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Some leftovers

"Leftovers - something, especially food, remaining after the rest has been used."

No this is not a blog about how to use up leftovers but an end of the week, not much time, collection of leftover stuff from newsletters, magazines, here and there generally.

Pillow pies

A while ago I reported on Nigel Slater's Smoked mackerel pie, and example of what he calls a pillow pie. Well I am here to reiterate that this is a wonderful way to make a pie:

"My favourite pie to make is the one resembling a small pillow. No tins or pie plates needed, no baking blind, no risk of a soggy bottom. Just a sheet of puff pastry filled, sealed and baked." Nigel Slater

I'm amazed really that it's taken me this long to acquire this technique. To discover it. I mean it's very similar to pasties, and I'm sure has been around for centuries. Well not quite centuries because it does require that sheet of shop bought puff pastry. For two people one sheet is more than enough. Halve it. Pile your leftover stew, or something new and inventive into the middle of one half - leaving a border. Brush this border with egg wash. Cover with the other half of pastry. Seal by pressing down and rolling over. Make some slits in the top and score a pattern in the pastry. Brush all over with the rest of the egg wash and cook. Half and hour to 40 minutes at 200ºC. Done. Who needs a pie machine?

Balsamic coca cola

TikTok again. Touted as a healthy substitute for Coca cola, you simply take some fizzy water, pour in some balsamic vinegar and drink. Some people use flavoured fizzy water, some just plain. But healthy it is not.

“It may be better for your waistline, but it may not be any better for your teeth. But if you’re using a flavoured soda water and there’s sugar in it, then it’s bad for your teeth and your waistline." Rosemary Stanton - Dietician

The Guardian Australia tested it out with the plain water on some of their staff with the general verdict being non-committal to disgusted. Not a plus anyway, with a sommelier they asked saying: “My initial reaction was ‘oh lord, why is this a thing?"

Maybe I should try it on David. He likes balsamic vinegar. Me - I can take it or leave it, though it's good in some stews and things.

Flautas/taquitas/tacos doradoes

This is a picture of a recipe from Ottolenghi - Flautas with spiced aubergine and avocado salsa - that appeared in the Guardian newsletter a few weeks ago. Now I'm not a fan of Mexican food but I was intrigued, by yet another name for something that looked remarkably like so many other Mexican and South American stuffed things. I mean is this just a taco?

Well yes sort of - it's just tortillas rolled around a filling - the filling doesn't seem to be prescriptive. Anything goes. You secure them with a toothpick and deep fry. I must admit I wonder how the filling doesn't just all fall out into the hot oil when you're cooking it. But apparently this is popular street food and is said to come from the town of Jalisco. Well that's what Ottolenghi thinks anyway. If you're a fan of such things these do look nice.

Ottolenghi again. You can't get away from him if you read this blog! Green again too. This is almost worthy of TikTok don't you think? But being Ottolenghi this just might be amazing. But then again it might not. Not really appropriate for this time of year I suppose, although there is another argument that says ice cream is good any time, and I think pineapple is relatively cheap at the moment. Or have I got that completely wrong? The herbs in question are parsley mint and basil. Candied fennel seeds? I think that's what really got me intrigued.

No more plastic bags at Woolworths

Those reusable plastic bags that some people buy for 15c are set to disappear. And about time too say I. I mean I'm sure they don't last that long, and I'm sure people only use them once or twice before throwing them out. I never really understood why the supermarkets kept them when the green bags came in. I suppose they saw it as a sop to the protestors. Complaints about the poor having to shell out money for a bag that will last longer. Anyway it's a good thing they are going, and doubtless Coles will follow suit. They sort of have to don't they? Mind you I will admit, that those stronger bags, whilst lasting for quite a while won't last forever - particular the insulated ones it seems to me, and so they end up in landfill too. And they are not biodegradable. Well that's my understanding anyway. No we should be returning to bags made of tough stuff like sackcloth. I'm sure they could make them look pretty. Or boxes, or paper bags. Remember them?

Ok time to cook the dinner.

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