Winter is coming, tummies are rumbling, and kitchens are overflowing with beautiful (but largely unused) utensils, gadgets and tins. In this fantastic cookbook, Sam Gates provides her readers with one-hundred recipes that use our long-living and much-loved tins and trays, challenging stereotypes as to their uses (did you know that a square brownie tin is also the perfect fit for sweetly spiced roast chicken with chorizo or elderflower vodka marshmallows?) to create tasty meals for everyone and all occasions. You will find that as the nights draw in, the trays are breaking out.
The idea for this book came about when we moved back to the UK after ten years away. Packing up, we had to be utterly ruthless about what would make it into the container heading to our new home, and what would be abandoned.
As our moving date came closer, we went through our inventory and I saw that my essential kitchen list had boiled down to just six hard-working, multi-tasking tins.
Once we had moved and finally unpacked, I quickly realised that with a little imagination and a few basic bits of equipment, my slimmed-down collection of kitchen stalwarts could do everything my previous hoard had done – and more.
What I also discovered was that my cooking was becoming tastier, more adventurous and interesting, despite relying on fewer gadgets. Meals never seemed to pass without someone asking for the recipe. Everyone loved the idea of pushing the boundaries of the basics rather than attempting new creations that needed complicated specialist equipment.
Like most of us, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen to bring your cooking to life; it just needs to work a little bit harder. Happy cooking!
Massive Sausage Roll with Chutney Stripes
LARGE ROASTING TIN
This recipe takes the humble sausage roll, that hardworking stalwart of drinks parties and wedding buffets, and supersizes it into a meal deal. And it packs its own condiments, too, in the form of a big stripe of chutney running through the centre.
450g good quality sausage meat
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley or chives
Salt and pepper
Grating of nutmeg (optional)
4 tbsp good chutney, mushed up if the fruit pieces are very big
Flour for dusting
350–400g ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
1 tbsp sesame and poppy seeds
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
2 Crack one egg into a large mixing bowl and beat lightly, then add the sausage meat and fresh herbs. If it isn’t pre-seasoned, add salt, black pepper and a generous grating of nutmeg. Add 1 tablespoon of the chutney and mix well.
3 Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper on your work surface. Scatter a little flour over the greaseproof paper and roll out the puff pastry until it’s just shorter than the length of your roasting tin.
4 Place the pastry in front of you lengthways. Starting 3cm in from the side closest to you, spread the remaining chutney in a thin line all the way up the centre of the pastry.
5 Place the sausage meat in the centre of the pastry and form a huge sausage, leaving 3cm of pastry clear at each end, and enough pastry on each side to fold over the filling.
6 Starting 2cm away from the sausage meat, cut 2cm wide strips into the pastry on each side.
7 In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg, and use it to lightly brush over all the visible pastry.
8 Tuck the top and bottom flaps of pastry over the filling, then take alternate strips of pastry from each side and fold them over the meat. Make sure each strip slightly overlaps with its opposite number so the filling doesn’t leak during cooking.
9 Trim and tuck in the flaps so that you have a tight, even plait. Brush all over with beaten egg and sprinkle with the seeds. Lift the roll, on the greaseproof paper, onto the roasting tin.
10 Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with a little extra chutney on the side.
Baked Farro ‘Risotto’ with Porcini, Artichokes & Sun-dried Tomatoes
This rice-free ‘risotto’ uses farro, a substantial grain which is a perfect vehicle for rich flavours. It’s excellent as a vegetarian main course, or a side to grilled meat or fish. It’s made like a baked rice risotto – started on the hob and finished in the oven.
10g dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in 100ml boiling water
500ml chicken stock
160g quick-cook farro
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
½ tsp salt
Big handful of basil leaves, torn
4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
2 artichoke hearts in oil, drained and cut into large chunks
8 green olives, pitted and chopped into quarters
Grated zest and juice of ½ a lime
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
60g Parmesan, finely grated
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and line a traybake tin with foil.
2 Drain the porcini and chop into small pieces. Strain the soaking liquid and add it to the chicken stock.
3 Pour the stock into a large saucepan and add the farro, vinegar, tomato puree, thyme sprigs and salt. Bring to the boil and then carefully tip into the lined tin. Stir well, cover with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
4 Remove the tin from the oven. Take off the foil, stir and check to see if the farro is cooked: it should have a nutty texture with some bite, but should not be too chewy. If it’s not quite done, stir and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes.
5 When it is ready, remove the foil and stir through the basil, tomatoes, artichokes and olives. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Mix the lime zest and juice, olive oil and parsley together and stir through the farro with half of the Parmesan. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and serve.
This article is extracted from Sam Gates’ The Tin and Traybake Cookbook: 100 Delicious Sweet and Savoury Recipes.