Went to a U3A meeting this morning on Science. One of our number talked about Astronomy. We discussed the immense distances involved and moved on to the possibility of life elsewhere. The presenter is a chemist, so we had a very interesting discussion around why scientists look for planets with water and oxygen. It boils down to the fact that life is almost certainly going to be carbon based, as carbon is the only substance they know of that can form the complicated molecules necessary.
I always come away from those meetings buzzing.
We are always treated to lovely coffee and something interesting to nibble. Today the nibble was a little pastry tartlet filled with leftover breadcrumbs, a little onion and a smidgen of anchovy. It was divine!
I asked about the recipe and P sent me an email with some ideas in. Recent thoughts and guest posts have been revolving around the idea of minimising waste. And as bread is the number one thing that is wasted, I am quite excited about this.
This is what P said
· It doesn’t matter how stale they are or what sort
· Easiest way of making them is put the torn up bread in a liquidiser
· You can store them in the freezer with or without any flavourings you might have added e.g. dried mixed herbs, chopped up chives, chopped up nasturtium leaves, chopped up wild garlic
As to “recipes”
· You need something to bind the breadcrumbs together before you put them in a tart. Ideas from the store cupboard might be an egg (beaten) and/or some mild mustard e.g. whole grain
· Another useful binder is butter. You could soften some chopped up onion or spring onion in butter, then lob the breadcrumbs in. You could season the mix with salt, pepper and any combination of mixed herbs, mustard, capers, chopped up gherkin, chopped up anchovy fillets or paste, tomato paste, any tinned fish, sweetcorn or bacon/ham bits, which you have cooked with the onion.
· What you looking to achieve is a moist but non runny mix like a conventional stuffing.
· Fill pastry tarts or cases with your chosen mix, add some grated cheese and put in the middle of an oven (about 180c) to cook slowly for about 20 minutes.
Instead of breadcrumbs you could use any left-over mashed potato flavoured with any of the ingredients mentioned above.
Lots of ideas occur here on how to use this. I am thinking of a main meal dish here rather than the little tartlets we had. I am thinking of lots of vegetables with a bit of flavour from bacon, anchovy, Parmesan, garlic, maybe some spices, that kind of thing. We’d need to add a few beans or lentils to get the protein in there, or it would be too carby as a meal.
I’m going to try one in the next few days, so something like very fine chopped carrot, onion, mushroom, garlic, either a handful of beans or some seitan, which should arrive soon, plus the breadcrumbs. I’ll bake it in a pastry case, like a quiche.
Do you do anything like this already? What would you/do you put in one?