Candied Lemon Peel

Candied Lemon Peel

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.

 

 

Candied leftover lemon peel

Adapted from 'Cooking with Scraps' Lindsey-Jean Heard
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs

Ingredients

  • at least 2 leftover lemons (or lemons you'll use for something else)
  • 200 grams caster sugar

Tools

  • Sharp small knife or speed peeler
  • Saucepan
  • Scales
  • Sieve/colander
  • Cooling rack
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Storage jar or box

Instructions

  • If using whole lemons: use a speed peeler or a small sharp knife peel the rind off and place the lemons in the fridge for another dish
  • If using lemons you've squeezed for something, it'll be a little harder but totally fine - you'll just need to take a little more time
  • Place the peels in a medium sized saucepan and pour in cold water until the pan is nearly full. Put on to boil & boil for 2 minutes then drain and repeat twice. This is how you'll get rid of the bitterness and make the peels tender
  • After the third boil and sieve, leave the hot peels until they are cool to the touch.
  • Mix 150g of sugar and 175 ml water in the saucepan
  • Slowly bring to the boil and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar
  • When the sugar is dissolved add the peels and turn the heat to medium
  • Simmer until the peels become translucent - anything between 60 and 90 minutes
  • Don't stir the peels! Every 15 minutes you can gently push the peels under the surface
  • Check the peels to make sure that they are simmering. You might need to turn the heat up and down to keep an even simmer
  • When the peels are translucent, get your cooling rack and place some baking paper underneath to catch the drips
  • Using tongs or a slotted spoon, gently place the peels on the cooling rack to dry - not all bunched up, in separate pieces. Let the syrup drip off the peels back into the saucepan before placing on the rack

The next day

  • When the peels are dry, add 25grams of sugar to a clean bowl and toss the peels to coat. Use more if the peels aren't fully covered
  • Take your airtight container and put a thin layer of sugar at the bottom and add some peels, trying to keep them from touching

Storage

  • The peels will keep for up to 2 months in the pot

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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

Pea fritters

Pea fritters

I love a fritter.  Basically a more filling pancake.  With a poached or fried egg you’ve got a light meal, or as an alternative to chips or a jacket potato with your sausages. Got sweetcorn and peas?  Would totally work – just use the same total weight of veg.

Pea fritters

Serves 4
Based on Jane Baxter for Riverford

Ingredients

100g thawed/leftover peas
75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
65ml milk
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 red chilli/1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
6 spring onions
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley or chives (optional)
salt & pepper
Vegetable/sunflower oil for frying

Tools

Scales
Sharp knife
Whisk/fork
Mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Frying pan
Flipper
Skewer

Time

30 minutes

Level

Medium

Prep

If your peas are frozen, leave to defrost
Finely chop the chilli (if using a fresh one)
Slice the dark green tops off the spring onions (if you ever make stock, chuck them in a bag for another day; otherwise chuck). Cut the white and pale green parts of the onion into rounds

Method

Put flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl
Add egg and beat in
Gradually beat the milk in with a whisk until you get a thick, smooth batter
Melt half the butter in a saucepan
Pour the melted butter into the mixture
Add chilli (optional), herbs (optional), onions and peas to the batter and season well with plenty of salt and pepper
Heat the veg oil and a pinch of the butter in a frying pan until quite hot
Drop tablespoons of mixture into the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for about 2 minutes
You’ll see that the fritter looks a bit set, and a few bubbles will appear: that’s good!
Flip it to the other side; it’ll probably be a bit splatty on the bottom but that’s okay
Cook for another 2-3 minutes
If you’re not sure if it’s cooked, stick the point of a sharp knife or skewer into the middle; if it’s clean it’s cooked, if not, it’s not!
If it’s not cooked and you’re worried that it’s burning, flip back to the first side and give it another minute or so. You might want to turn the heat down
Pop to one side and repeat until you have used all the mixture
Serve with eggs and bacon for brunch, or as an alternative to your mash or jacket potato

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover peas and pasta

Leftover peas and pasta

After all that Easter gluttony, we need some more green goodness. Peas are a huge part of our shopping, our dinners and after school teas.

When I was a kid, one of my brothers and I would eat little pots of frozen peas straight from the freezer (a habit that my youngest has picked up, I’m happy to say).  Peas are so small!  And sweet!  And I usually will just eat them all with a spoon (esp if there’s a little butter and salt on there.

 

But not always, so you can quite often find little Chinese takeaway containers with a couple of handfuls of peas waiting for their starring role…

 

Peas will keep for a couple of days; make sure that they are in a lidded container in the fridge. Do no re-freeze cooked peas.

 

A little pasta; some grated cheese and butter. That’s it.  Cook your pasta as usual; put a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water in a mug then drain the pasta.  Stir the pasta, a little of the water, a teaspoon of butter and the peas together.  If it’s a little dry, add a little more water.  Cover with whatever cheese you have/like and enjoy.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Jam-Jar Scraping Thumbprint biscuits

Jam-Jar Scraping Thumbprint biscuits

Thumbprint cookies are a traditional American biscuit, and are a perfect way to use up those scrapings of jam.  Yes, English bakers will call for jam tarts, but they are a little trickier, as you need to make and roll out pastry.  These are easier to make with kids.  And, for those of us who don’t adore jam, the ratio of sweet jam to creamy, plainer biscuit, is better.

This cookie dough benefits from sitting in the fridge overnight, if  you can.

You can see here that I’ve used strawberry, raspberry and marmalade: because you only need a teaspoon for each biscuit it’s a great recipe for using up ‘odds and sods’ of jam. Okay, it’s not the tag line of the century!  But making a tea-time treat out of food that you were about to chuck will give you a wonderful feeling of pride.  Happy baking!

(Too much leftover) Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 16-20

Ingredients

35 grams unsalted butter, softened
50 grams caster sugar
1 egg yolk
110g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Tools

Essential

Scales
2 baking trays
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Dessert spoon
Large mixing bowl
Whisk/fork
Wire cooling rack
Teaspoons
Knife
Chopping board

Time

30m prep
50 minutes making and chilling
A few hours – overnight chilling, if possible
20m baking

Level

Medium

Prep

Remove butter from the fridge
Line the baking sheets/trays with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 180C

Method

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolk
Mix in flour a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms
Chop the dough into half, then each length into 8-10 pieces each
Roll dough into 5cm balls
If dough is too soft, chill for 15 to 20 minutes.  If possible, chill overnight
When ready to bake, place balls 8cm apart on lined baking trays
Use your thumb to make a thumbprint in the centre of each cookie
Fill the hole with 1/2 teaspoon of jam
Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes – check after 8.  If they’re not ready, leave them in
Use your flipper to wriggle onto wire cooling racks
DON’T EAT STRAIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN THE SUGAR WILL BURN YOUR MOUTH TO HOLY HELL.

But, you know, enjoy!

 

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Jam-Jar Scraping Blondies

Jam-Jar Scraping Blondies

Three jars of jam, all a bit sticky and maybe just a teeny bit  … no, not mouldy?  Maybe a little?  Or just you’ve looked at it for so long that you’re sick of the sight and need some more shelf or fridge space.  Cooking the jam into something new will make you forget all those sticky, slightly gross jars, and hey – it’ll also give you some cheap, reusable food storage – win win!

Seriously.  Jam jars are one of your cheapest and best storage options. Quarter of an onion?  In the jar!  Herby oil?  In the jar!  Fat from your roast chicken . In! The!  Jar!  Just don’t forget to add the sharpie to write what’s in the jar and when you put it in the fridge and you will be a happy leftover lover.

As per the jar instructions; jams made with a lot of sugar can be stored in a cupboard after opening.  Home made or ‘conserves’ need to be stored in the fridge after opening.

 

Have you tried blondies? This recipe takes hardly any time to put together and is utterly customisable, making it perfect for any jam, peanut butter or nuts that are hanging around your kitchen.  One saucepan, one bowl and into one tin.  And eaten within one hour, I bet. Or if you have a tail end of peanut butter and chocolate sauce?  Heaven.  Maybe some almonds?  Go for it!  Like flapjacks, blondies are wonderful for using up bits and bobs in the cupboard into a delicious pan of wonderousness.

Jam ripple blondies

Based on Smitten Kitchen’s blondies

Ingredients

115 grams unsalted butter
190 grams sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon course sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon pouring salt
190g plain flour
Around 3 tablespoons jam but less is fine, just use up what you’ve got

Tools

Essential

Scales
8 inch cake tin
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Saucepan/bowl
Dessert spoon
Large mixing bowl
Whisk/fork
Wire cooling rack

Helpful

Skewer Sieve
Measuring spoons

Time

15-20m prep
20m baking

Level

Medium

Prep

Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave and put to one side
Line your cake tin with greaseproof paper

Method

Turn the oven to 170C
Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and add the sugar
Beat together until smooth
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully mixed
Sift in or add the flour (sifting will give a lighter texture but you’ll still have lovely blondies if you don’t have a sieve)
Gently stir together with a balloon whisk/wooden spoon
Pour into the cake tin
Drizzle the jam all over the mixture and use a skewer/sharp knife to gently swirl around
Bake for around 20-25m
The blondies should be lightly browned on the edges but looking a little under-baked at the middle; if you’re teasing with a skewer, it should have mixture on it
Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out on to the wire rack
Cut into about 16 pieces

These freeze *really* well

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

ann@storrcupboard.com