THIS WEEKEND (my darlings), YOU ARE CLEANING OUT YOUR FRIDGE . . . otherwise, just keep on walking, nothing GLAMOROUS to see here !
Cooking a lot means a lot of leftovers tucked away in your refrigerator : half-used opened tins, bits & pieces of smaller stuff and of course larger partly-used stuff, not to mention the fresh herbs slowly wilting away if you haven’t had time to pick the leaves, place them in freezer bags and use during the colder winter months !
Here’s an easy thing to do when you have leftovers, when you need to empty out your fridge (and reorganize it) and when you need to prepare something quickly or in advance with little or no fuss. One option is a SCARPACCIA, a thin crustless tart usually combining zucchini, onions and garlic in a batter made up of eggs, milk, flour, cornmeal and parmesan.
This recipe readapts the scarpaccia concept using zucchini (this time) but also other leftovers or just explains how to use the batter with other ingredients. The recipe itself is no “show-stopper” and it was never meant to be. By the way, “scarpaccia” means old shoe in Italian …
What I’ve done here isn’t just recombining leftovers to make a dish that could be a main dish for 4 or more often, a tasty appetizer for 12, but carefully calculating the batter to filling ratio and understanding how to adapt the batter quantity to the filling made from the leftovers you need to use up quickly ! You see where I’m going with this ?
OPEN FRIDGE DOOR, SCAN CONTENTS, EVALUATE, EXECUTE !
The batter (which should only be prepared after the preparation of the filling that has been measured in cups) is an easy ratio. For 1 egg (the hardest thing to divide and which also equals ¼ cup when measured) you’ll need ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup flour and 2 tbsp grated parmesan and 2 tbsp cornmeal (or wheat semolina), to which you’ll add some salt and baking powder.
The recipe below is for a large flat tart, intended for approximately 5 cups of filling to which you’ll add 3 cups of batter. It’s not rocket-science, just math and percentages.
It’s not a 1:1 ratio but actually closer to a 60% ratio or 1 to 0,60. You’ll want to calculate the volume of the filling after it’s all mixed together. It’s also wise to measure the volume (in cups) of the batter after the mixing (because even though the batter uses 4 cups of ingredients, once all the batter ingredients are combined and start integrating themselves to become one thing and not separate elements, it actually measures 3 cups). No it’s not magic, just a liquid to dry ingredient reaction and principle, the dry ingredients just becomes more compact when mixed with liquid ingredients.
So, if you have almost 2½ cups of filling, then you’ll only need ½ of the batter recipe below, if you have 3¾ cups of filling, you’ll need ¾ of the batter, if you have 5 cups, then follow the recipe below and if you have 6 cups, then increase the batter by 25% (like I said in the paragraph before : add 1 extra egg + ¼ cup milk + …).
Does it sound complicated ? Okay then, let’s make it easier. For a ¾ filled cup (or 0,75 cups) of batter which equals 1 egg + ¼ cup milk + ¼ cup flour + 2 tbsp cornflour + 2 tbsp grated parmesan + the salt & the baking powder, you’ll use about 1¼ cups (or 1,25 cups) of filling … 1,25 cups of filling x 0,60 (the 60% batter quantity to filling quantity ratio) = 0,75 cup (the batter you’ll need). You will obviously want to adapt your baking dish to the quantity, the result should resemble a large, rather flat and thin tart !
Try different combinations too. I’ve used sliced and drained eggplant (instead of zucchini) and added tomatoes, peppers, onions, sausage or cold-cuts, oregano and basil (instead of leftover spinach, tuna, mint & dill) …
You get the picture ?!
USE your LEFTOVERS … :)