Category: Leftovers

Potted Cheese – Delicious Food, Impossible Ingredients

Hey there people of the internet! 

Take a look at this super delicious snack plate.  Good at any time – but my favourite? A snack plate, a sunny Sunday afternoon,sitting on my balcony with  a good book and a cheeky glass of wine =  heaven!

Potted Cheese 7

The star of this particular snack plate is some potted cheese.  .  

Which sadly relies on two ingredients that may as well be unicorn’s tears and dragon’s blood for the times they have ever been available in this kitchen.  Just one of them is nigh on a miracle and as for both, you had better go outside and look up because that moon out there will be bluer than Tobias Funke! 

So what are these two magical, nigh on mythical substances?

  • Leftover cheese
  • Leftover wine

Whoever has them?  No one I want as a friend!

My cheeses were the remnants….actually it even pains me to say that.  The cheeses were items from a cheese platter (probably the previous weeks snacking plate) that I had  just not got around to eating yet. And I cheated and opened a bottle of wine to make this.

Potted CheeseI used a goat’s cheese, a blue cheese, a pecorino pepato and some cheddar.  You can use any cheese you have. 

First up, place all your bits of cheese into a food processor and whiz it up!  Then add in your flavourings – I added port, a splash of red wine, Worchestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and then, because it was a little dry after the first whiz through, a little more port and a bit of cream.  My recipe is based on a classic one by Jane Grigson but you can play with the flavourings to suit your palate and your mix of cheese.

Potted Cheese2

Once you have whizzed it all up , pop it into a pot:

Potted Cheese3

The next step is optional but traditionally the pot was then sealed with a layer of clarified butter:

Potted Cheese 4Why Potted Cheese?

The idea behind potted cheese is simple.  Back in the day when refrigeration was not as it is today, cheese was far more perishable than now. Potting your ends of cheese prolonged it’s life – I’m guessing the booze helped to preserve it whilst the clarified butter seal stopped bacteria getting in. 

Nowadays, it is done more because it tastes delicious than for the preserving factor.

Potted Cheese 8

What Can You Do With Potted Cheese?

OMG, so much.  Have it on crackers with a glass of wine! Quick, easy, delicious.  

Potted Cheese 9

Replace regular cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich!  Here is my salami, potted cheese, red onion and tomato version. With a pickle to add some sharpness. 

So much oozy goodness!

Potted Cheese 5I haven’t made these next lot but I think potted cheese would be delicious used in the following ways:

  • Replace sour cream in a baked potato.  Or add it to chips and gravy for a take on a poutine. 
  • Saute some bacon or steam some broccoli (or do both), cook up some pasta, top with potted cheese and stir through the bacon or broccoli
  • Fill celery sticks, add a topping of chopped walnuts
  • Replace crackers on a snack plate with slices of apple or pear
  • Heat up a dollop, add some more cream if necesary and use as a mornay  or gratin sauce over anything you want to mornay or gratin
  • Spread it on bread, make up a savory custard and you have a super strata to go!

Potted Cheese
A delicious way to use up leftover cheese and wine! I
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Ingredients
  1. 250g cheese - whatever you have.
  2. 90g softened butter
  3. 2 generous Tablespoons Verdelho Madeira, tawny Port or Amontillado Sherry or wine
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or Tabasco)
  5. ¼ teaspoon mace, (optional)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard
  7. A splash of Worcestershire
  8. Melted clarified butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whiz all the ingredients except the clarified butter in a food processor until it forms a thick paste.
  2. Place into small pots.
  3. Top with the clarified butter and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop
Notes
  1. I added a splash of cream because my mix was quite dry and I thought adding more wine or port would make it too boozy. (Yes, there is such a thing!).
Adapted from Jane Grigson
Adapted from Jane Grigson
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, it’s Sunday and whilst not balcony sitting weather at all, I’ve got the fire going and Hollow City, the second book of  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children good to go, so excuse me, I have a potted cheese snack plate to prepare!  Dammit! Speaking of YA literature just made me realise  I should have saved this for when The Cursed Child, the new Harry Potter comes out.  I could have filled it with Harry Potter of cheese gags!  Stay tuned for the re-post!

Have a fab week! 

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Two Ways With Leftover Chicken

Happy New Year!  

I hope the festivities were wonderful and the champagne was flowing freely!!!

The only downside to all the partying is that invariably you end up with a fridge full of leftovers.  This year we were inundated with leftover chicken so, if you ever find yourself in the same situation, here are two ways to use it up.

My first leftover chicken recipe uses one of my favourite retro ingredients, the vol au vent shell. (Sorry Glenda, still store-bought!)

Chicken And Tarragon Vol Au Vents3And it’s simples – mix up a white sauce add some tarragon, stir in your chicken, fill your vol au vent cups, sprinkle on some cheese and in a couple of minutes you have a super cute little appetizer with which to kick off your next party! 

My Chicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents are based on a recipe I found in a Feast Magazine but can also be found here.

C‪hicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents 1

Chicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents

12

Chicken and Tarragon Vol Au Vents

Recipe adapted from SBS Food // Feast Magazine.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 90 g butter, chopped
  • 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 160 g (1 cup) finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 pack of vol au vent shells
  • 4 tbsp cheddar cheese, divided in two
  • red currants for garnish (optional)
  • chives for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Place milk, stock, garlic and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Keep warm.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until flour is light golden. Remove from heat, stir in mustard and tarragon, then gradually whisk in infused milk mixture until smooth. Return pan over high heat and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in half of the cheese until it melts.Stir in chicken, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap until needed.
  • Heat your oven to 180*C. Fill the shells with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  • Cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and started to brown.
  • Remove from oven, top with red currants and chives.
  • These are best served immediately.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2016/01/06/two-ways-with-leftover-chicken/

My next take on leftover chicken is a more modern Chicken, Avocado and Chipotle Tortilla which you can serve two ways. 

The way suggested in the book I got this recipe from (A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder) is as a wrap.  I made one of these and took it to work (yes, sadly I worked between Christmas and New Year).  It was tasty but I am not a fan of the taste of cooked avocado and even putting the wrap into the sandwich press was enough to turn the taste from  from delicious fresh to not so good cooked.  If you like cooked avocado, or you want this all to yourself, this could be just the thing for you!

Chicken, Avocado and Chipotle TortillaIf however, like me you do not like the taste of cooked avocado, or you want to share the deliciousness, turn it into a “pizza”

Heat the tortilla until crispy, sprinkle the chicken, avocado and the chipotle salsa over the top, cut into slices and serve immediately to your guests as an appetizer. (Or eat it all by yourself!  I won’t judge you.

Chicken, Avocado and Chipotle Tortilla2

Sorry about the two different recipe formats, I could not find a plug in that allowed me to post multiple recipes!

Chicken, Avocado & Chipotle Tortillas
Yields 1
Two delicious ways with chicken tortillas
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tortilla
  2. 1/4 cup chopped leftover chicken
  3. 1/4 avocado, roughly chopped
  4. 1 small tomato, chopped
  5. 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  6. 1/4-1/2 chipotle chilli in adobo sauce (or to taste)
  7. 1 sprig of coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  8. 1 tsp lime juice
  9. Salt and Pepper
  10. Toothpick
Instructions
  1. At least one hour before serving, make your salsa.
  2. Discard the seeds from the tomato, mix with the onion, chilli, coriander and lime juice. Season to taste.
  3. Set aside to allow the flavours to blend.
  4. Just before serving, drain the salsa, neither of these recipes needs soggy tortilla!
For The Pizza
  1. Heat the tortilla under the grill until it gets crispy.
  2. Once the tortilla is crispy, take it out of the oven and top with the chicken, avocado and salsa.
  3. Cut into slices and serve immediately.
  4. Perfect with an ice cold beer!
For the Wrap
  1. Warm the tortilla according to packet instructions, to soften.
  2. Spread a line of chicken, a line of avocado and a line of salsa in the middle of the tortilla, leaving a 2 cm gap on all sides.
  3. Fold in the bottom, rotate 90* and fold over one side then the other.
  4. Tuck the remaining side of tortilla, securing with a toothpick.
  5. Place into your sandwich press or under your grill and heat until the outside of the tortilla is golden and crispy.
  6. Don't forget to remove the toothpick before eating!
Adapted from Katy Holder - A Moveable Feast
Adapted from Katy Holder - A Moveable Feast
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 I wish you all the very best for 2016 and may it be the year all your dreams come true!  Thank you for reading and commenting and being a part of my teeny corner of the internet.  It’s a New Year – Let’s make it wonderful!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

The Dishiest Dish – Chicken Tortilla Soup

What a week it’s been!  It was so much fun cooking for the Vincent Price cookalong but there were also many other meals to make.  My meal plan also got thrown out of whack because there was more chicken leftover than I had assumed there would be so I had to quickly find something to use it all up.  Enter Tortilla Soup!

 Tortilla Soup3

I can’t believe I have not come across this before.  Adding chips to soup?  Brilliant! You are supposed to use tortilla chips but I had some Doritos in the house.  Given this was a dish made mostly from leftovers and pantry items I decided to use them instead of having to buy more stuff. I loved the idea of being able to add your own crunch and avocado and herbs.  It reminded me of eating pho when you get the big plate of herbs and chilli and lime alongside your soup to add per your desire.

The other highlight was the Gourmet Traveller Cucumber, Pistachio, Grape and Feta salad.  It was so flavourful and beautiful to look at.  The recipe called for green grapes but I used black grapes.  I added some rocket (arugula) as well. It went superbly with some roasted salmon. 

Cucumber, Pistachio, Feta & Grape SaladThe biggest disappointment of the week was the saffron and pistachio kulfi.  I am always so excited when the warm weather rolls around and I can bring out the ice-cream maker but something in this recipe did not work.  You had to mix milk powder, custard powder and cornflour into buttermilk and one (who knows, possibly all) didn’t really dissolve even though I heated it exactly as directed.  The texture was grainy and it was bland to boot.  I added some dried cranberries which helped but it was still not ideal. If anyone has a kulfi recipe that works, please send it my way!

This week I am looking forward to cooking:

Starter /Lunch / Salad  – Sweet Potato Wedges with Chimichurri and Speck from Bon Appetit

Main Event – Slow Roasted Chermoula Lamb

Sweet Treats – Passionfruit and Coconut Custard. 

In Other News I Am

Listening To

The Message Podcast was good.  I have listened to the first two episodes and am enjoying it a lot. 

Playing

I am by no means a perfectionist but I have found a new game to play whilst waiting for my Candy Crush lives to regenerate.   It is hitting all my OCD buttons!

http://tappsgames.com/app/the-perfectionist/

Reading

I have finished Orphan #8 and am about to start The Reckoning.  This is the November book club selection.  Autobiography is not a genre I am overly fond of so I have mixed feelings about it.  We’ll see.  I am also not a fan of hard back books as most of my reading is done on the train and they can be heavy to carry.  Also I can hold up a paperback in one hand and read if I don’t get a seat but find it harder to do with a hardback. Because I’m weak. 

I found a two new blogs to follow.  In one of my first ventures into blogging I cooked food that was inspired by or mentioned in the books I was reading.  It was pretty dismal as I found that either no food was mentioned or it took me too long to read the books or the food was stuff I did not like.  Occasionally I think about bringing it back and go through phases where I start sticky noting food in the books I read.  Reading these both inspires me to get back into it.  And depresses me because these ladies do it so much better than I ever did!

Alison’s Wonderland Recipes

Little Library Cafe

Also, I have been reading this for a while now and I think she is one of the most hilarious people on the internet:

Bitches Gotta Eat

Reading/Listening

I have finished the Jon Ronson (loved it).  And have started on the audiobook for

The Faithful Couple

Watching

To celebrate a belated Halloween we watched You’re Next.  I had one scream out loud moment and it was pretty scary.  But we decided the overriding message was “Don’t mess with Australian girls”. Amen to that!

I am also about to start Season 3 of Orphan Black.

Making

Someone (not me thank Goodness) dropped our olive oil pouring bottle which smashed on the tiles.  He then quickly McGuyvered up a temporary replacement from an old wine bottle.  I really like it.  So it may be staying permanently.

Oil BottleHere’s the Tortilla Soup Recipe. 

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 400g can of tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 chilli finely sliced
  • 1 cup leftover chicken, diced
  • 1 400g can of five bean mix
  • 1 310g can of corn
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • handful of tortilla or corn chips
  • Sliced chili / red onion (optional)
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until the garlic is soft, about two minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, salt and sugar, and chilli and bring to the boil.'
  • Add the chicken, beans and corn and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.
  • Spoon the soup into bowls.
  • Have bowls of corn chips, chopped avocado, chopped coriander, chilli, red onion and lime wedges on the table so eaters can help themselves to what they want.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/11/11/the-dishiest-dish-chicken-tortilla-soup/

What’s cooking in your kitchen?    What was the best thing you made this week? What’s your favorite thing to do with leftovers?

What are you looking forward to making next week? 

What are you reading, watching, listening to?

Please share!

Have a fabulous week everyone! 

Happy Cooking!

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