Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Ready Steady Cook!

Like any other commercial outlet selling fresh produce Skylark Farm has it's fair share of waste each week.
Having the cafe now it is essential that we make good use of fruit and veg that are no longer nice enough to sell but still of a decent quality to be used in cooking.
So Sam set me a challenge today. I was given these 2 boxes of fruit and veg that had been removed from the shelf and told to create something with them and other store cupboard ingredients.
So in true ready steady cook style i got to work sussing out exactly what i had in my box. I seperated the veg from the fruit first and decided the veg would be my first challenge.
There were quite a lot of tomatoes and a real mixed variety of other veg so my decision was to make 2 soups.
For the tomato soup i roasted all the tomatoes in the oven first so that i could remove all their skins.
Then in a pan i sweated off some chopped onion, celery and carrot for about 5 mins before adding a couple of tbsps of tomato puree, 2 tbsp ganulated sugar, 1tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Next i chopped the tomatoes and added them to the pot along with vegetable stock, enough to cover.
This all simmered away for about half hour before i removed from the heat, did a whizz in the blender then passed through a sieve. I put the soup back in the pan and seasoned slightly more to my own personal taste.

For the vegetable soup i used the same method though did not add balsamic vinegar or sugar.
And here is the end result. Thick, hearty soup which tastes delish!

After having used all the veg Sam gave me i still had onions, 1 red pepper, mushrooms and broccoli left to use.

Still with only the addition of store cupboard ingredients i decided to make quiche.

First i made the pastry base using shortcrust pastry. Very easy pastry to make so long as you remember it's half butter to plain flour with the addition of water.

I used 12 ozs of flour to 6ozs of butter for this recipe. Rub the butter in the flour (or whizz up in your food processor for quickness) and the add water to make a soft pliable dough.

Roll out and line your dish or tin with the pastry, (i treated myself yesterday to 4 small, fluted, deep, loose bottomed flan tins so i could make individual portions of quiche). You now need to bake this pastry blind.
Whilst that was baking i finely chopped up my veg and put in a bowl with some mixed herbs, salt and pepper. I whisked up 6 eggs (6yolks but only 4 whites), then added a pint of milk and whisked again.

When the pastry cases were ready i removed from the oven and put a layer of grated cheese in the bottom (bout 1/3 full), then the chopped veg on top followed by the egg/milk mixture.

Cook at 180 c/ 350 f / gas mark 4 (or if like me you have a fan oven that burns everything quickly turn your temperature down 10 degrees!) for about 35 - 45 mins.
Test to see if the inside is cooked by sticking a knife in the center of each pie and it should come out clean!
Best served warm but equally as nice cold!

So i did it and accomplished the challenge with some beautiful end results!

Pop by the blog tomorrow and i will show you what i've made from the waste fruit!

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