Long-term readers will know that I have soup for lunch pretty much every day at work. What’s not to like – it’s tasty, healthy and cheap, after all!
However, on the very odd occasion the all-soup lunch diet can get just a bit repetitive. I sometimes have leftovers to mix it up, or even more rarely have a salad or sandwich. But this week I thought of a new idea that I was genuinely, really excited about.
Smoked salmon and broccoli mini quiches.
The genius of this idea was that it used up some smoked salmon from the freezer (bought on offer no less) and pastry trimmings from my freezer so it wasn’t too hard to convince myself it was a frugal lunch option. Yet it’s way too rarely that I get to eat smoked salmon so I was also pretty excited for a bit more of a ‘treaty’ lunch.
The recipe only uses half the pack of smoked salmon, so I heartily recommend that you do what I did and have the rest on some lovely homemade bread, drizzled with lemon juice, as an even more luxurious lunch. Or you could make up a nice pasta dish or make double the quiches and freeze them if you want it to stretch a bit more.
- This is the first time that I’ve ever made quiches using milk instead of cream/creme fraiche, a frugal tip I’ve seen around for a while, and I honestly loved them, so will definitely be doing that again!
- I only defrosted half the amount of pastry needed, so made half of them crustless versions by oiling the holes in the muffin tins before filling. Each day I’ve been taking one crustless one and one in pastry and I like them both a lot, but the one in pastry is much more filling and to be honest I’d need more than two of the crustless ones to make a satisfying lunch. I’ve included instructions for both below.
- Oh and if the budget doesn’t stretch to smoked salmon, even on offer (or you could use the value pack of trimmings which would be cheaper), you can fill these cute little quiches with anything – cheddar and caramelised onion, roasted veggies or tomato and goats cheese all come to mind.
Result – absolutely lovely mini quiches and not too expensive – plus I have lots of ideas to ‘frugalise’ it in the future as shown above! In case you’re wondering, I served today with a raw carrot, chopped into batons, and an apple, cut into wedges, but I think tomorrow I’ll make a carrot ‘slaw to mix it up a bit. Any kind of salad would work, really.
I’m entering this into the No Waste Food Challenge – a challenge for using up what you have in your store cupboard and fridge. The challenge was created by Kate over at Turquoise Lemons and is hosted this month by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen.
I’m entering it because the pastry was from the freezer – every time I have trimmings or make too much, I add to the stash so I eventually have enough to make something. The smoked salmon was also hanging around in my freezer, and the broccoli was the excess left from this week’s mac and cheese with broccoli – which could easily end up just going yellow in the fridge. Finally, I avoided waste by not buying cream and using milk – sounds a bit disingenuous but I always end up wasting cream!
Serves 4 (34p per quiche, or 68p per serving of two)
- 350g shortcrust pastry (omit to make crustless quiches, in which case you’ll need a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil) 32p (homemade with baking fat and value plain flour, costed here)
- 4 eggs 67p (freerange medium 6 pack £1, Asda)
- 80ml milk 4p (Meadow Park, 97p for 2 litres)
- 1/2 pack smoked salmon £1.50 (£2.99 per pack on offer, Morrisons)
- 1/3 large broccoli, cut into very small florets (you can use the stem as well, but chop it up quite small too) 20p (60p for a 335g broccoli, Asda)
You’ll need a deep muffin tin to make this.
Preheat the oven to 200C. If making crustless quiches, lightly oil eight of the holes in the muffin tin.
Put the broccoli on to boil in lightly salted water for a few minutes, until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, roll out the pastry (if using) and stamp out eight circles with a cookie cutter that’s bigger than the holes in the muffin tray – you want a good bit bigger so you can line the sides and allow for shrinkage. Line each hole with the pastry, pressing down and pulling until it fits well.
I popped the muffin tray in the oven for 15 minutes to blind bake the pastry (don’t do this if you’re making crustless quiches), but I don’t think this was necessary. If you do, remember to use foil/baking paper and baking beans or rice, because I didn’t and of course my pastry puffed up a bit (I just squished it down again though so not a major problem).
Split the salmon strips between the eight pastry cases (or just put direct in the muffin tray holes for the crustless quiches), then top with the broccoli. Beat all four eggs with the milk in a jug and pour over each mini quiche. Season as desired.
Bake for around 15-20 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown on top, then remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Nowhere near as cheap as my usual soup – but still a lot less than going to the local cafe, and more than half the cost is the smoked salmon, which could be easily swapped for cheaper ingredients e.g. roughly 100g grated mature cheddar.