on until it is soft but not burnt
- about 1½-2 hours. Cover with foil if it looks like the skin is cooking too quickly.
Make sure each serving gets a scraping of the pumpkin flesh.
Borlotti Beans and Feta Soup
A cup of dried beans would serve 4
Or is it a stew?
Stung by the failure of my
Tomato, Beans, Feta, Black Olive and Feta Bake
I decided to give the idea another shot sans
the tomato, black olives and the broccoli,
Though I think the first two ingredients might actually be alright left in there.
I threw together leftovers to get this, so you're own your own with the quantities, but use a around half the volume of celery as soaked beans.
Feel free to use any kind of dried bean you like.
- white wine
- par-cooked borlotti beans
- feta cheese
- lemon juice & olive oil
Slice the bacon about 1" wide and fry gently in a little olive oil until cooked off a little.
Slice the chorizo about 1cm and add to the bacon until it sweats.
Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Slice the celery about 1cm and toss in the fat until well coated and starting to wither a little,
deglaze with a glass of white wine, boil up and reduce a little then add the cooked beans.
Simmer gently until the celery and beans soften. Season
Add back the chorizo and bacon. Slice parsley thinly and add to the pot.
Cut the feta and mix gently into the pot (or just spread it on top).
Cover and simmer gently until the cheese starts to render slightly, then take off the heat.
Spoon into serving bowls, drizzle with lemon juice and pour around olive oil.
Baked Tomato Wrapped in Pastry Crust
A Tomato Wrap
veg vegan starter snack
An interesting idea that I've toyed with before
using bread dough.
It could make an entertaining side dish, or a starter.
You could call it a Tomato Wrap
I happened to have leftover shortcrust pastry that I used to wrap the leftover beef tomato
and some leftover beans and broccoli bake
with a drizzle of quiche
filling mix that I used as a stuffing.
You could use just about anything - though I do like a cheesy egg custard.
I'm also thinking of trying out more of a tomato sauce with an egg yolk floated in it.
- shortcrust pastry
- 1 tomato - beef works
- filling of your choice
Preheat the oven to Gas 5 (depending on tomato size).
Dunk the tomato briefly in boiling water
and peel it, then cut out the core and de-seed it. Refill with your chosen stuffing.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry and carefully wrap the tomato so as to cover completely. Seal at the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden. And hopefully the insides are cooked.
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