17 Jan2011

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The holidays may be over, the overeating remorse in full swing, and the fridge filled with odds and ends from a month long period of cooking, baking and eating. Now is the time for some classic post-holiday kitchen/pantry “mop-up” operations. And believe it or not, you can make good use of most leftovers if you just get a little creative and are willing to think out of the box… In the next few days I will be featuring dishes made from “leftovers” and I hope you will take some inspiration from the concoctions so you see your leftovers in a new and interesting light… Besides clearing out leftover perishables, I also go through the pantry every couple of months to make sure none of our ingredients are near their expiry dates… so yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen baking…made one double batch of simple pie dough (used up flour, butter and crisco), and used the dough to make three different recipes. First up, a simple quiche with ham, herbs and cheese…

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There are lots of recipes for quiche out there, and I won’t re-invent the wheel on this one. I used Michel Roux’s quiche recipe as a guide, but since I was throwing in whatever made sense, let’s just say I was “winging it”. Into the egg and cream mixture went diced leftover ham, some grated manchego and some cheddar as well. I added some fresh thyme leaves, whisked this for a few seconds and placed the mixture in a slightly pre-baked pie shell and stuck it in an oven for 30-40 minutes until done. About 10 minutes before removing it from the oven, I sprinkled the top of the quiche with a few more ham bits and grated cheese. The results? Very good. And this keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. Makes for a hearty high protein lunch and paired with a soup or salad or both, a relatively healthy one at that. Of course the pie crust is somewhat high in fat, but you don’t really eat much of that…

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A homemade quiche is really easy to make, and will provide up to 8 good servings for very little effort and time in the kitchen. You can add vegetables to the egg/cream mixture, all kinds of meats and lots of different cheeses as well. It also packs up nicely so you can take it to the office for an easy and economical lunch. In the weeks ahead I will be trying to reduce my caloric intake a bit to make up for the holiday excess, and a quiche/salad/soup lunch is a great way to do that.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Gej says:

    What a great idea. And timely indeed considering it’s just been a few weeks since the holidays and refs are still crowded with leftover food.

    In my case it’s doubly helpful, since I also have unsold fresh produce, and excess production sometimes- it would be a sorry waste if I don’t use them. Better do the Momofuku pickles, among others!

    Come to think of it, dishes that have become “National ” dishes seem to have originated from creative and practical use of left-overs. Sinigang I would suppose was basically a way to use left-over ingredients as well as an idle hold-over from the back-yard garden? This might already be common knowledge , but maybe, even the relatively recent “sisg” was probably thought of to make use of left-overs from the head of the lechon, ano?

    MM, you could probably name dozens of other examples on reflex. Friends in this growing Market Manila community most probably also know of many other examples of classic dishes, local and foreign, that were borne of the practical need to make use of left-overs.

    Jan 17, 2011 | 2:19 pm

     
  2. marosee says:

    hi mm!

    been thinking about making quiche since i ate the best one i tried a week ago. do you have tips on how to make it fluffy? the ones i’ve eaten here seem too dense or is it just that they’re overcooked?

    also, would your recipe for best pie crust in your apple pie post be suitable? i’ve always had a fear of making crusts that i was even thinking of making a crustless quiche.. but then that would be more like a frittata.

    Jan 17, 2011 | 2:38 pm

     
  3. millet says:

    gej, my default “fridge cleaners” would be soups, omelets or turnovers. in my household, it is easy to smother everything in a cheese or bechamel sauce and serve is as a gratin, or over some pasta. the family never knows the origin of the species ;-)

    Jan 17, 2011 | 4:54 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Gej, for meats, all kinds of “hashes” with potatoes, bacon, veggies. Or cold thinly sliced meats for sandwiches with gravy. For veggies, definitely soups or into stews. I understand there are some lettuce soups that are quite nice but I haven’t tried one. Egss are a great way to recycle things… leftover salmon omelettes, same for crabs, shrimp and other seafood. Into croquettas for leftover fish, meat etc. For chicken, into salads, sandwiches etc., using carcasses for stocks as well. Leftover pastas and even risottos can be fried believe it or not. Old bread made into breadcrumbs or added as thickeners to soups and sauces. I think the best dishes are those that are brilliant to begin with and for which many recycled uses are possible… :) marosee, pie crust will work reasonably well in a quiche… I used it out of convenience. To make a great crust, have all the ingredients super cold (except the butter that has to be a little warmer at say 60-65F so it mixes into the flour easier. And do the crust quickly without hesitation and overworking the dough too much. If you put too much water, the crust will get “gummy.” If you want the quiche fluffy, whip the eggs more and also use some good cream… I haven’t made too many quiches myself but if you start with good ingredients, it should turn out reasonably well…

    Jan 17, 2011 | 5:39 pm

     
  5. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    I’ve also done quiche using graham pie crush in aluminum pans (found in supermarkets). A bit sweet, but no ones complaining.;-)

    Jan 17, 2011 | 9:32 pm

     
  6. tonceq says:

    @Artisan Chocolatier: graham crackers for quiche? that’s what you call really “winging it”!

    unfortunately my “winging” skills are not at par with most of you (tenured readers/ commenters)but i am inspired by your example MM and have started deviating from the thought that you always have to have a cookbook and a plan to cook something!

    Am excited for the following dishes! thaaaanks MM! :)

    Jan 17, 2011 | 10:27 pm

     
  7. angelic says:

    it’s really a nice entry for this season even though Christmas and new year celebrations are over there are still so many left over foods in the ref.. and this really made it easier to get read of that leftovers without throwing them right away.. it’ll look and definitely taste delicious as if it wasn’t cooked out of left overs..

    Jan 17, 2011 | 10:58 pm

     
  8. Betchay says:

    The first time I heard of “Quiche Lorraine”was from my cousin in the US,many years back.I was intrigued as it sounded so Frenchy.There was no internet yet so I searched for the recipe and picture in the library but to this day I’ve not made one myself although I’ve eaten a quiche when we went to Paris.Maybe now, I should try doing it.Oh…what memories can food evoke!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 7:33 am

     
  9. joey says:

    I’m all for re-using leftovers! Avoiding food waste has been a goal of mine and I’m aiming to post more leftover ideas too :) Can’t wait to read more of yours!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 7:36 am

     
  10. marosee says:

    thanks mm! i’m crossing my fingers that i can recreate my quiche memory!

    Jan 18, 2011 | 5:42 pm

     
  11. hayme says:

    why dont you try quiche courgette et chevre. its only eggplant zuccini and goat cheese.its a good starter as a quiche for any main dishes.plus it is really healthy.

    Jan 19, 2011 | 12:46 am

     
  12. Bubut says:

    hi MM, where did u buy the pre-baked pie shell ?

    Jan 19, 2011 | 9:41 am

     
  13. M, United Arab Emirates says:

    I love ordering quiche especially when I need a filling quick meal on the go. The classic ham & cheese with mushroom has always been my favorite but I have never cooked one at home. I would like to try the no-crust quiche version– a better alternative if I am in a hurry. Would you know if they are cooked the same way minus the crust? Any suggestions or recipes for no-crust quiche?

    Jan 19, 2011 | 11:06 pm

     
  14. betty q. says:

    We cut down on our meat consumption recently. MM…since you are a fmily of cheese lovers, have you tried using your leftover cheeses to make a cheese tart. I make a 5 cheese tart that is just sooooo good that I can eat half the tart if I do not control myself. If I have the time, I make it also using puff pastry and make it shaped like a baby pithivier…excellent appy!

    Jan 20, 2011 | 2:03 am

     
  15. barang says:

    betty q can you share your recipe for cheese tart?

    Jan 20, 2011 | 7:37 am

     
  16. barang says:

    Bettyq, are you able to share your recipe for cheese tart?

    Jan 20, 2011 | 7:41 am

     
  17. Mike says:

    Thank you sharing these tips! Now I know what to do with my leftovers.

    Jan 20, 2011 | 11:28 am

     
  18. Marketman says:

    betty q, a cheese tart sounds wonderful, but even more fattening than eating MEAT. :) M, I have not made a crustless quiche, but isn’t just like a thick frittata? Bubut, I made the pie crust from scratch, and baked it with pie weights for 15 minutes or so… tonceq, confidence to wing it comes with practice… :)

    Jan 20, 2011 | 1:12 pm

     
  19. betty q. says:

    By meat, I was referring to beef, MM. We are eating more chicken, pork (as they say the other white meat?!?). By really, I don’t think I am cutting down on our meat budget for 3 chickens cost me about $25 per plastic bag. But pork tenderloin sometimes go on sale for $1.99/pound.

    Barang…gladly! Recipe is for 1 flan. Pre-baked crust and oven at 325 degrees.

    Filling: 3 chopped green onions (about 1/2 cup), 1 T. capers, 1 T. green peppercorns (in brine, can be omitted if you cannot find it), 2 oz. cream cheese softened, 1 oz. parmesan , grated, 2 oz. mozzarella, grated, 1 oz. blue cheese, 2 oz. gruyere

    quiche mix: 2 T. flour, 4 eggs, 2 cups cream

    Combine everything together and bake. for 35 minutes or until barely set.

    If you want to make appys, omit the quiche mix and just combine the filling togther. Refrigerate until firm. Roll puff pastry (store bought in freezer section of grocery store) to about 2 to 3 mm. Cut with biscuit cutter or cut into small squares. If you have the time and patience, cut them into circles but 1 bigger than the other because you have to mound the filling and top with the slightly larger circle. Brush with eggwash around the edges (the bottom crust _ and top with the other crust. Pinch edges to seal. If you want the look of a baby pithivier, make starburst design BUT not cutting all the way to the crust…just use the tip of paring knife to make the strburst thingey. Bake 375 degrees on p[archment lined cookie sheet. Before I forget….brush the top with eggwash first before making the strburst thingey so when it puffs, you can see the pithivier design.

    Jan 20, 2011 | 2:35 pm

     
  20. barang says:

    Salamat bettyq. Will try this weekend!

    Jan 20, 2011 | 7:50 pm

     
  21. jenny says:

    been planning to try my hand on baking, especially breads. may i ask what kind and brand of oven would you recommend that i have? thanks.

    Jan 23, 2011 | 6:16 pm

     
  22. farida says:

    thanks, Bettyq, for the tart recipe. will try it.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:00 pm

     
 

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