Lemon Heart Vinegar

Lemon Heart Vinegar

Leftover lemon heart vinegar

I started obsessing about food waste when my kids were little and I was determined to give them as much organic produce as possible. Not everyone’s priority or privilege. I got by on spending around £60 a week on food and honestly, I was proud that I did manage.  Family or friends would raise their eyebrows and roll their eyes when I talked about my veg box, but I knew I was giving us good food. I learned to ignore the eye rolls. Using every scrap of a leftover lemon, half a sausage or pot of sour yoghurt made sure we could eat home-cooked food and I’m grateful that I learned to cook at home and school.

Lemons are so normal in our fridges but travel from Spain, Italy, Israel and, TBH, who knows where, just so we can put a little wedge in our gin & tonic or have a sweet and sour pancake. Leftover lemons deserve more than going hard inside your fridge door – let’s use every last scrap.

I came across this recipe in the James Beard Waste Not Cookbook. I have a growing collection of food waste books which makes me happy. Some focus on the scraps and others on how to cook one meal and then use those leftovers. For me it’s a mixture of both.

This ‘recipe’ is great and so thrifty. A 50p bottle of white vinegar. Lemon rinds. That’s it. You likely will use about 10 pence worth of vinegar in this recipe. You can use your leftover lemon vinegar in dressings, marinades or even mixed with sugar syrup and lightly poured over ice cream (especially good for those of us who don’t have the sweetest tooth).

The eco-cleaners out there know that distilled white vinegar is *the* hot cleaning product. I use mine in place of laundry detergent and for cleaning my bathroom (along with washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda). Eco often means cheap because a spangly new product isn’t necessarily going to do a better job than some cheap bicarb (I say this as a person whose mum bought her a ££dress££ on Sunday and I enjoyed every second). 50p well spent, no?

Using every last scrap of your food saves you money which sometimes means you can buy that nice dress (over time), or, for me, means I can buy the organic butter or lemons. Every purchase we make is a choice, one way or another. Every leftover we make the most of helps the planet one little choice at a time.

 

 

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Home made chips with leftover lard

Home made chips with leftover lard

Cheap as chips homemade chips with leftover lard

Talking about cooking with animal fat is a bit fraught, I know. My mum’s dripping pot lived in the fridge, ready for Sunday’s roasties and Yorkshire puddings. Every Sunday she would pour another layer of hot fat, sizzling over the cold layers. Then, the following Sunday mum would scoop out another tablespoon to get the roasties going. Best was seeing the 12 mini Yorkshire pudding tins coming out, the black base spitting with a pea sized glob of sizzling fat.

My parent’s fridge is smaller now it’s just them and the dog at home. The pea-green pot is still there. Recently I used some of mum’s dripping to slow cook some onions for pot of beans. The layers were like marble, a history of weekly roasts, different cuts and types of meat (pork and beef and everything all mixed up).

I use my leftover animal fat a lot in cooking; a few weeks back I roasted a giant, 3kg piece of pork belly; that left 300ml pork fat. A bottle of sunflower oil is £1.30 in Sainsbury’s, so, to me, I’ve saved myself £1.30.

Jay Rayner has talked about the wonders of dripping chips and here is my nod to them. I challenge you to find a more comforting tea – chips, beans and an egg. Almost veggie, very thrifty – and using your leftover lard.

Leftover lard chips

Serves 4

Ingredients

Around 600 grams potatoes
Around 50 grams lard
Salt

Tools

Scales
Sharp knife
Chopping board
Large bowl
Colander
Saucepan
Oven tray
Flipper

Time

About an hour

Prep

Preheat the oven to 220C
Cut the potatoes into chip shapes
Place in the large bowl and cover with cold water
Soak for 5 minutes

Method

Put the baking or roasting tray in the oven and add the lard so it gets nice and hot
Place a large pan of salted water on to boil
When the water is boiling, carefully add the chips
Boil for 5 minutes then drain
Remove the tray from the oven and carefully add the drained chips, turning in the oil to coat
Return to the oven and check after 15 minutes, then 10 and then every few  – exactly how long the chips will take to cook will vary, depending on the type of potatoes you use. They should take around 35 minutes all told
Eat, golden brown and hot!

Storage

I’m not a fan of leftover chips but you can keep in the fridge for up to five days, reheating them in the oven

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Mashed potato cakes

Mashed potato cakes

How to use leftover mash to make potato cakes

When I was little, if my mum was boiling potatoes, I’d ask her to do extra. I didn’t see any joy in a boiled potato, (well, unless it counts as a vessel for melted butter). But, I knew that too many boiled potatoes meant leftover potatoes and that meant Welsh potato cakes.

I think, when I went to uni, one of my godmothers gave me one of those cookbooks that you write in. The first recipe I called home for was the potato cake. All best writing in the cookbook; almost 20 years on and now it’s all scribbles of recipes that I’ve written here and there; a cut-out of the first recipe my ex and I fell in love with, and over; his mum’s chocolate cake (“butter or margerine”), when I made a turnip curry and that was, genuinely, nice enough to write down.

By total fluke, my dad decided to make these recently. He’d never known about mum’s recipe, and found on online. His recipe was to pan fry, which I did using dripping from their pot. I found it harder to get the crust that I love, so, I prefer to stick with baking.

I love these. They are utterly special to me.

Leftover Mash Potato Cakes

Serves 4

Ingredients

225 leftover mash
100 grams plain flour + more for dusting
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 egg
Milk – around 50ml but how much you need depends on your mash – this needs to feel quite firm but not rigid
1/2 tbsp sugar *
Pinch salt

* optional; it’s in the original, and how I like the taste,but feel free to leave out if you prefer.

Tools

Essential

Scales
Mixing bowls, small and large
Sieve
Fork (to whisk eggs)
Potato masher
Wooden spoon
Baking tray(s)
Silicone scraper
Large kitchen knife
Cooling rack

Helpful

Measuring teaspoons

Time

20m prep
20-25m to bake

Prep

Dust the baking sheet lightly with flour
Place butter in an ovenproof dish and melt in the heating oven (PUT A TIMER ON!) OR// melt in a saucepan on the hob
Lightly beat egg
Turn oven to 220 degrees
In a small bowl, mix flour(s), baking powder and salt together
Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto a baking tray.

Method

Mash all your leftover roots with potato masher until combined and smooth
Sift the flour mixture over the mashed veg
Use wooden spoon to mix them together
Add in egg, stir to combine
Pour over melted butter and combine
Flour a work surface and scoop the dough out
Using a rolling pin or patting with your hands (less washing up…), roll the dough until it’s about 3cm thick
Either way, pat the dough into a circle
Take a sharp knife, cut the dough half, and then quarters. Cut into halves again – you should have 8 triangles
Place a little flour onto your fish slice thing and gently move each cake onto the tray
When all the cakes are on the tray(s), put in the oven and bake for about 20m
They are cooked when puffed up, golden and slightly firm to the touch
Either serve straight away, or leave to cool on a cooling rack, with a knob of butter melting on top

Storage/further meals

Leave to cool and keep in a sealed container in the fridge; if you know you’re unlikely to eat within a couple of days I’d freeze them as I don’t think they keep well
Frozen, you have *months*

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Whey cinnamon buns

Whey cinnamon buns

Brunch lovely leftover whey cinnamon buns

Who doesn’t love a cinnamon bun? Soft, chewy, buttery, warm.  Oh god I’m so happy I’ve got a few sitting in my freezer…

When I made ricotta and paneer from my Christmas milk glut, the amount of whey took me utterly by surprise.  But this is why I love cooking with what’s in front of me – I need to try something new.

But, cinnamon buns are a family favourite, and this recipe is a combination of two of my most favouritest books: ‘The Bread Baker’s Assistnat’ by Peter Reinherdt, and ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ by the Queen of Cooking.

If you’re into bread then get yourself a copy of this James Beard winning lovely.  The recipes work – because he worked as a baker, Reinherdt isn’t precious about ingredients and he wants to help you to get. it.right.

I wasn’t sure about using whey in the buns; when you make ricotta or paneer, you have to curdle the milk with vinegar or lemon.  Was I going to make horrid buns that would end up wasting a tonne of flour, butter and sugar, all in trying to not waste a sort of waste product?!  Hoping that the ever so slight tang would be undetectable (hell, yoghurt cake is good, right?), I ploughed on and baked these.  And no I didn’t tell my children what is in them, are you mad?

Result?  Best Cinnamon Buns ever.  You’re welcome. Happy Brunch.

(PS These go stale quickly; better to make them, shape them and freeze them)

 

Leftover whey cinnamon buns
Adapted from ‘The Breadbaker’s Apprentice’ and ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess”

Ingredients

For the buns

180 grams sugar
1 teaspoon salt
150 grams soft, unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract OR grated zest 1 lemon/orange
450 grams strong bread flour
1 sachet/5 grams dried, quick action yeast
250 – 300 ml whey

Filling

150 grams soft, unsalted butter
150 grams sugar (soft brown is nicest if you can stretch to it)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Milk to glaze

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls
Clean tea towel
Whisk
Teaspoon
Greaseproof paper
Tray

Optional:
Bread scraper
Measuring spoons
Electric whisk/stand mixer if you have one

Time

About 30 minutes to combine
4 hours of shaping/adding butter
25 minutes to bake
10 minutes to cool so you don’t burn your hands!

Prep

Leave butter out to soften
Get a large bowl ready and pour in a little oil into the bottom

Method

Make the dough

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt by hand or with an electric whisk
Whisk in the egg and citrus, if using
Next, add the whey, yeast and milk
Mix on a low speed/by hand until the dough forms a ball
Knead in the mixer or by hand for between 10 and 15 minutes – stop when the dough is silky and smooth

Gently place the dough into the prepared bowl, turn it around in the oil to stop it from drying out as it rises
Cover with the clean tea towel and leave to rise – about 2 hours in a toasty warm kitchen or anything up to 4 or 5 if it’s a cold, cold room

MEANWHILE, the filling …

Cream together the soft butter, sugar and cinnamon until as soft as you can get it

Back to those buns

When the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour your counter
Gently turn the dough out and scrape the bowl good and clean

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle around 1cm thick, 10 cm long and 30 cm wide
Don’t roll the dough too thin or your buns will be tough rather than soft and plump (ahem)

Gently now, squash and push the butter around the dough; if your dough threatens to rip, stop!  Fill a mug with almost boiling water and take a knife/offset spatula if you have one
Using your fingers or a warmed knife, push the cinnamon butter all over the dough
Roll up into one, long, thing roll
Using a bread scraper or large knife, cut into 12-16 buns

Take your lined tray and place each bun carefully inside, around 3cm apart
My buns do lose their perfect circularity as I chop; gently reshape as you place them

Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise again for 75 – 90 minutes or until the buns have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size
*** If making these for a brunch, you can leave them to rise in the fridge from Saturday onwards; take out 3 hours before baking to fully warm through before hitting the oven***

Baking

Preheat the oven to 180C
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown
It takes practice to know when to pull these out of the oven, if you’re really wprried, poke the most middle bun with a knife to check for raw dough

Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes to avoid caramel buns

Devour

Storage/further meals

Cinnamon buns go stale pretty quickly; if you’re making a lot to use up lots of whey/milk, freeze them raw: take the ‘composed’ buns, place them on a lined baking tray, cover and place in the freezer. When fully frozen, remove from the tray and place in a bag. Best eaten within three months
If you have 1 or 2 leftover, just ping in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Love bread pudding? Imagine one made with these…

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Whey risotto

Whey risotto

How to use leftover whey

Hello StorrCupboard lovers! May I cast you back to the deep days of the lovely smooshy time between Christmas and New Year, when no-one knows what day it is and you’re eating about 5 meals a day? Remember that I had about 12 pints of whole, organic milk sitting in my fridge, about to go off?

We’re all trying to reduce our plastic waste. I ditched having milk delivered with my veg box and went to glass bottles on the doorstep; I do love picking them up in the morning in my raggedy dressing gown.  I also love not having 6 or 7 plastic bottles in my recycling bag on a Thursday morning. I can still support farmers and get unhomogenised milk which is important to me.  And delicious.

So I made my paneer and my ricotta, whoop!  But – gallons of whey! Eh? I 100% hadn’t realised that would happen. So, my lovely band of Grammers came to my aid…

Whey is the most heavenly addition to a risotto. Simply use half whey half stock. Boom. That’s it. Simple. Nothing more to add!

So … leftover milk made ricotta which made leftover whey. That whey has now inspired 3 meals.  To me, this is how my best cooking works – I see what’s there and it sparks me to try something new, something unusual. What do you do to get inspired in the kitchen?

 

Leftover Whey Risotto

Serves 2, heartily

Ingredients

50 grams unsalted butter
1 medium leek, white and green parts (around 100 grams)
200 grams risotto rice
250ml whey
250ml chicken/veg stock/water
100 grams peas
Around 50 grams grand padano/any Italian hard cheese

Tools

Knife, chopping board
Large frying pan
Wooden spoon
Grater

Time

About three quarters of an hour

Prep

Finely dice the leek
If using a stock cube, prep the stock

Method

Heat the butter in the saucepan and when it’s a little frothy, add the diced onion
Cook on a medium/low heat until the onion is see-through – at least 10 minutes but give it 20 if you can
DON’T LET IT BROWN
Only when the leek is soft enough to be squashed with your wooden spoon add the risotto rice
Stir it around and make sure it’s all covered with the butter
Heat back down to medium and add some stock and stir
Keep on adding the stock and whey and giving the odd stir until the rice has a nice texture; not too soft but I’m not keen on too much of a bite.  Some brands of rice might take 20 minutes, some 30, so follow pack instructions
If you’re using peas, stir through with a couple of minutes left to go
When you’re happy, stir through the grated hard cheese,

Storage/further meals

Lots of people worry about storing leftover rice; billions of people all over the world eat leftover rice, so just be careful and you’ll be fine
Allow to cool to room temperature then cover
You can keep for 5 days in the fridge as long as kept cold and covered
Only reheat what you need at any one time

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Whey fermented beetroot

Whey fermented beetroot

Leftover whey for lacto-fermentation

Hello StorrCupboard lovers! May I cast you back to the deep days of the lovely smooshy time between Christmas and New Year, when no-one knows what day it is and you’re eating about 5 meals a day? Remember that I had about 12 pints of whole, organic milk sitting in my fridge, about to go off?

We’re all trying to reduce our plastic waste. I ditched having milk delivered with my veg box and went to glass bottles on the doorstep; I do love picking them up in the morning in my raggedy dressing gown.  I also love not having 6 or 7 plastic bottles in my recycling bag on a Thursday morning. I can still support farmers and get unhomogenised milk which is important to me.  And delicious.

So I made my paneer and my ricotta, whoop!  But – gallons of whey! Eh? I 100% hadn’t realised that would happen. So, my lovely band of Grammers came to my aid…

This takes a couple of weeks to come to fruition but the prep takes minutes.  I’m a newbie to the fermenting world; as I’ve said before, despite loving food working in food and constantly thinking about what food is coming next, I can confess to some neophobia.  But 2019 is the year that, quite frankly, I’m just plain bored with being too scared to try things (in food and, erm, life!).  Some of my challenges are: fermented beetroot, putting my mug on Insta stories and driving on the continent (if we can still bloody well get there).

You don’t need a fancy jar for this, I just had one and want to get busy with some fermenting.  If you like gherkins and mayo, just buy the biggest jars you can find and clean them out when you’ve eaten up the content.  Fermented beetroot? My18 year old self is just plain confused, but trying new food and new recipes is, I think, important. It keeps me on my toes and open to trying new things, from a single anchovy on a slice of thickly buttered bread to the very first time I tried a steaming bowl of french onion soup, aged 8, on holiday with my family. It was probably a Knorr packet soup, but I was in heaven and I’ve never looked back. Who knows? maybe it’ll be the same with my lacto-fermented beetroots.

 

Lacto-fermented beetroots

450 grams chopped veg
500ml whey mixed with 1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon spices

Notes

On veg: if you can get it from a veg box, a farmers market or greencgrocer, do – the veggies won’t have been tumbled and washed so much, which will help your ferment to get … lively

On salt: don’t use the big bags of table salt as the iodine used to treat it may kill the ferment.  Maldon or whatnot is what you need here

On spices: I used bay leaves and fennel fronds as they were to hand; also chilli flakes, black or white peppercorns, dill seeds, fennel seeds or coriander seeds

Tools

Scales
Measuring jug
Large jar (big enough for your veg)
Cabbage leaf or pickle weight

Method

Day 1

Chop up the veg into equal sized pieces
Place herbs or spices in the jar and push down
Add veggies to your jar, in equal layers if you’re using a mixture
Leave 4cm clear to the top of the jar
Pour over enough whey to cover, leaving 3cm clear
Place your cabbage leaf or pickle weight to submerge the veg (this is essential as otherwise the veg will *rot*, not ferment)

Seal loosely or cover with a cloth and keep at room temperature for between 2 and 7 days (it’s January as I type, so 7 here!)

Day 2-7

Try the veg; once it tastes tart and the liquid is a little fizzy it’s time to move the jar to the fridge
If you see a little white mould on the liquid simply skim it off – it’s not chucking out time!

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

ann@storrcupboard.com