Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, a love story

Tomorrow is a big day for StorrCupboard: the first StorrCupboard Food Waste workshop. Quite nervous. I’ve been putting a lot of background work into StorrCupboard so I’m often running to chase my tail. So I’m writing this just ahead of hitting send, on this blustery Sunday morning. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking dosas with 12 members of the public, learning how to be food savvy with the wonderful people of Hubbub charity. I can’t wait and I’m terrified all at once.

Dosas aren’t simple to learn. There’s a practice needed in learning the right grain to achieve and you do need a food processor, sorry. If you like the idea, then a basic gram flour ‘dosa’ will be similar but won’t have the same flavour. But it will allow you to clear your plate.

The batter is lightly fermented, so if gut health and fermentation are of interest to you then it’s well worth having a go. It took me a couple of goes to get anything that I’d even serve to my kids, so there’s been a lot of eating soggy batter!

The ground rice/lentil/fenugreek mixture has to look like thick cream, that’s the only way I can explain it. Then you loosen it, until it’s like English pancake batter – worryingly loose is how I think about it.

I loved learning to make these and pushing myself to keep on experimenting, learning. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

PS this is a lovely piece

 

Dosas

Author: Ann Storr

Ingredients

  • 375 grams basmati rice
  • 125 grams urad daal (split, skinless black gram)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Tools

  • Sieve
  • Scales
  • Large Bowl
  • Clean tea towel
  • Food Processor
  • Non stick or cast iron frying pan
  • Flipper
  • Ladle or coffee cup
  • Plate

Instructions

The night before

  • Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2-inch deep. Soak overnight.

8 hours before you want to cook

  • Drain all the water from the rice mixture. Now put into the food processor and grind - adding very little water if necessary - to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste
  • When you are happy with the texture, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats the back of a spoon - to me like English pancake batter
  • Now add salt to taste and keep the dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6 to 8 hours. During this time it will ferment

Cooking the dosas

  • Pour a little oil into the pan and tilt it to cover the base
  • Fill the ladle up to the 3/4 level with dosa batter. Gently pour this batter onto the centre of the pan - just as you would for a pancake
  • Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to cover the base of the frying pan. The dosa may have little holes- this is normal
  • When the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny), flip the dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in colour. Cook for 1 minute after flipping.
  • The dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Lardy tea bread

Lardy tea bread

Using your leftover lard in sweet bread…

 

Bread, sweet bread, sourdough and everything. It wasn’t – obviously – planned that I’d have three bread recipes in as many weeks. I certainly didn’t think that I’d find myself with dough-sticky hands again, making another loaf. But leftover lard left me needing to dive into the cookbooks.

When I have a leftover I’m happiest leafing through my growing cookbook collection. I do sometimes google but there’s too much or I’m being too specific, not giving myself the chance to be surprised.

And, naturally, this is where I found the recipe for your lazy afternoon use of leftover lard: tea cakes. The mighty Jane Grigson wrote a version of this recipe in ‘English Food’. I turned to the index and only “lardy cake” under lard. So I thumbed my way and found these.

I adore fruited loaves. And they are cheap as chips. I’ll admit – the pork flavour comes through so I wouldn’t offer a slice to everyone. But if you’ve got an adventurous pal, go for it. Swap your butter for leftover lard wholesale or an equal 50/50 split and, next time you reach for the butter, be grateful that there’s a little more left in the fridge,  because you allowed your leftovers to be your inspiration.

 

Leftover lard tea bread

Based on "Mrs Borthwick's Yorkshire Teacakes" in Jane Grigson's 'English Food', pp 305-6
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Author: Ann Storr

Ingredients

  • 600 grams strong white bread flour
  • 6 grams dried yeast (or one sachet of grams)
  • 60 grams sugar (I used caster)
  • 30 grams lard (or butter)
  • 200 grams dried fruit (I used 150 grams sultanas and 50 grams of raspberries)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 300 ml milk plus more for glazing
  • 150 ml boiling water

Tools

  • Scales
  • Bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Loaf tin
  • Brush
  • Clean tea towel
  • Wire cooling rack

Instructions

  • Add flour, sugar, yeast, mixed spice and salt together and rub in the lard
  • Add the dried fruit
  • Pour the boiling water into the measuring jug with the milk - this is an easy way to get the right temperature
  • Lightly dust your counter
  • Mix together and turn out onto your floured counter and knead for about ten minutes
  • Shape into a round, return to the bowl and cover with the clean tea towel
  • Leave to rise - this will take anything between an hour and or two, depending on your kitchen
  • Grease the loaf tin with a good amount of unsalted butter or lard
  • When the dough has doubled, shape into a loaf shape and place gently into the tin
  • As the dough reaches the sides of the pan, turn your oven to 180 C
  • When the dough is ready to go, pop into the oven and bake for around 45 minutes; keep an eye on it and reduce the temperature if the top looks as though it'll burn
  • Turn the loaf out - if it's hollow when you tap it on the bottom, it's done. If in doubt, leave for another few minutes, checking every couple for readyness
  • If at all possible, leave to cool for about 45 minutes to allow to dough to complete cooking

Storage

  • This loaf will keep well but will be better for toast, eggy bread or bread and butter pudding after a couple of days.
    You can freeze whole or in slices for months

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

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

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

(Half a pot of ricotta) chicken meatballs

(Half a pot of ricotta) chicken meatballs

On my leftover ricotta quest, as discussed, once I realised that a. it’s just soft cheese, and b., it’s a common Italian ingredient, well, friends, my life got a lot easier.

I bought the Rachel Roddy books last year and have been lucky enough to meet her a couple of times.  She’s as generous, friendly and kind as she sounds from her books and Guardian column, and she has kindly allowed me to reproduce one of her recipes here.

And wow, these meatballs.  Mamma mia (I didn’t know people really say that in Italy – they do!).  Like fluffy little pillows, oh man!  I served them with fresh bread and peas.  The meatballs are a little wet, so take your time when shaping them – that’s why Rachel recommends having wet hands, as it helps the mixture to not stick.

I had to make the meatballs a couple of hours before supper, and left them in the fridge, between making and serving for supper.  They were just as good as the few I pan fried with the courgettes and tomatoes for my lunch.

These chicken balls are heavenly – light and tender, perfect for using your leftover ricotta, and warming your favourite people on a cold, January night.

Chicken balls with ricotta and lemon (for leftover ricotta)

Reproduced with permission from Rachel Roddy, ‘Two Kitchens’, Headline, p236

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the meatballs

300 grams minced chicken breast
200 grams ricotta
grated zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
60 grams soft white breadcrumbs
50 grams Parmesan, grated
a pinch of dried oregano
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt & freshly ground black pepper

To cook and serve

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
a sprig of rosemary
200 ml white wine, or 500 ml tomato sauce, or 1 litre broth

Tools

Large mixing bowl
Couple of little bowls
Scales
Teaspoon/measuring spoons
Grater
Immersion blender (if you need to make breadcrumbs)
Large frying pan
Grater
Tray
Baking parchment/paper

Time

About half an hour; you can leave the cold meatballs, covered, in the fridge to cook later in the day

Prep

Make breadcrumbs

Method

In a bowl, mix together the chicken, ricotta, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, oregano and eggs using your hands, and season well with salt and pepper. With wet hands, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls, and place them on a tray lined with baking parchment

In a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, warm the olive oil and fry the garlic and whole spring of rosemary until fragrant, then remove from the pan. Add the chicken balls and fry gently, turning them until they are brown on all sides

If you are using white wine, add it to the pan, where it will sizzle, then let the meatballs simmer for 10 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time so they don’t stick.  By the end of cooking they should be tender but cooked through, in a slightly thickened sauce.

If you are using tomato sauce or broth, warm the sauce in a pan large enough to accommodate both it and the meatballs. Once the sauce or broth is almost boiling, drop the balls into it, making sure they are submerged.  Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and poach for 15 minutes, by which time the meatballs should be cooked through by still tender.

Storage

These are best eaten on the day; any leftovers, as ever, cool to room temperature, cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com