Leftover lard popcorn

Leftover lard popcorn

How to use leftover lard to make popcorn

It’s half term here in the UK and that means hungry kids who want something to eat *now*. Healthy-ish snacks that don’t rinse your bank account, are cheap and easy to smuggle into a cinema or pack into a picnic are what we all need. Using the leftover lard as the fat to make a bowl of home-made popcorn is a delicious and super cheap for you, me, EVERYBODY (sorry, went a bit ‘Blues Brothers’ there).

An ex’s mum taught me how to make popcorn. The transformation from hard yellow seeds to soft and puffy creamy things *still* excites me. My ex would buy those pre-made tubs that you microwave yourself. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! ALL THAT FAKE BUTTER? WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY!” and there would definitely be a tut, and there would possibly be a cuff around the ear. So, she taught me how. One kernel first, to make sure that the oil is at the correct heat.

If you have a big, Asian/African supermarket near you, then you should be able to get a kilo for around £2.35; my 100g then costs me 24p.  A supermarket 50g is around a quid so, not as good value but still masses better than anything ready-made.

A tablespoon of fat, 100 grams of popping corn and cheap snacks are yours. I often make a batch during the week to add a small pot to my daughter’s packed lunch, which costs me all of 2p.

Make sure that you’re ready to make your popcorn, with everything to hand, as it can burn ever so quickly. And it stinks.

If you’re vegan or veggie, of course you can use a plant-based oil like ground nut or sunflower; olive oil will burn too quickly and, I think, isn’t the right flavour for popcorn. If you’re an omnivore then scoop out pennies worth of lard. Get a movie, snuggle under a blanket with the kiddos and enjoy the umami flavour that using leftover lard or schmaltz and bring to a lovely big bowl of salty popcorn.

 

 

Home made popcorn using leftover lard

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Snack
Keyword: eating on a budget, family recipies
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon leftover lard you can use plant based oils
  • 100 grams popping corn
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar & salt optional!
  • 25 grams unsalted butter

Tools

  • 1 saucepan with lid
  • 1 scales
  • 1 knife
  • measuring spoons/teaspoon & tablespoon
  • 1 large bowl for eating!

Instructions

  • Turn heat to medium and add the lard (or oil) to the saucepan
    Place ONE kernel of popping corn into the fat and keep an eye on it; after about 3-5 minutes the corn will pop
    Only once the first kernel has popped, add the rest of the popping corn to the pan and immediately place the lid on the pan
    Listen to the popping; it should rumble happily away. As soon as the popping is only every couple of seconds, remove from the heat
    Pour the corn into a waiting bowl
    Take the butter and swirl it around the hot popcorn pan; pour all over the popcorn, sprinkle with salt and butter and enjoy!

Storage

  • Popcorn is best eaten fresh but it will keep for up to 3 days in a lidded, airtight storage container

Notes

Me

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Mash potato buns

Mash potato buns

How to squash your leftover mash into soft buns

(Ahem; sorry just couldn’t resist). Leftover mash is as soft and beige as leftover porridge. And we all know what leftover porridge is for: porridge muffins, and porridge bread. So how about mashed potato bread?

(Also, two bread posts in as many weeks … but it’s fecking February, it’s grey here it’s cold and I just want to bake. Plus: homemade bread is cheaper than most supermarket bread, so it’s a way of saving cash.)

Remember that every bread is just carbs that are fermented with yeast (from a can or your jar of sourdough starter). I gave up on homemade sourdough long ago; it’s lovely but I’m not that great a bread baker plus I’m the only fan. There’s only so much sourdough that even I can eat.

So, mash bread; prepare yourself for soft, smooth buns (sorry not sorry). I thought about soft milk buns or brioche when I made these, as the mash was already rich with butter and whole milk. I cracked in an egg and added 25 grams of sugar, just because I wanted to. That’s where relay race cooking is the best – you see what’s in front of you (mash!), and *that* is your inspiration for the next meal – not some end of aisle teaser. Omit the egg and/or sugar if you like.

Your leftover mashed potato buns will be perfect when still warm from the oven and full of melted butter and a wedge of strong cheddar. I practised making fried chicken for my kids the other day, ahead of a gaggle of girls coming round for dinner of fried chicken and chips followed by ice-cream sundaes. Sadly for me, there was warm, crunchy fried chicken to eat up … shredded fried chicken inside one of these was … it was unholy.

Leftover mashed potato buns

Makes 8

Ingredients

Leftover mashed potato, from 25 grams to 200 grams
Strong bread flour – enough to make potato and flour equal 700 grams
A little extra flour for kneading
7 grams/1 sachet yeast
14 grams salt
1 egg, optional
25 grams sugar, optional
Up to 350 ml milk or water
A little milk for glazing

Tools

Scales
Bowl
Baking tin
Greaseproof paper
Pastry brush

Time

Around 30 minutes for combining and kneading
At least 3 hours for rising or overnight
30 minutes to bake

Method

Rub the potato into the flour to avoid lumps
Add salt and yeast and rub in; if using the sugar, add now
If using the egg, add it to 200 ml milk and whisk in
Depending on your flour/mash ratio, and how much milk was in your mash means it’s not easy to say exactly how much liquid to add; the mixture needs to come together as a dough; you’re looking at around 400ml, but it could be anything from 250 ml to 400ml. Not sure? Start with 250 and see if all the flour is wet and the dough coming together. If not, add more, steadily. You can add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, but try to avoid that if possible
Once you’re happy with the dough, it’s time to knead dust the counter with a little flour. Holding onto the dough with your left hand, push the dough away from you with you right hand. Carry on with this for 10 minutes until the dough feels silky and you can hear the odd “pop” from the dough

OR

Shape the dough into a round and return to the bowl; as it rises every few hours, gently punch down and re-shape; do this over 6 hours. No kneading required!
When you’re ready to shape into buns, take a dough cutter or large knife and cut the dough into 12 pieces
Shape the pieces into buns by making them into a round and tucking the sides under the edge
Place each bun in the lined tin around 2cm apart
Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to rise again, for about 30 minutes
Turn the oven to 180C
Optional: glaze the buns with a little milk before placing in the oven
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until all golden brown on the top
Leave to cool, if you can

Storage

Like all home baked bread, these buns are best eaten on the day you bake them
If not, cut into them and freeze for up to 3 months

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

Sad salad pack chicken stew

Sad salad pack chicken stew

This stew is just yum.  Just. Yum.  It was inspired by the wonderful Victoria Glass, from her amazing ‘Too Good to Waste’ book.  Her stew uses sweet flavours – sweet potatoes and red peppers.  Lovely, but I wanted super super simple.  The leek is great and don’t miss it out if possible as it adds a gentleness that is just delicious.

Using chicken thighs is really cheap, and much better for a stew than breast meat.  On my insta stories I showed how to render the fat from the skins; you just leave them cooking verrrrrrrrry slowly and the fat will leach out.  And then you, dear cook, get to eat it all.  Yum.

Then the leaves – just stir them in and watch them wilt down.  Supper in one pot – what’s not to love?

Leftover salad pack Chicken Stew

Inspired by Victoria Glass, Too Good to Waste, p25

Serves 4

Ingredients

800 grams chicken thighs (4 chunky ones or a packet of 8)
1 onion (around 80 grams)
1 leek (around 100 grams)
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
3 potatoes (around 500 grams)
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 litre chicken stock
Any leftover salad pack leaves that you need to eat up!

Tools

Heavy saucepan
Tongs, if you have them
Knife
Chopping board
Jug

Time

About half an hour;  active time and 45 minutes simmering – so about an hour and a half all told

Prep

Pull the skins off the chicken thighs
Finely dice the onion
Wash the leek and slice in half lengthways
Cut the leek into half moons
Dice the carrot and the celery
Peel and crush the garlic

Method

Place the skins in a cold frying pan and turn the heat to medium; sprinkle over a little salt . Turn them every couple of minutes and press the skins into the pan

When they are crispy and crunchy, remove and either scoff them or use them to add crunch to a salad another day

Turn the heat up and brown the chicken all around; you may have to do this in batches

As the chicken pieces are ready, place them on a plate and leave them to one side.  Keep cooking until you have them all finished up

Place the onion and leek into the hot fat and sweat for about 10 minutes, until soft

When they are soft, add in the carrots and celery and sweat until soft

When the veggies are soft, scrape them out and leave to one side

Add in a little more fat and turn the heat up

Pop your potatoes into the hot fat and brown on all sides

When the potatoes are brown, turn the heat down and add in the crushed garlic and stir around the hot fat for one minute

Once the garlic is cooked, return all the veggies and chicken pieces to the pan

Pour over the chicken stock, bring to the boil.  Turn the heat down and leave to simmer.  You may need to rotate the pieces from time to time

When the chicken is cooked through, stir in the leaves.  They should only take a minute or two to wilt

Storage

Leave to cool to room temperature; if the leaves were on the wonk, freeze any leftovers.  If you were just bored of them, you should have up for 5 days to eat the stew.  Only reheat what you want at each meal.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com