Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting creative

Earlier in this challenge, I managed to tick off quite a few pastry recipes by using them as required in other Edmonds recipes. With fewer to choose from now, it's not as easy to do it that way - I have to come up with my own uses for the remaining pastry recipes.

With this in mind, I decided to get a little creative last night and tidy up a few extraneous recipes. I figured I could make some mini quiche type things with a base of cheese pastry (p79), topped with sliced courgette and white sauce (p188).

To make the pastry, I sifted together flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper, rubbed in butter and stirred through cheese. I carefully measured most of these ingredients for a half recipe, but when it came to the cheese, I just grated some over the bowl. It's quite deceptive how much you're grating, and I definitely added too much.

Adding just enough milk to mix, I attempted to combine the crumbly mixture into a dough. It took a bit of kneading and about twice the suggested amount of milk, but that was probably the result of the additional cheese. Once I had the dough in a smooth-looking ball, I started rolling it out. It did not roll very easily, but eventually I had three tart dishes lined and a small amount of leftover pastry cut into strips to make cheese sticks.

While my pastry bases were baking blind, I prepared some cheesy stuffed tomatoes (p165) to eat with the quiches. I scooped out the innards of some tomatoes, and combined the flesh with chopped spring onion, soft breadcrumbs, basil, cheese and seasoning. This mixture I then spooned back into the tomato shells, ready for baking.

When the pastry had blind baked, I allowed it to cool slightly, then topped each pastry base with slices of courgette. Next, I made up a white sauce, combining flour with melted butter in a saucepan, and slowly adding milk. A bit of seasoning, and my white sauce was ready to pour over the courgette.

The tomatoes and mini quiches were in the oven for about 12 minutes. After I'd taken the tomatoes out, I stuck the quiches under the grill for a couple of minutes to brown the topping a bit. With a handful of green beans gathered from the garden and briefly steamed, my meal was ready.

My little quichey thingies were reasonably successful. The pastry was crisp and deliciously cheesy: you'd hardly believe that I hadn't put any cheese in the filling. The white sauce worked quite well to bond everything together, though I think I could have done with putting slightly less in. As for the tomatoes, they were nice too - the filling was a bit soggy, but very tasty.

So all in all, a good evening's work. A tasty meal; enough leftovers for today's lunch, and best of all, three more recipes ticked off the list!

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