24 July 2011

10 Interesting Ways to Use Leftover Pastry Scraps plus a Boring One

First lunch, of course – please scroll down a little for pastry scraps info and a Free Book! 

~  Menu  ~

Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Toasted Walnuts and Cornish Blue Cheese
Mandatory Glass of Red
Little Fresh Cherry Turnover & Clotted Cream

This ”lunch” was much more like a dinner, eaten as it was at 7.00 pm!   

This is the great recipe I used to do using roasted garlic mentioned in my previous post - How to Roast Garlic.  As with many of my “recipes” this is really just a set of guidelines …

Roasted Garlic, Toasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese Tagliatelle ~ for 1

3 nests of tagliatelle
1-2 cloves roasted garlic or 2 tsp of mushed up roasted garlic + a generous tbsp of its oil (see previous post)
a handful of coarsely chopped walnuts
approx 60g blue cheese
black pepper
chopped parsley

~   Pop the walnuts into a hot oven for a few minutes till a few degrees darker and smelling fragrant.
~   Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet and drain BUT reserve a few tbsp of the cooking water.
~   Gently heat the roasted garlic and its oil mashing them together then stir in the walnuts and the pasta.
~   Grate in the blue cheese and add a splash of the pasta cooking water.
~   Stir together over medium heat and what should happen is than the cheese melts into the pasta water and they emulsify with the garlicky oil to form a coating sauce.  Happens for me every time!
~   Taste and season using a fair bit of black pepper, stir in chopped parsley and eat.

Feel free to add more garlic, more cheese, more nuts and even more tagliatelle if you like!

Here’s a handy hint in this respect …frozen blue cheese is much easier to grate when adding to and sprinkling over dishes.  Obviously I prefer to eat my cheese at room temperature but always keep a little blue frozen for just such needs

For my real men I made turkey and leek pies using, I admit it, bought in frozen puff pastry.  I only had a few scraps of pastry left but as you know I'd rather get fat than throw anything away so I made 2 cheese straws which I ate with my pasta and 3 little fresh cherry pasties, (I had a few leftover cherries in the fridge) which we ate warm with clotted cream. 

10 Interesting Ways to Use Leftover Pastry Scraps plus One Boring One

Collect all the pastry scraps and trimmings and knead together lightly, then …

1.      Turnovers as I just did – roll the pastry out thinly, cut into circles and put a spoonful of something (I used a few cherries tossed with caster sugar (and tiny bit of brandy),  Brush the edges of the pastry disk with something wet (water, milk, cream, beaten egg or anything else you fancy!).  Fold in half enclosing the filling and press the edges together.  Place on a lightly greased baking tray, brush the top with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Using the tip of a sharp knife prod a little hole in the top of each turnover to allow steam to escape.  Bake in a medium hot oven till crisp and golden.

2.      Palmiers – roll the assembled pastry into a rough rectangle, it can be a raggedy one.  Scatter something delicious over the surface – good combinations would be Cheddar and Chilli, Pecans & Maple Sugar, Ham and Cheese, Dried Fruit & Brown Sugar, Whatever You’ve Got.  Roll up the pastry from one lodge edge, moisten the far edge and seal the roll.  EITHER place sealed side down on a greased baking sheet, glaze and sprinkle the top as appropriate, bake till crisp and golden and then slice into pinwheels OR slice before baking, lay cut side up on the baking tray and cook like that.  The second option is good when using cheese as it goes all melty and yum.

3.      Marmite Nibbles – spread the rolled out pastry with a little Marmite (it spreads easier if you warmer it a little), fold in half an reroll to enclose the Marmite.  Cut into little shapes and bake till crisp and golden.  These are not only delicious but you can also scare Americans with them!  

4.      Anchovy Bites-  these are much the same as above but using anchovy paste (either Patum Peperium aka Gentleman's Relish or mash an anchovy or two into some soft butter).  Continue as above.  These are particularly beguiling cut into fishy shapes.

5.      Little Tomato Tarts – cut the pastry into circles (or go wild and do squares) and lay them on the greased baking sheet.  Top each with a slice of tomato or a few cherry tomatoes, a little fresh basil and some grated cheese.  Bake till the base is crisp and the cheese melted and bubbling.  Of course you could use other toppings – a slice of goat cheese and a teaspoon of cranberry sauce is good.

6.      Rustic Tarts – as with the little tomato tarts above but leave a naked edge around your chosen filling and fold this over the filling to frame it.  Brush with beaten egg and bake till crisp and golden.  Mushrooms sautéed with a little garlic are good in this but so are lots of other things.

7.      Mini Napoleons  – cut the rolled out pastry into equal little squares or rectangles and lay a little apart on the greased baking sheet.   Top with another same sized baking sheet which has butter on its bottom (!) and bake till they are crisp.  The second tray stops them bubbling or curling.  Layer up with something lush – mushrooms in a cream and brandy sauce or coffee ice cream with chocolate sauce.

8.      Baby Tatins – use a little muffin tray for these.  Put a spoonful of your chosen filling (which then becomes a topping) into each of the muffin um … hollows?  Top each with a circle of pastry tucking it in at the edges and bake till crisp.   Cool a little and then turn out carefully.  Apple is the traditional Tatin topping but roasted tomatoes, caramelised shallots etc. are good too.  Nothing too wet or runny.

9.      Cooks Treat – just toss the trimmings with a little sugar and powdered cinnamon and bake till crisp.  Make a cup of coffee and have yourself a sit down.

10.  Crunchy Topping – using the same principal as above but more sophisticatedly (is that a word?) roll the scraps out and cut into random or not random (ie. leaves) shapes, toss with sugar and cinnamon and scatter over the top of a dish of cooked apples (or whatever).  Bake till hot and crisp.

11.  BORING – just save all your bits of pastry in the freezer till you have enough to make something big.

For how to do the Cheese Straws pictured at the top of the post please see this earlier post  which also has a tip for how to store puff pastry scraps.

A little more pastry scrap information …

~   Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on savoury pastries.
~   Where appropriate sprinkle the pastry with grated cheese before cooking.
~   Sprinkle sweet pastries with sugar – caster or light brown are my favourites.
~   Only used ready cooked or quick cooking fillings for these little nibbles as the pastry doesn’t take long to bake.
~    Cook these pastries in a medium hot oven 375˚F / 190˚C / Gas 5 / Fan 170˚C would be good but if the oven’s on a different temperature you can, within reason, use that! 
PS.~ I've had some more ideas!  See Brown Sugar Doo Dahs here.

In Other News, don't forget ...

"219 Cooking Tips & Techniques
you might find useful!"

(Especially as it’s Free!)

219 (at least) ways to make cooking quicker and/or easier and/or more effective and/or more delicious - free in all sorts of formats ~ just click here (and it includes a link for another Free Book - "Easy Ways to Pimp your Food!")

Tweetables ...

~   10 Interesting Ways to Use Leftover Pastry Scraps plus a Boring One.
~   A boring thing to do with leftover pastry + 10 interesting ideas!
~   10 delicious ideas for leftover pastry, including a Cook's Treat!

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debs said...

squozen!thats a good word!

Suzy - suzybowler@hotmail.com said...

... and a good thing!

Grazing Kate said...

brill blog post - I always do a kind of cinnamon and icing sugar thing with my scraps of pastry, but you are far more inventive - the marmite will be out next time!

Chrissy @ littleyellowkitchen@gmail.com said...

haha love the "boring one". So simple, but I never would have thought of that!

Mmmm Little Tomato Tarts!? Yes, please!

fresaichigo said...

I like your ideas! I was pondering the question in my blog http://fresaichigo.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/where-do-pastry-trimmings-go/ I am concerned about food waste these days, especially from restaurants and bakeries. We could all learn from a few good tips like yours :-)

Martinezidar said...

brill blog post - I always do a kind of cinnamon and icing sugar thing with my scraps of pastry, but you are far more inventive - the marmite will be out next time!

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