(Leftover milk) ricotta

(Leftover milk) ricotta

The fresh milk-using-up-debacle continued with the fresh hell that is a ball of ricotta.

Last June, I was at a food event, chattering away over good wine and amazing nibbles (the struggle is real, I know).  Mid-convo, someone tapped me on the shoulder “We went to school together” – “No we didn’t” I replied without even thinking. I’m a real charmer.  I have a familiar face, so I’m often asked if I was at another party (sadly not), if I was at another event (possibly). She persisted – “I was – the year above you” “What, did you go to St Greg’s” I rolled me eyes “YES!” and low, dear readers, I was mortified. The most Marvellous Victoria Glass wrote a food waste book last year; quite why 2 food waste writers went to the school I don’t know.  We did do home ec (as it was then), but it was hardly the hotbed of food education.

When I put out my plea, Victoria suggested rictotta from her book, ‘Too Good to Waste’.  It’s too hard!  I worried “Piece of piss” she said – and she was right!

The ricotta is a doddle to make – but now I have to think of ways to cook it.  Because I made it.  And I, weirdly, don’t love it. But I know I’m in the minority here.  And I’m determined to overcome this one.  I don’t *have* to, but I’ve found a love of olives, stronger cheeses and spicey curries through determination and, really, I just want to be able to be more greedy.

Note: you can only make ricotta if you have whole milk; there isn’t enough fat in other milks.  Preachy time – I try to buy food in its least fucked around with form.  That is, of course, a fairly impossible branding standard to explain.  So I buy cheese not sliced or grated cheese; whole milk which I can water down if I need to; tins of tomatoes rather than a jar of sauce.  After years of skintness I know that I saved money because sour milk can mean soda bread, but a jar of mouldy sauce just has to go in the bin.  So, can I tempt you to buy whole milk? And go nuts and stretch to organic unhomogenised if you can.  Not everyone can.  Money is tight.  If you can, just try it.

I think it’s the idea of cheese and pudding.   So next week, you will have three ideas for using your leftover ricotta.  You’re

(Leftover milk) ricotta
From ‘Too Good to Waste’ by Victoria Glass

Ingredients

1 litre whole milk (it has to be whole milk!)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
60 ml white wine/distilled malt vinegar

Tools

Saucepan
Thermometer
Wooden spoon
Slotten spoon
Fine mesh sieve
Bowl
Cooking muslin
Lidded container for storage

Time

About an hour and a half (though an hour is leaving cheese to drain)

Method

Pour the milk into a good sized saucepan and heat until it reaches 93 C/200 F, just before it boils
Stir in the vinegar and take the pan off the heat
Leave to stand for 15 minutes

Line the sieve/fine mesh strainer with 2 layers of muslin/cheesecloth and set over the bowl
Using your slotted spoon, collect the curds that have formed and transfer them to the sieve
Leave to drain for an hour
After the hour is up, tie the muslin and squeeze out the remaining liquid
Leave for around another 30 minutes to drain again
Place in lidded container until ready to serve

Storage/further meals

When ready to serve, peel off the muslin
Ricotta will last for up to week in the fridge

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Leftover milk) cheese sauce extravaganza

(Leftover milk) cheese sauce extravaganza

During my fridge full of milk conundrum, lots of people suggested a cheese sauce freezing for another day.

So I thought: I’ll let you know why MY mum’s cheese/white sauce is the best.  You’re WELCOME.

My mum taught me to gently heat the milk with a bay leaf, seasoning and nutmeg, and leave it to stand for a few hours.  I go a little further and add a leek stalk (if I have it, or some onion ends or half an onion), a parmesan rind (if I have it – it means I need less cheese in the final sauce), and maybe some parsley – preferably just the stalks.  Don’t let the milk boil.  And then leave the milk to stand for anything from 5 minutes to overnight – take the onion/leek out after an half an hour though, else the flavour will dominate.

If, when you go to make your white/cheese sauce, you don’t need all the milk, just freeze it and label it “seasoned milk”.  So you don’t put it in your tea.

Once you’ve tried seasoning your milk you won’t go back…

Now this cauliflower cheese is how my mum made it, to feed a family of 6 a few days before payday.  A ring of mashed potato because cheese sauce and mash are heavenly; plus it was cheap as chips.  The plum tomatoes in the middle are beloved by my dad.  As a kid I didn’t get it at all, but the sharp tang and thin sauce just work.  Don’t fight it.

So make your cheese sauce, and if you like, make your cauliflower cheese and freeze it for a skint January evening.

(Note – my mum made this for 6, but I’ve given quantities for 4, as not many people are mad enough to have a family of 6 these days)

(Leftover milk) cauli cheese

Serves 4, heartily

Ingredients

For the mashed potato:

700 grams floury potatoes such as white/red/King Edwards/Maris pipers
50 grams unsalted butter
50 ml milk

For the cheese sauce

500 ml milk
Aromatics – all optional but all lovely: freshly ground nutmeg, parsley stalks, leek tops/half an onion, parmesan rind
Salt & pepper
50 grams unsalted butter
90 grams plain flour
Around 100 grams strong cheese – whatever you like, including cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese, even emmental, gouda – this is a great way to clear the fridge
1 teaspoon mustard

Optional: 1 tin whole plum tomatoes

Tools

Colander
Saucepan with lid
Optional: pan and steamer
Saucepan
Balloon whisk
Scales
Serving bowl
Heatproof jug
Ovenproof dish

Time

About  an hour and a quarter (though around 35 minutes of that is the baking time)

Prep

Place the milk in a saucepan with any aromatics
Gently heat until about blood temperature and then leave for at least 5 minutes or up to a day
Remove any onion flavourings after half an hour

Method

Turn the oven to 180C

Make the mash

Steam or boil your potatoes with plenty of salt
Once they are cooked through, mash with plenty of butter
Only add enough milk to make the mash the right consistency for you; you can use more if you like
If you have a potato ricer or mouli, this is the time to break it out – you want a really creamy mashed potato.  No lumps thanks.

Make white sauce

Strain any aromatics from your milk
Place a saucepan on the hob and melt the butter
Add the flour and, using the balloon whisk or a fork, mix the flour in
Splash in about 50ml of the milk and make a thick paste
Keep on adding around 50ml of milk, whisking until all the flour/butter mixture is combined
Bring gently to the boil and, once it’s popping gently, turn the heat down and stir occasionally for 5 minutes
Add in the cheese/cheeses and mustard (if using)

Steam the cauliflower for about 15 minutes, so that it’s not fully raw

Mix the half-cooked cauli and cheese sauce together

Assemble the dish

Squash the mash around the edge of your oven-proof dish
Next, pour in the cauliflower cheese
If using the tomatoes, make a well in the middle and pour in
Cover with a thin layer of grated cheese

NOTE – if freezing the whole dish, leave it to cool, cover, label then freeze

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked through

Storage/further meals

If you’re not planning to eat this dish within 3 days I’d play it safe and pop it in the freezer

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover salty nut butter

Leftover salty nut butter

My kids love a bowl of peanuts and a fizzy drink.  There aren’t always a whole heap of leftovers nuts but this year, for some reason, we didn’t get through so many.

Method

The easiest way to get through your leftover salty nuts – peanuts, almonds, any nuts you can name – get them in a bowl, get your immersion blender and pulverise.  You’ll have to go nice and steady and don’t be tempted to add any oil to get things moving.  Just steady, giggle the immersion blender around and then some fresh, peanut or mixed nut butter will be yours!

What will you make with yours?  I’m thinking some fun recipes would be good?

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover roast (turkey, chicken, pork …) sarnie

Leftover roast (turkey, chicken, pork …) sarnie

(This is an updated post from last year)

Okay yes it’s a sandwich BUT, it’s to illustrate a point… and yes it’s a horrible photo, but I’ve been learning a lot and I hate to make food to just photograph it.

A lot of people aren’t keen on freezing cooked meat.  Once it’s been cooked, you have killed off potentially dangerous bacteria.  Take your leftover turkey and slice it.  Once it’s totally cool, place it in freezer bags or containers.  If you want to have a couple of slices here and there for sandwiches, or noodle bowls or salads, place sheets of greaseproof paper between the slices of turkey as they freeze.  If you’re short of space (I have two kids one dog and a three drawer freezer), you can take the frozen pieces and transfer them to a bag which can squish into smaller spaces.

The meat can be defrosted by sitting on a cooling rack or plate and eaten within a day. This turkey had been in my freezer for two months before I added it to an avocado baguette.  And it was great and cheap and easy.

Got questions?  Please just get in touch ann @ storrcupboard.com

Happy food-waste-busting!

 

 

 

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover roast (turkey, chicken, pork …) noodles

Leftover roast (turkey, chicken, pork …) noodles

(This is an updated post from last year)

Sometimes even a small amount of leftover meat can be enough to feed a few people. So let’s look at a second option for your leftover roast turkey, goose, ham or whatever you and yours enjoyed for your Christmas feast!

When you’ve finished with your roast pork or whatnot, deal with the meat.  My dad’s job, every Sunday, was to get all the leftover meat off the bones and get it into the fridge.  This meant it was safely stored and ready to be re-used in another meal.  Well, I mean, roast beef sandwiches, chicken sandwiches and never anything with leftover lamb – my mum always bought the smallest amount because none of us were a fan or leftover meat.

A small amount of meat can feel like a right pain in the arse because it’s not very much. It feels like you may as well just chuck it.  But, and whilst the numbers are tricky to pin down on how much carbon it takes to produce that 50g of pork.  But, let’s think about about the the feed that was grown to feed the pigs, the petrol used to take the meat from the abbatoir to the pack-house and then onwards to you.

This recipe makes a virtue out of a small amount of meat because you fry them until they are crunchy and flavoursome with some Chinese 5-spice.  A few bundles of egg noodles, some stock and a load of veg – broccoli, greens, spring onions and ribbons of carrots.  So it’s cheap but with loads of flavour and varying textures.  Personally I don’t like peppers or baby corn in a stir fry, but this is your dinner not mine.

So a few shard of meat, a nest of noodles and a handful of veg and a leftover-busting meal is yours, in a matter of minutes.  Happy eating x

 

 

 

Crunchy pork & noodles

Adapted from River Cottage ‘Love your Leftovers’
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 onion (around 55 grams) cut into half moons
1 inch ginger (around 15 grams), grated or finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 medium carrot (apx. 200g)*
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (apx. 200g)*
1 courgette (apx. 200g)*
1/2 head broccoli (apx. 200g)*
200-400g shredded cold roast meat
2 bundles of noodles
Sesami oil Sunflower/ground nut oil
1⁄2 tsp Chinese 5 spice mix
Salt
Fish sauce
Tamari or Teriyaki sauce
Chilli sauce/fresh chilli

* So, 800g veg that you like/have gotta eat up

Tools

Sharp knife
Chopping board
Heat-proof bowl
Wok
Colander
LOTS of bowls

Optional tools

Tongs
Speed peeler
Grater
Garlic crusher (if you like using them)

Time

about 20m to chop 15 m to cook

Prep

Pull the meat into shreds
Chop onion in half. Peel the skin off and cut into thin slices
Finely chop garlic
Grate the ginger (skin on or off)
If using broccoli, put a small pan of water on to boil. Add a little salt
Break the broccoli into florets. Peel the thick skin off the stalks and off the base. Cut into thin slices
Once water is boiling, chuck the broccoli in
Cook it for 2 mins and then drain into a waiting colander/sieve
Peel carrots and courgettes into long ribons using the peeler. Put to one side
Shred the cabbage
Boil a kettle; place the noodle nests in a heatproof bowl. Cook per the packet instructions
Drain noodles and set aside

Method

With the wok on the hob, place the heat to medium hot. Pour in 1 tsp sesami oil
When the oil is hot, chuck the meat in. Gently stir it around – you want it to be crispy and crunchy, not burnt. This will take between 5 and 7 mins. DO NOT WANDER OFF! Stir stir stir
When it looks golden and crisp, shake over the Chinese 5 spice. Stir around for another 30 seconds Be careful that the spices don’t burn! Tip into a waiting bowl
Pour another teaspoon of sesame oil into the wok. Wait for the oil to heat up. Once hot, add the onions and again, stir them – you want them to brown not burn
Throw in the garlic and ginger and VERY careful not to burn. Tip out
Pour in the stock/leftover gravy and some tamari. If you have fish sauce, then add a drop. Taste it: you might want some chilli, some more tamari or some sweetness. Use your judgement|When the liquid is hot, add the drained noodles to the pan, along with the peeled veg. Stir the noodles and veg to coat everything
Give everyone a portion. Pop the crunchy meat on top
Eat, messily, wearing an apron (is that just me?)

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Cheeseboard clearing) CHEESE SCONES!

(Cheeseboard clearing) CHEESE SCONES!

The summer at the end of uni I worked at a school outfitters; the chap in the menswear department bought himself a cheese scone from the bakery on the corner every day; I’d worked at that bakery, too, three years before.  His elevenses scone was his daily break from the double breasted blazers and cricket whites.

I’d never understood cheese scones; for me a scone meant studded with sultanas and a solid 5mm of butter.  But cut forward to the skinto years and cheese cones were my way of making soup for supper feel less meagre; a warm scone, rich with melted cheese makes a fridge-forage soup a feast.

Note: I don’t use cutters because I didn’t have any during the skint years and I learnt how to shape dough.  Squash and pat your scone dough into a round and then divide into 8 long triangles – cut the circle into half, then quarters and so on.  These will be gorg and happy leftover busting.

Note 2: if you have any cheesey milk, yoghurt of cream, this is the *perfect* way to use them up.  There’s cheese in there already, right?  So your cheesy milk has a perfect home here!

(Cheeseboard busting) cheese scones

Makes 8

Ingredients

225 grams plain flour + more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
75 mixed leftover cheese
1/2 teaspoon mustard
125 – 150 ml milk/mixture of milk, yoghurt and cream

Tools

Scales
Measuring jug
Mixing bowl
Grater

Time

About twenty – thirty minutes to assemble
20 minutes to bake

Prep

Grate or crumble cheese
Gently flour the tray

Method

Turn the oven to 220C
Mix the flour, baking powder, mustard powder and salt together
Sift or whisk together
Rub the butter in
Stir in the cheese
Pour in the milk/milk mixture – the dough needs to hold together and be quite damp but precisely how much you need depends on the milk, the flour and the cheese
Pat the dough into a circle and if you like use a rolling pin to level it out
Using a large knife, cut the circle down the middle, now quarters and again – you should you eight thin triangles
Place on the floured baking tray and bake until bubbling and golden

Storage

If not eating within a day, best to freeze and eat within a couple of months

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

ann@storrcupboard.com