(Half a glass) Red Wine Vinegar

(Half a glass) Red Wine Vinegar

Last night, I sat with darling friends, set the world to rights over prosecco, pizza, red wine and Galaxy.  At half twelve we inched ourselves towards bed, half full wine glasses left on the side.  This was, of course, a happy coincidence/this is a way I like to spend Saturday nights.

Cooking with red wine doesn’t have to be all full bowls of risotto and bowls of ragu and mushrooms.  How about a nice salad?  Mmmmmmm red wine salad?  Doesn’t that sound lush?  Or how about making your own red wine vinegar? It’s simple – just leave your leftover red wine out in a jar, and cover it with some clean, thin fabric so that fruit flies don’t die a happy death in your wine.

Now you have a nice, home made wine vinegar to dress your salad!  That sad salad pack that’s sitting in your fridge? This home-made red wine vinegar will make sure that that it doesn’t get wasted.  The red wine vinegar does take a couple of weeks to ferment, but you’re saving time, saving money and saving food waste. So let the wine do its own magic, banishing food waste, one delicious meal at a time.

(A glass of leftover) Red Wine Vinegar

Ingredients

Leftover red wine

Tools

Jam jar
Muslin

Time

A couple of weeks

Prep

Sterilise the jar

Method

Pour the wine into a jar
Cover with a muslin
Leave for about 2 weeks
Vinegar!

Storage/further meals

Store in a cool, dark place

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Half a leftover) Smothered Cabbage

(Half a leftover) Smothered Cabbage

Some things just go together; pork and greens are a perfect example of this.  A tiny amount of pork, saved from the bin, is all you need to give that leftover cabbage some pep in its step.

This recipe was inspired by an amazing food writer and cook, Edna Lewis.  She lived in Freetown, Virginia, which was a community of people who had emancipated themselves from slavery.  This community included her grandparents, themselves emancipated slaves.  Her recipes show a deft experience of working with excellent produce and how to make every meal into a feast.  That skill comes from experience and a respect for food and not wasting it, a skill that you, me and more people are now re-learning.  If you’re interested in reading about seasonal, delicious and thrifty food, and the relationship of this pioneering African-American woman and community, hunt it out, curl up in a chair and learn,

I experimented with this recipe, using half groundnut oil and half sesame oil to make it veggie and vegan friendly.  It was okay but a little greasier.  The taste was less mellow and reminiscent of nutty seaweed from Chinese takeaways – one of my favourite choices when I spurge on a takeaway. Not bad, just different.

If you cook roast pork you must MUST save the fat, precisely for recipes like this.  You’re making the most of the joint and saving money; this is the recipe to convince you.

(Three ways with half a) Leftover Smothered Cabbage

Adapted barely, from ‘The Taste of Country Cooking’, Edna Lewis, p139
Serves 2-4 as a side dish

Ingredients

1/2 a leftover cabbage (around 350 grams)
1 tablespoon of leftover pork fat OR half a tablespoon each groundnut oil and sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon nice vinegar (red wine, white wine or apple cider)
Salt and black pepper

Tools

Frying pan with a lid
Scales
Knife and chopping board
Measuring spoons
Tongs/fork

Time

About half an hour to prep and mix

Prep

If necessary, cut your leftover cabbage into quarters
Cut out the stalk by placing on the diagonal
Cut into chunks around 1cm wide

Method

Heat the fat/oils in the frying pan until quite hot
Add the cabbage and let it sear (go a bit brown) but don’t let it burn
After about 3-4 minutes when the sides are browned, sprinkle over the vinegar and place the lid on the pan
Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
Season well with salt and pepper
Eat!

Storage/further meals

This is best eaten fresh, if possible
But, if you can’t eat it all, allow to cool to room temperature then cover
Keep to up to 5 days in your fridge

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Seriously?!) Leftover Oil  Foccacia

(Seriously?!) Leftover Oil Foccacia

The first time I ever made foccaccia (I know I hate me a little bit, too), I couldn’t believe *how* much oil I needed to use.  So, what better way to use up those one, two, three jars of leftover sun-dried tomato or sweet roasted pepper oil?

Now this is no ‘five minutes to mix and one hour to rise’ breads; ideally you leave it to raise overnight, in the fridge.  If you’ve made bread a few times, it’s so worth it.  The recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhard, ‘The Bread Baker’s Apprentice’.  I love this book and if you’re interested in bread it’s worth the purchase.  My eldest brother gave me a copy as a gift – from one bread head to another.  Reinhart takes you through the processes involved in mixing, proofing, shaping and baking.

Foccacia isn’t always flavoured and I am no Anna del Conte but I do like to, sometimes, add a flavour.  Using flavoured oil from a leftover jar of sundried tomatoes just makes your life easier – you’re not making some!  As the oil is the most expensive ingredient in the recipe, you are saving yourself a load of cash!  And flour?  Well, about 50p – can you buy a supermarket focaccia for that?  Can you fuck.

As with all bread, it freezes really well so you can use up the oil if you’re worried it’s about to go off.

Fancy bread makes a cheap soup tea much more exciting so get busy with your sundried tomato oil and make sure there’s never a leftover leftover.

Leftover oil focaccia

Based on Peter Reinhard “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice’, pp159-163

Serves loads
Takes *overnight*

Ingredients

550 grams strong bread flour
Around 100 grams of plain flour for sprinkling
10 grams salt
5-7 grams of yeast (5 grams is fine if you use a tin of yeast; 1 packet of dried)
100 millilitres of oil from your leftover oil
If you have any leftover tomatoes/peppers/olives from your jar, them

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowl
Bowl for dipping your hands in
Large metal spoon
Tea towel, one that you don’t mind getting a little dirty
Scraper/dough scraper if you have one
Measuring jug
Baking tray – the size that you just use in your oven for anything …
Greaseproof paper
Chopping board and knife
Sieve, if you want to get little bits out of the oil

Time

A few hours on and off for making the bread – not constant work but you need to be working from home/doing some chores and happy to dip in and out of doing
Overnight – 3 days prooving in the fridge

NB – this length of time is a GOOD thing!  Imagine – you maybe have some quiet time on Wednesday and friends coming for lunch on Sunday?!  See!

Prep

Sieve oil if you like
Chop the veggies into pieces around 2-3 cm

Method

First step

Stir together the flour salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl
Add 50 ml of the oil and water and mix with the large metal spoon until you have a large, sticky ball
Dip your hands in the water bowl and mix, and shape the dough into a ball – this may be tricky AF but don’t worry too much

Time lapse session

Once an hour, for 6 hours, push the dough down and re-shape it into a round
The dough, after a while, will double after an hour; the gluten is working nicely when this happens

Sprinkle enough flour onto the side and scrape the dough onto the flour; dust liberally with flour and pat it into a rectangle
Wait 5 minutes for the dough to relax
Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size
Fold it – bottom third to the middle and top half over the top
Dust with flour, replace the tea towel on the top and leave for 30 minutes

Time lapse session two

Do this, twice
Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size
Fold it – bottom third to the middle and top half over the top

Then …
Let the covered dough ferment on the counter for 1 hour – it should get bigger, but may not double in size

Line your tin with baking paper
Drizzle 25ml of leftover sundried tomato oil onto the paper and spread it with your hands/pastry brush to cover the paper
Oil your hands with a little of the oil
Use a spatula or dough scraper to pull the dough, GENTLY, off your kitchen counter
Place gently onto the lined tray, trying to maintain the shape
Spoon over half of your remaining oil
Use your fingertips to dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan
GO GENTLY -your fingertips, NOT the palms of your hand, otherwise you will rip the dough
Don’t worry about spreading the dough to fit every corner of the pan
Place any diced tomatoes/peppers/olives/even feta into the dimples

Loosley cover the pan with your tea towel and place in the fridge
Leave it from overnight – 3 days

Day of making
Remove the pan from the fridge 3 hours before baking
Drizzle over the last of the oil
Pop that tea towel right back on top and leave to prove for 3 hours

Baking
Preheat the oven to 200C
Place the pan in the oven
Lower the heat to 180C and bake for 10 minutes
Rotate the pan and bake for 5 more minutes – check it
Check it – if it’s light golden brown maybe leave for another 5

Remove the pan from the oven and shift it straight out of the pan and onto a cooling rack
If the paper is stuck, carefully remove it by lifting the corner of the bread and peeling it off the bottom with a gentle tug

Leave it to cool for at least 20minutes before slicing or serving

Storage/further meals

Slice and freeze

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Slightly Soft) Leftover Pears with Pork Belly

(Slightly Soft) Leftover Pears with Pork Belly

My ode to autumn pears

As part of my “well if you like redcurrant jelly with roast lamb” and “how about your apple sauce with roast pork” series, may I present – roasting your pears underneath your pork belly joint? Cook a pork belly joint in the normal way that you would – leaving any packaging off, if you can, for at least overnight.  I have a huge stainless steel mixing bowl that I place over the pork, so that it can dry out but not put other foods at risk.

Cook the pork hot, and REMEMBER to have a jar to keep the fat!  I made an onion tart yesterday morning, and rather than use expensive butter, I just used a tablespoon of pork fat.  Usually I would use butter.  My huge joint of pork belly cost me a tenner.  By saving the fat and using it in place of oil or butter, I figure that I’m both saving money and making my food go further.  Every time we make changes like this, being thrifty, we’re minimising food waste and saving money.  This can only be A Good Thing.

Some sweet little roasted pears to provide a little change from your apple sauce?  Or, if you think there’s going to be haters, pears mashed into the apple sauce so no-one knows?  Get on it, and make sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

Roasted Pork Belly with (Leftover) Roasted Pears

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3-4 pears
1.5-2kg joint of pork
Loads of salt

Tools

Knife
Lage mixing bowl
Chopping board
Roasting tin
Baking tray
Tea towel/kitchen paper

Time

Overnight rest if possible
2-3 hours cooking and resting

Prep

If possible, remove the joint from packaging the night before you want to cook it
Salt it, cover with the upturned bowl and store in the fridge
On the day of cooking, remove the joint from the fridge a couple of hours before cooking, if possible
Dry the crackling with kitchen paper/clean tea towel
Re-salt

Method

Turn oven to 220C
Place the joint in the oven and roast for 15 minutes
Turn heat to 140C
Every half an hour or so, pour the fat into the waiting jar/bowl
Half an hour before cooking time is up, cut the pears in half and use the teaspoon to remove the cores
Remove joint and place the pears on the tray
Return the joint to the tray, ontop of the pears
Cook for a further 30 minutes
Remove the joint from the oven.  Baste the pears
Cut the crackling off the joint and place on a baking tray, uncooked side up
Return both trays to the oven for about 20 minutes to crisp up

Storage
You can store the pork for a few days in your fridge
Leftover pork?  You can make sarnies, ragu or noodles!

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Pumpkin seed flapjacks

Pumpkin seed flapjacks

Flapjacks are the leftover hoarders friend.  Clear out your nuts!  Your dried fruit and even your old cereal!

Now, some CRAZY people out there will tell you to put flour in your flapjacks.  NEVER EVER EVER DO THIS.  Those grim flapjacks that you get at dodgy train station coffee shops, with a best before end date set for 2 days after the apocalypse?  They have been padded out with flour, because it is cheaper than oats.  They also break the oats down which means that you don’t get the rich, lovely flavour of oats + golden syrup + butter.  If you want to go vegan you can use coconut oil.

Now cheap doesn’t mean bad, my leftover loving friends.  Not at all.  But don’t fuck with my flapjacks.  Or my crumble.  Or my marmite on toast. Thank you love you mean it.

If you’re going to go rogue and start clearing out loads of old nuts and fruits, just keep the ratio the same: you need 450 grams dry ingredients. I’d try to keep the bulk of the grain to oats, but chuck in jumbo oats, old cereal, whole nuts, ground nuts, dried fruit, chocolate.  REJOYCE in the lack of food waste with your StorrCupboard busting flapjacks and a nice cuppa.

What else do you do with your leftover pumpkin seeds?  Do you prefer to go sweet or savoury?  I

Leftover Pumpkin Seed flapjacks

Makes around 16 large/25 smaller

Ingredients

300 grams rolled (porridge) oats
100 grams leftover pumpkin seeds, roasted (just don’t add the spice mix)
50 grams sesame seeds (optional; just use 50 grams of oats if you have a nut allergy/don’t want to use)
75 grams sugar (caster, soft brown – whatever)
150 grams golden syrup
Good pinch of salt

Tools

Colander/sieve
Baking tray
Teaspoon
Scales
Large saucepan
Square baking tin
Greaseproof paper
Wooden spoon

Time

30 minutes to clean and bake the pumpkin seeds if your seeds are raw
40 minutes to make and bake
Around 10 minutes to cool before slicing

Prep

Preheat the oven to 180C
Wash any pumpkin skin off your seeds
Line your baking tin with greaseproof paper

Method

Place the seeds on the tray and stir the oil
Place in the oven
PUT A TIMER ON!  Check after 15 minutes
Listen – can you hear a little pop? They’re done.
While the seeds are cooking, melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar together
As soon as the pumpkin seeds are cooked, mix them into the oats, sesame and salt together
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet
Stir well, making sure that every little oat is drenched in syrup
Pat the flapjacks into the corners of the pan and a flat top but not too firmly – you’ll never get them out!
Bake for about 25 minutes until bubbling and golden
Leave to cool in the tin, and cut into squares

Storage
Keep in a lidded, airtight container for up to a week.  If they last that long.  (They might last longer than a week but they’ll taste stale TBH)

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Bought-too-many-herbs corn bread

Bought-too-many-herbs corn bread

I love cornbread, corn chips, corn crackers, corn fed chicken and sweetcorn.  Big bowls of polenta (grits) all rich with corn, butter and cheese, topped with heaps of veg or ragu/bolognese.  It’s the warm flavour of corn that does it for me.  So, for my final ‘good god either I don’t have enough herbs or I have too many’, I offer you: herby cornbread.
Sometimes cooking a dish that you can freeze for another day is the perfect way to use up a leftover; maybe it’s leftover because you ran out of time this week, or the herbs are going off more quickly than you expected.  Or, maybe, you’re just sick of the sight of the fucking herbs/veg/meat sitting there. looking a bit manky and beaten up.
Cornbread pairs really well with chilli, ribs and barbeque.  It’s also amazing toasted, buttered, and topped with a fried egg.  If you won’t eat the whole loaf in a day or so, get it frozen!  Slice it, freeze it, label it – and, hey!  Maybe breakfast could be cornbread and eggs rather than toast and marmite?  (Though I love toast and marmite tbf).
NOTE: do not use quick cook polenta; it’s milled the wrong way for this.  A bag of cornmeal/polenta will set you back 80p, and it’s amazing in cakes and bread.  If you bake homemade pizza, you can use it to dust the bottom of the tin, so it won’t go to waste.

(Bought too many herbs) cornbread

Based on Smitten Kitchen’s Sourcream cornbread with Aleppo

Makes 1

Ingredients

125 grams plain flour
145 grams course cornmeal/polenta (NOT QUICK COOK!)
10 grams granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
up to 50 grams mixed, fresh herbs
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
225 ml sour cream *
150ml whole milk *
2 tablespoons neutral oil (ground nut, sunflower, light olive oil)

* If you buy a 300ml tub of sour cream and you might not use it all, just shove it in and use less milk; if you can only afford/want to get a 150ml tub, then add more. Sure, the consistency will be a little different, but variety is the spice of life, no?

Tools

Scales
2 mixing bowls
Teaspoons
Balloon whisk
Measuring jug
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Large loaf tin/7 inch round tin
Skewer

Time

15-20 minutes to weigh and mix
22-25 minutes to bake
Around 10 minutes to cool before slicing

Prep

Preheat the oven to 180C
Line your loaf or cake tin with greaseproof paper
Finely chop/process your herbs

Method

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, milk and oil
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones using your balloon whisk, mixing until just barely combined
Spread the batter in your prepared and bake for 22 to 25 minutes
A skewer pushed into the middle of the cake should come out clean

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

ann@storrcupboard.com