Leftover Green Pepper Jambalaya

Leftover Green Pepper Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Creole and cajun cuisine has always interested me, and I don’t really know why. I think because the flavours and layers and history are fascinating – how French, African-diaspora, American and English histories combine.  I started cooking some Louisiana style food when the StorrCupboard babies were small, having photocopied (yes it was 2006…) most of a little book from my South London library.
It may be incidental, but there’s a lot of baked goods in creole and cajun cooking.  And whiskey.  And fat.
I won’t ever understand marshmallows and sweet potato, or frito pie, or pumpkin pie.  But a chunky cornbread?  Jambalaya?  These foods enabled people on limited means to eat joyfully, making the most out of bits and bobs and, as I’ve talked about, that’s how I managed to feed my family when times were lean. And a small amount of leftover meat can be used perfectly. So … yes please.
Your leftover green pepper is one of the essentials in building your jambalaya.  Like onion, carrot, garlic and celery in French or Italian cuisine, green pepper, onion, celery and garlic is what you need for cuisine from the Deep South.  The bitterness that some of us (cough) struggle with is essential.  In a dish like this, rich with smoked sausage, chicken and fish, and filling with rice, the bitter note is perfect and stops it from being too rich.
Note: if you have access to amazingly diverse food shops, Andouille sausage is ideal.  If not, Tolouse, or a Polish smoked sausage.   I had only fancy fresh hot-dog sausages that have been in the UK supermarkets for the past couple of summers, and they were great.
With the meat, it’s about weight. I went for white fish as there are many ethical problems with prawns eaten in the UK, and they are hellish expensive.  Mussels would work, or salmon – this is a dish where the rice and the veg pad out and showcase the meat.  Keep the ratios the same and make it the dish that you love.

 

Jambalaya

Adapted, barely, from Felicity Cloake, Guardian.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: eating on a budget, family recipies

Equipment

  • Tools
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Large saucepan pan
  • Lid for the pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Slotted spoon/flipper
  • Plates
  • Optional tools
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 3.5 teaspoons cajun spice mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 smoked sausages
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 onion 150g
  • 1 green pepper 300g
  • 1 celery stick 70g
  • 3 cloves garlic 10-15g
  • 4 spring onions 70g
  • 800 ml Chicken or pork stock
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce
  • 300 g long grain rice
  • 300 g fish I used coley fillets

Instructions

Prep

  • If using frozen fish, remove from freezer
  • Slice the sausages into 2cm-ish slices
  • Finely dice the onion, celery and green pepper
  • Crush/finely chop the garlic

Method

  • Pour the oil into the pan and add the sausage until it sizzles - quite hot, not max
  • Brown both cut sides and remove
  • Repeat with the chicken
  • Turn the heat to medium and allow to cool for a minute
  • Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic to the pan and cook until tender (about
  • 10 minutes); some people like to place a lid on the pan (I find it helps)
  • When tender, add the garlic and and stir around for a minute
  • Add the spice mix and stir well to make sure that the veg is well coated in spice mix
  • Return the chicken to the pot, pour in the stock and the Tabasco
  • Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender then add the rice
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Next, stir the rice once, place the lid on and leave for 15 minutes
  • After the 15 minutes are up, remove the chicken and set aside
  • Turn the heat to low
  • Add sausage and fish to the rice mixture
  • Stir the rice around the meat and fish once, replace the lid and leave to steam
  • As soon as you can, shred the meat off the bones
  • Stir the chicken through the rice mixture

Storage/further meals

  • Store in a lidded container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days
  • Reheat CAREFULLY until piping hot
  • You can freeze, in a lidded container, for a month or so

Fishfinger fish cakes

Fishfinger fish cakes

Fishfinger fish cakes

My first job, aged 15 or 16, was washing pots.  I’d make £16 a week for the Saturday lunch session. I took the job over after one of my brothers didn’t want it any more. One Saturday morning I knocked on the fire door, said “I’m Tom’s sister – he’s not doing this any more”.  Barry, the head chef, shrugged and let me in.  It was a small kitchen, just two chefs and me.

I loved it – hot and dirty work, scrubbing pots and heaving trays of dishes in and out of the industrial dishwasher.  The labour of it appealed to me, much more than working in a shop (note: I never got the shop jobs I applied for.  Ever.  Only ever cafe and restaurant jobs).

After a few months, my responsibilities seemed to increase. Barry the head chef taught me how to use the giant food mill to grind potatoes.  Adding poached salmon, herbs, anchovy essence and seasoning.  And, how to shape a fishcake with my hands: using a cutter created waste. I learnt to pat and roll out the mixture, cut it into squares that you smooth and shape into circles with your hands.

After he taught me this, Barry sat in the cupboard that was our staff room, drank a tea, smoked a fag and read the Sun. And I was making the fishcakes.  Which was his job.  But I’ve never used a cutter to make a scone or fishcake, because it’s less wasteful and there’s less washing up.  Okay, maybe you’ve never made a fishcake – great!  But, maybe now is the time to start.  They are cheap, good for you, comforting and delicious.

Fishfingers  – okay they’re hardly poached salmon.  But don’t let that stop you. The crunchy breadcrumbs work well in the fishcakes, and adding more breadcrumbs on the outside of your fishcake adds to the deliciousness, and is a thrifty way to make a small amount of protein go further.

Crunchy fish cakes

Ingredients

  • 400 grams raw potatoes (350 grams cooked)
  • 150 grams cold breaded fish/fishfingers
  • 2 eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • 75 grams plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika/ras al hanout optional, but they add a lovely flavour
  • 100 grams breadcrumbs
  • Plenty of vegetable oil for frying

Tools

  • Scales & bowl
  • Chopping board & sharp knife
  • Saucepan
  • Peeler
  • Potato masher/fork
  • Whisk/fork
  • 3 small bowls/plates for egg and breadding
  • 2 large plates
  • Frying pan

Instructions

Prep

  • If starting with raw potatoes, peel and boil/steam/microwave until they are soft through
  • Mash the potatoes well with a masher or fork, and season well with salt and pepper

Combine the fishcakes

  • Lay out the three smaller bowls
  • In the first, add your flour, the second your eggs and third your breadcrumbs
  • Season the flour and the breadcrumbs; if using, add the spice to the breadcrumbs
  • Whisk the egg
  • Break the fish into 1 inch/2cm pieces
  • Place oven to 100C
  • Add the fish to your mashed potatoes and mix through
  • Take a handful of mixture and roll it into a ball. Do that until you have between 6 & 8 fish cakes
  • Flatten each fishcake with the flat palm of your hand and is about 2cm thick
  • Take one fishcake and place it in the flour. Using your right hand, make sure it’s entirely covered
  • Place in the egg. Using your left hand, cover it in egg. Using your left hand still pop the fish into the bowl with the breadcrumbs
  • Using your right hand, press the fishcake into the breadcrumbs so it has a nice crunchy covering and is a little flattened
  • Still using your right hand, place the fishcake onto the waiting plate. Repeat until they are all covered
  • Place enough oil to cover about 2mm in your frying pan and turn the heat to medium

Cook the fishcakes

  • Pop a little leftover lump of breadcrumbs into the pan; when they sizzle, you’re ready
  • Place 2 or 3 fishcakes in the pan and cook until golden (about 7 mins)
  • Once golden flip and repeat
  • Keep the waiting cakes warm into the warm oven
  • Serve with veg/beans

Fishfinger rice bowl

Fishfinger rice bowl

Fishfinger rice bowl

Sometimes I think of a leftover recipe. I imagine different reactions:
younger me “Cold fish and RICE?  ARE YOU ON DRUGS? Where’s the white sauce?!”
My parents: “Gosh, it is interesting how you combine different things isn’t it?”
My brothers: “Oh, yeah, well done”.

They aren’t the leftover lovers though!  Two leftover fish fingers are too good to waste, and this, to me, was surprisingly good.

The leftover friend’s super star, a rice bowl is a fab way to use up those odds and sods from the bottom of your fridge.  Any leftover greens, some salad: whatever.  Bet you’d buy it in M&S  or Pret without thinking, so have a go and make your own!  Okay, M&S and Pret wouldn’t be using fishfingers, but you might have some white fish or some chicken mixed with your rice and salad, so why not a fishfinger?

Cuisines across the world batter or egg & bread fish, so mixing up a fishfinger with a little boiled rice isn’t as mad as it might sound.  I mean, okay, I wouldn’t pay to eat it in a restaurant or claim that it’s authentic cuisine (well, it’s authentic Ann Storr but that’s not always a good thing TBF). With some salad, some chilli  – well, to me it’s a damn sight tastier than a coffee shop equivalent.  And no single-use plastic packaging. With this second, more photogenic rock around the block I used Thai sticky rice, which I prefer in this dish, and it was easier to eat with chopsticks (because yes I’m sure this is super, super authehtic Thai (side eye emoji).

If you take lunch into work, store the fish separately so that the crumbs don’t go soggy (bawk).  A little teryaki sauce is all that this needs to give you a filling and tasty lunch.  Or, if you don’t have any in the fridge, some tamari or soy sauce.

Nice rice, some veg, some fish: quick lunch​​

 

Fishfinger Rice Bowl

Yes I sort of hate me too.

Ingredients

  • 60 grams rice I used Thai, but whatever you have/like
  • 2 leftover fishfingers
  • Salad that you like
  • Teriyaki

Instructions

  • Cook the rice per packet instructions. Leave to cool.
  • If you're planning on eating this later, make sure that the rice is 100% room temperature before packing the salad as otherwise it'll steam slightly. If in doubt, pack a few small containers and combine when you're ready to eat.

(Not terrifying) leftover rice stir-fry

(Not terrifying) leftover rice stir-fry

There are a whole lotta rubbish about the PERILS OF LEFTOVER RICE!  YOU MIGHT DIE BECAUSE OF A LEFTOVER BIRYANI.  I’m going to stick my neck out and say – millions and probably billions of people all over the world eat leftover rice every day.  White people prob are just less used to how to safely store rice and fear it – “It’s so hard to cook!”, “It’s dangerous”. As with any food it’s not dangerous if you know what to do with it.

 

Rice is one of the foods that has massively increased in price over the past 10 years.  I remember my feelings of dread as I stood in the supermarket and wishing I could bulk buy one of those sacks but I couldn’t afford it and certainly didn’t have the space, either.

 

I buy a mixture of rices; these recipes were trialled with long grain because it is cheaper than Basmati, but Basmati would work, too. White or brown, too.

Note: Rice *can* harbour spores of a bacterium called Bacillus cereus. So a little care is needed.

As soon as you know what rice will be left over, spread it out on a baking tray.  This lets the rice cool down quickly which is important for food safety.  As soon as it’s room temperature store the rice in a lidded container – an old takeaway tub, an old jam jar or tupperware.

Eat within a couple of days.  Give it a sniff, taste a grain – what do you think?  Trust your judgement! If you are pregnant or have a suppressed immune system go with greater care

Fried rice is a wonderful, brilliant friend of the hungover at breakfast or a quick supper. If you can afford sesami oil, do it!  The nutty flavour is *delicious*.

The other bonus about fried rice is its fridge clearing capacity; got 1/4 of a broccoli? Chuck it in.  Handful of baby spinach?  Leftover bacon rasher? In. It. Goes. And if you’re having it for supper, of course: put an egg on top.

(Not terrifying) stir fry with leftover rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

Ingredients

60ml sesami oil
1 onion/bunch salad onions/1 leek
2 cloves garlic
400g leftover rice
1 inch grated ginger
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce/Tamari
Handful of leftover green veg: broccoli, peas, green beans, spinach
Optional: 125g bacon/chicken/halloumi/nuts
To serve: 4 eggs

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls
Knife
Chopping board
Grater
Wok/large frying pan
Smaller pan for frying eggs

Time

20 mins prep
10-15 mins cook

Level

Simple steps but you need to pay full attention – no soggy stir fry veg, ta

Prep

Finely slice your onion/leek
Crush or mince garlic
Grate ginger
Chop your bacon/chicken/halloumi into small pieces
If your meat is raw, cook it in the wok/frying pan in a little oil until crispy
If using veg, cook lightly – steam for a couple of minutes in a pan or about 1 minute in the microwave

Method

Pour in a third of the sesame oil into the wok/frying pan and turn the heat to medium
Add onions and cook for a few minutes, until you can smell their sweetness
Add garlic and keep stirring so that it doesn’t catch
Turn the heat down and add the rest of the oil, the ginger, veg (if using), meat/cheese/nuts (if using), rice and soy sauce/tamari
If you are confident and juggling two hot pans, start frying your eggs now.  If not, wait!
Stir so that everything is covered with the soy sauce and oil
If you have waited to fry your eggs, take your fried rice off the heat and set aside
Now fry your eggs!
Put a quarter of the fried rice on a plate/in a bowl and top with an egg

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Fishfinger rice bowl

Fishfinger rice bowl

Sometimes I think of a leftover recipe and I imagine different reactions: younger me “fish and RICE?  ARE YOU ON DRUGS?”.  My parents: “Gosh, it is interesting how you combine different things isn’t it?”. My brothers: “Oh, yeah, well done”.  They aren’t the leftover lovers though!  Two leftover fish fingers are too good to waste, and this, to me, was surprisingly good.

The leftover friend’s super star, a rice bowl is a fab way to use up those odds and sods from the bottom of your fridge.  Any leftover greens, some salad: whatever.  Bet you’d buy it in M&S  or Pret without thinking, so have a go and make your own!  Okay, M&S and Pret wouldn’t be using fishfingers, but you might have some white fish or some chicken mixed with your rice and salad, so why not a fishfinger?

Cuisines across the world batter or egg & bread fish, so mixing up a fishfinger with a little boiled rice isn’t as mad as it might sound.  I mean, okay, I wouldn’t pay to eat it in a restaurant or claim that it’s authentic cuisine (well, it’s authentic Ann Storr cuisine but that’s quite niche). But with some salad, some chilli  – well, to me it’s a damn sight tastier than a coffee shop equivalent.  And no single-use plastic packaging.

If you take lunch into work, store the fish separately so that the crumbs don’t go soggy (bawk).  A little teryaki sauce is all that this needs to give you a filling and tasty lunch.  Or, if you don’t have any in the fridge, some tamari or soy sauce.

Nice rice, some veg, some fish: quick lunch​​

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover roast pork noodles

Leftover roast pork noodles

Sometimes even a small amount of leftover meat can be enough to feed a few people. So let’s look at a second option for your leftover roast pork.

When you’ve finished with your roast pork or whatnot, deal with the meat.  My dad’s job, every Sunday, was to get all the leftover meat off the bones and get it into the fridge.  This meant it was safely stored and ready to be re-used in another meal.  Well, I mean, roast beef sandwiches, chicken sandwiches and never anything with leftover lamb – my mum always bought the smallest amount becuase none of us were a fan or leftover meat.h

A small amount of meat can feel like a right pain in the arse because it’s not very much. It feels like you may as well just chuck it.  But, and whislt the numbers are tricky to pin down on how much carbon it takes to produce that 50g of pork.  But, let’s think about about the the feed that was grown to feed the pigs, the petrol used to take the meat from the abbatoir to the packhouse and then onwards to you.

This recipe makes a virtue out of a small amount of meat because you fry them until they are crunchy and flavoursome with some Chinese 5-spice.  A few bundles of egg noodles, some stock and a load of veg – brocolli, greens, spring onions and ribbons of carrots.  So it’s cheap but with loads of flavour and varying textures.  And hold the bay corn and peppers, they have no place here, guys

 

 

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com