Tuesday, 4 October 2011
I like to think that I can be pretty thrifty. I hate waste and I try to use up every scrap of what I produce or buy foodwise. Did you know that in a recent study it was found that half of the food produced worldwide is wasted???? I know! Amazing to think of, in light of the fact that upwards of 30,000 people in the world die of starvation each day. It's mind boggling, and so very very sad.
I can remember as a child being forced to eat everything on my plate and told that there were children starving in Africa that would love to have what I had to eat. I often felt like telling my mother that if they wanted it, she was quite welcome to package whatever it was up and send it to them . . . in any case, I always ate it, whether I liked it or not. I'd still be sitting at my mother's dining table had I not!
Food is wasted in incredible amounts each day, and whilst there is nothing we can do about a lot of it, we can control how much we waste ourselves in our own homes and families. I just love re-purposing food . . . things like creating tasty casseroles and dishes from leftover meats, cheeses, cakes, cookies, etc.! There is no end to what you can do with them if you just stretch beyond your comfort zone just a teensie bit.
Delicious things like this fabulous breakfast casserole which I cooked today that used up the leftover Black Pepper Biscuits that we had yesterday. You needn't use black pepper biscuits though . . . or scones . . . you can use any you wish, plain, savoury or even sweet. (Although in the sweeter ones I might leave out the mustard and add some chopped fruit and or nuts. In the case of apple or stone fruits, some cheeses actually go very well, especially cheddar.)
It's also a good way of using up those dry ends of cheese in the fridge that would not get used otherwise. Just sayin is all . . .
Yes . . . that is Maple Syrup on mine. Don't judge me. A bit of bacon would have also gone down really well . . . floppy crispy please! (NO, that is not a contradiction in terms, it's how I like my bacon . . . floppy in some parts and crispy in others. ☺)
*Re-purposed Biscuit Breakfast Casserole*
serves 6 - 8, depending on appetites
This is one of those delightful breakfast casseroles you put together the night before and bake in the morning. It also works if you make it in the morning and bake it at night for supper. Heck, I've even baked it right away and it's always delicious! Makes great use of those leftover biscuit (scones) you want to get used up!
6 TBS unsalted butter, melted
300g of torn biscuit (scone) pieces (about 3 heaped cups)
9 large free range eggs, beaten
16 ounces grated cheese (strong cheddar, Emmenthal, Gruyere, Blue, or
whatever cheese or combination you like)
1 1/2 to 2 TBS Dijon mustard
(The milder in flavour the cheese you have used, the more mustard you will want)
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
750ml of milk (3 cups)
fine seasalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the biscuit bits in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over and toss together. Let sit for a few minutes, so that the biscuits absorb the butter. Toss in the cheese. Beat the eggs, milk, mustard and any seasoning you are using together in a large measure. Pour this over top of the biscuit bits and cheese. Give it a good stir and then cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight (all day or not as required)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 13 by 9 by 2 inch baking dish. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes longer, until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Serve warm.
Note: you may scale this up or down. For each additional biscuit, add another egg 2 tsp of butter, 1 ounce of cheese, 1/2 tsp of mustard and approximately 80ml (1/3 cup) of milk. You may also add some chopped fresh herbs, up to 2 TBS if you so desire.
Over in The Cottage today you will find some delicious Heavenly Eggs Benedict!