Nothing uses up leftovers and makes a great meal better than a pie! These are such an opportunity to use up little bits and pieces and make something spectacular. And the bonus is they are great for breakfasts, lunches and dinners and also made in small sizes they are great for sending in lunch boxes. They are also very portable. Perfect for a picnic or to take as a gift of a meal to someone.
Recently Lucy took me to a cafe nearby and they specialized in Flans. I wish I had taken photos now... Firstly they looked spectacular. Each one was placed on a large cake stand. They had all kinds of interesting fillings like pumpkin, sun dried tomato and feta, spinach, chicken and so on.
They just looked glorious and I thought how easy these are to make and people were going crazy over them! I also should have priced them. But going by the price per serve it would have had to be $50 for a whole flan.
Yesterday for Mother's Day Lucy asked Mum and I over. Lucy who is meant to be resting on Doctor's orders and due in a few days...
Anyway we arrived and she had made us all a lovely lunch. First I'll show you desert which is really nothing to do with anything I just have to show you! :)
Desert was a baked cheesecake which was just beautiful...
Her main was a Chicken and Spinach Quiche with rocket, pear and walnut salad. It was yum!
And she decorated it with hearts for Mother's Day. Which I loved.
Inspired by how nice this looked I thought today I would add Quiches and Flans to our ways to stretch a meal and use it up.
There are two main "quiches" I make. The first is a quiche that has the custard like filling and make modifications to the filling. And a pastry base. This is a chance to use.... onion, practically any cheese you may have, spinach, asparagus, bacon, ham, sun dried or fresh tomato, roast pumpkin or sweet potato... and so many other things. You can use a sprinkle or a lot depending on what you have.
You can make your pastry or use ready rolled. The basic filling is 3 eggs blended with a cup of cream. I mostly use evaporated milk instead. It is very flexible. Classic quiche might have stricter rules but we are being versatile!
A yummy trick is to cheat and use Mimi's Onion Confit spread over the pastry base. Then pour in your egg mix. This is beautiful and I call "Caramelized Onion Quiche".
The next version is to use sour cream. A simple mix is 3 eggs to 300ml/10oz sour cream and your choice of fillings. This gives a thicker consistency and is good when using more fillings.
Another variation is to use dried breadcrumbs sprinkled over the bottom of your dish. Then fill with your fillings and gently pour your egg mix over the top and bake. This gives and easy pie crust.
The other way I will do this is to make a more rustic pie and use some flour in the mix instead of pastry. Impossible Pies work as the flour sinks and the pie is self crusting. This works best if you let your pie sit for a few minutes before baking. It is a super easy recipe and so versatile.
The basic recipe is 4 eggs, 2 cups of milk or cream or a mix, and half a cup of flour. Blend all together and pour over your fillings. There are so many versions of this.
Grated zucchini (or thinly sliced) is good in this.
Some basics are use seasonings of your choice, saute your raw ingredients that need it like onion or spinach to reduce it down. Others like tomato, corn etc don't need pre cooking. Some things are decide for yourself!
I always serve with a relish of some sort and a little side salad.
For lunch boxes I make any of these in muffin trays. For little kids I would make mini sized ones. If you are low carb or gluten free I would use no flour in the impossible quiche. Really then you are making a frittata but lets not get technical!
This is Lucy's recipe for her pie. She pre baked her short crust pastry base (with weights) and the hearts. She added the hearts to the pie after it was almost cooked.
1 and a quarter cups shredded cheddar cheese,
1 cup cooked diced chicken.
1 ten ounce package frozen spinach thawed and drained really well. (this is half a cup)
1/2 cup chopped onion.
3/4 cup milk.
3/4 cup mayonnaise.
Salt and pepper.
Fill your pie shell with your chicken, onion, spinach, cheese..
In a bowl whisk the eggs, milk, mayo and seasonings. Pour this over your dry ing.
Bake in med oven until knife comes out clean. Let sit a few minutes before serving.
This is beautiful. Next time you have left over cooked chicken reserve a cup for this.
For a large serving I double or triple the recipe and line a baking dish with non stick baking paper. Then just make a giant rectangle. This cuts up into lots of serves.
To make it look spectacular make a cake sized on and place on your loveliest cake plate or stand. It really looks fantastic!
These recipes are very flexible. But with a few ingredients and some eggs you have a meal. I keep tins of evaporated milk and long life cream in the pantry and I always have cheese in the fridge so I mostly can whip something up in a hurry!
I would love to hear your versions. Mimi makes a Salmon luxury pie, I think we had better get on to her about this recipe. I made it once for Valentine's Day. It it an example of a recipe with a little bit of a strong flavored ingredient that makes it wow.
Some of us are in spring and others are in autumn! This is good as these recipes are just as suitable as a hot meal or as a cold picnic lunch.
I hope you have a wonderful week. I am out the door to the shops and then getting some soup on.
My plan is to make a muffin tray of bacon impossible pies to go in Andy's work lunch for the next few days.
Last week we did "substitutions" in our Stretch a Meal and Use it up series. The comments, ideas and recipes you all contributed made it wonderful. It was epic! Thank you!
Lots of love.xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.