I find there is always plenty of meat left over after a roast dinner as there is only the two of us and we are not big eaters.
There’s loads of things you can do with left overs and I usually make it up as I go based on what I have in the fridge and pantry.
I always keep frozen puff pastry in the freezer as it’s super quick and easy to use.
Firstly I check my crisper to see if there is any vegetables that need to be used up so I don’t throw them out and waste them. I find some mushrooms that need to be cooked but all my other vegetables have a longer shelf life so I’ll hang onto them.
Now when it comes to food, you do need to THINK about what you are mixing together.
I believe most people fail at cooking because they don’t think about what they are mixing together. It’s about common sense.
As mushrooms create quite a lot of liquid as they cook, I need to cook them off first or they will make the pastry go soggy. Just grab a medium sized saucepan and throw them in.
I also want to add some onion for flavour so I add half a bag of frozen diced onions into the pan with the mushrooms.
Frozen onions tend to create a bit of liquid as they cook so they both just need maybe 5 minutes to cook down and for the moisture to cook off.
Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool down while you add your other bits to the mix.
I had a bit of cooked fennel and a little steamed brocollini left from the roast so I chopped that up and threw it into the saucepan (remember the heat is off so the saucepan is now just being used as a mixing bowl).
So what I need to bring it all together to give it a lovely flavour and a creamy texture, is some goats cheese. Just add a packet in.
Season really well with cracked salt and pepper, garlic salt and some herb salt. You do need to season it really well for lots of flavour.
You’ll find as you mix it all together that the meat will become more like a minced texture which is fine. You need to keep tasting it to see what else it might need.
I never know what I’m going to add until I’m actually making the mix, so it’s never exactly the same twice.
I found that one package of goats cheese wasn’t enough so I added a couple of chunks of cream cheese for a more creamy texture.
Goats cheese is quite salty so I’m mindful not to add too much salt.
When tasting it, I don’t think it has enough flavour so I chop up a whole green chilli, seeds and all and add that. Green chilli is really mild.
Then I chop up about 12 olives, I love the green olives stuffed with parmesan.
Once mixed through, I taste it again and added more seasoning and now it packs a nice punch with flavour.
I decided to add half a large red chilli for a little more heat.
I grab my packet of frozen puff pastry from the freezer and I look at the mix amount I have and guess I have enough for around 12 pastries.
I get four per sheet of pastry.
There is 6 in the packet so I remove three sheets and place the remaining three sheets in a jumbo zip lock bag and put it back in the freezer.
If you don’t keep the frozen pastry air tight, it will dry out and it won’t be any good to use.
I lay out three sheets on the plastic sheets they come with so they don’t stick to the bench.
It only takes about ten minutes for it to thaw enough to make it pliable to form the pastries.
I cut each square into 4 sections.
I then heap a mound of filling in the middle of each of the 12 squares and then make up the parcels.
I have tried every way and this way works every time and it’s super easy. Just pull together opposite diagonal corners and pinch the pastry together and roll it down a little so it’s secured.
Then do the same to the other two opposite corners.
Then pinch and roll together the joins and pop them on a foil tray on a piece of baking paper so they don’t stick during cooking.
I can fit 6 in a foil tray so it takes 2 trays to fit 12.
I decide I won’t cook them straight away as I have time to cook them up fresh for dinner tonite.
Any left overs will be re heated in the oven over the next few days.
I grab a couple of jumbo zip lock bags and seal up each of the trays and place them in the fridge till I’m ready to cook them tonite.
I will glaze them with a beaten egg and a dash of milk just before I cook them to give them a golden shine.
They only take around 20 minutes to cook in an oven around 350C. As soon as they are all golden brown including the base, they are cooked.
‘Blonde' is a term used for pastry that is under cooked, so you don’t want blonde pastries.
Now that you know how to make a pastry, get creative, use different proteins like chicken or mince or just vegetable pastries are amazing.
Think before you add ingredients so you know how they may affect your end result.
Think before you add anything to your recipes.
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I can’t wait to hear from you 🧡 Sue
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