Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding from worrisome milk

Years ago, I worked with a wonderful woman called Jadz. We worked on the same study at the Institute of Psychiatry, looking at how nature and nuture affect behaviour. I’d feel insecure that my colleagues were all researchers and academics, when I was ‘just’ comms and business. I talked more about food and fashion than stats and theories, and got my boss to bring me copies of American Vogue (one time it was a record breaking September edition…). It’s lucky that I moved industries, right?

Jadz told me how her mum would make bowls of rice pudding as a special breakfast. She smiled as she said it, in that time-warp way that some memories have. I went home and made a batch for my eldest, and she was in heaven.

Nowadays, I make my eldest rice pudding for breakfast when I know she’s got a rough day ahead. After 11 years on a nature X nuture study, the armchair psychologist in me says that nature (child and grandchild of comfort feeders) + nurture (erm, child and grandchild of comfort feeders) means there’s going to be rice pudding for breakfast for years to come, thank you Jadz.

Note

Rice pudding will keep for a couple of days, but if you have any scrapings leftover, whack them into a pancake batter or bread dough – remember it’s all about relay race cooking, where one ‘leftover’ sparks a new idea.

Rice pudding

You can use pudding rice, but I have a giant bag of arborio rice that my bestie sent me from Italy. Short grain would even be fine at a push.
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 500 ml leftover milk cow/goat/soy/coconut
  • 50 grams pudding or risotto rice
  • 25 grams unsalted butter or vegan alternative
  • 25 grams sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

Tools

  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon

Ratio

    1 part rice to 10 parts milk: if you have 250 ml of milk to use up, it's 25 grams of rice. 1 litre? 100 grams of rice.

      Instructions

      • Weigh the rice, place it in the sieve and rinse. Allow to drain.
      • Add the milk, rice, butter, sugar and salt to the pan. Turn the heat to medium, place the lid on and bring to the boil.
      • Milk can boil over VERY QUICKLY so don't walk away!
      • Once it is simmering, turn the heat down. Stir every 10 minutes of so until done - around 30 minutes.
      • Serve on its own or with jam

      Storage

      • If there is any leftover, then place in a lidded container in the fridge. You can mash any leftover rice pudding that no-one wants into bread dough or pancake batter.

      Classic American/Scotch Pancakes

      Classic American/Scotch Pancakes

      Scotch pancakes with worrisome milk

      Pancakes are a useful recipe to have always in the back of your mind for leftover milk, yoghurt, cream or even porridge. They are cheap, they are healthy. If you are so inclined, you can start experimenting with mixes of wholegrain flours and oats.

      I took a picture with golden syrup drizzling down in honour of my eldest, who can think of little finer than a brand new tin of syrup, looking almost red and daring you to dunk a finger. We both, usually, do.

      If your milk is on it’s best before, or near it – never pour it down the drain. The stats are staggering: 3 1/2 million litres are wasted in UK homes every year. 7% of all the milk that we produce. So play your part, testing your milk and trusting your senses over an over-cautious jet printed date.

      A fried egg, some butter and loads of marmite or ketchup is what I love most of all. Either way, make sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

       

      Scotch pancakes

      You can use all plain flour, or a mixture of lots of scraps. I wouldn't go over 50% of wholewheat flours mind, or they'll be heavy AF. Don't miss out the melted butter, there's a softness that seems a pity to waste.

      Ingredients

      Ingredients

      • 225 grams plain flour or use a mixture of plain and wholegrain
      • 4 teaspoons baking powder or just weigh 20 grams, that's what I do...
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • 2 eggs
      • 300 ml worrisome milk
      • 30 grams unsalted butter & more for cooking

      Tools

      • scales
      • mixing bowl
      • measuring jug - really big one if possible
      • whisk
      • frying pan
      • pastry brush
      • spatula
      • flipper

      Instructions

      If you have a digital scale and a 1 litre mixing jug...

      • Place the jug on the scale and pour in the milk and crack in the eggs. Whisk. Set the scale back to zero. Then carefully add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Remove from the scale and whisk until you have a good batter.

      If you don't...

      • Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a measuring jug, whisk together the milk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until you have a thick batter.

      Either way

      • Turn the heat on under your pan to medium-hot and add the 30 grams of butter. Once it's melted, pour it into the batter and mix well.
      • When the pan is nice and hot, add just a pinch of butter and let it sizzle. If you can't get it to coat the base of the pan nicely, then use a pastry brush.
      • Pour in the batter, probably making neater circles than I have ever managed. Don't crowd the pan - around 3 or 4 to a large pan at a time.
      • When you see lots of little bubbles rising up, take your spatula and flip the pancakes over. They should only take a minute more to cook through.
      • Keep going until all the batter is used, using your spatula to leave a clean-enough bowl behind. 

      Storage

      • Leftover pancakes will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Reheat in a dry frying pan.

      Leftover Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs

      Leftover Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs

      Leftover mushrooms

      90% of the mushrooms we eat in the world are good old button mushrooms. Cheap, easy to cultivate all year round, a nice little package. They’re the 3rd most chosen veg, after potatoes and tomatoes. So why, then, when I was at Wellness HQ in Tunbridge Wells (giving the first EVER StorrCupboard talk), did everyone tell me that leftover mushrooms were a problem?

      I think it’s because mushrooms are so easy but, because of their strong flavour and hard shape, we get used to thinking “mushrooms are only for breakfast” or “mushrooms go with steak”. So when I say to people “how about mushrooms on toast for lunch?” I often get an “ohhhhhh, yeah of COURSE” reaction. We have our habits that make life more simple. But sometimes those habits leave us blindsided and not seeing the ingredient sitting in front of us.

      This recipe is barely adapted from the latest Honey & Co cookbook. If you’ve not heard of the Honies but you like good food, then you’re in for a treat. Sarit and Itamar’s Palestinian and Israeli cooking is superb, their recipes a delight. I don’t know them but a few weeks ago I was having a coffee in the deli and saw them leaving with trays and boxes of food for some lucky customer. They are always hugging and the love they have for each other seems to come across in their food. These indulgent mushroom eggs are heavenly. Don’t miss out the cinnamon. It sounds odd if you’re not used to it but the warmth of the cinnamon is just lovely. And if you can afford a tenner on a lunch and you can get to Fitzrovia then good god do it. The cookies are to die for.

      Leftover mushrooms can be the springboard ingredient to a full-flavoured, incidentally vegetarian feast.

      Leftover mushrooms with scrambled eggs

      Adapted, barely, from 'Honey and Co at Home', p27
      Prep Time10 mins
      Cook Time20 mins
      Total Time30 mins
      Servings: 2 people

      Ingredients

      • 25 grams unsalted butter
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 large leek or a couple of shallots, or a few spring onions
      • 2 cloves garlic
      • around 250 grams mushrooms
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • pinch cinnamon
      • 1 small bundle fresh thyme twigs, tied together with string
      • 4 eggs
      • 50 grams Italian hard cheese
      • 50 ml cream or milk
      • freshly ground black pepper

      Tools

      • Knife and chopping board
      • Mixing bowl
      • Cheese grater
      • Large frying pan/wok
      • Measuring jug
      • Garlic crusher (optional)

      Instructions

      Prep

      • Slice the mushrooms into similar sized slices. Clean and halve the leek, and cut into 5mm-ish slices. If using spring onions, cut into rounds or if using shallots cut into dice. Crush the garlic with a little salt or a garlic crusher.
      • Measure the milk or cream. Add the eggs and cheese and a little seasoning. Whisk together and set to one side.

      Cooking

      • Turn the heat to about medium and add the oil and butter. Once the fats are foaming add the mushrooms, leek/onion and garlic, turn the heat to high and mix well. Next add the salt, pinch on cinnamon and thyme bundle and mix well. 
      • Season with plenty of black pepper. Stir off and on for about 10 minutes, until a lot of water has evaporated from the mushrooms. Once they are cooked through and wilted remove the thyme. 
      • If you're cooking for a crowd or in advance, then leave the mushrooms at this stage and only add the eggs when you are almost ready to eat.
      • When you are almost ready to eat, if you need to heat the pan back up, do it. If the pan is still warm, pour the egg/cream/cheese mixture into the mushrooms. Allow the eggs to set for a minute and then stir again.
      • Repeat this until the eggs are cooked to the set that you like (I'm on the dry end of the spectrum...)

      Storage

      • If you don't eat them all, store them in a lidded container for up to 5 days. Reheating isn't a great idea as they will go rubbery. Stir them through some rice or whack in a sandwich with plenty of sriracha.

      Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

      Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

      I love green beans but they are a problematic veggie. We’re so used to having them week in and out when, really, they need a lot of warmth to grow. We don’t have a lot of warmth in the UK. So, if you’re going to be buying a packet of green beans that have been flown in from Kenya, then for fuck’s sake do not waste a single one.

      This is a riff on a classic late-spring Italian recipe; green beans with pasta, potatoes and pesto. That’s it. It’s real cucina-di-povera. Yes it’s double carb but just, you know, don’t be greedy. If you can be bothered, cut the potatoes and beans so that they are a similar length to the pasta.

      If you have an errant salad pack or bag of baby leaf spinach sitting in your fridge, then make your own pesto! Okay it’s not a stunning jar of authentic basil/pine nut/parmesan pesto but, remember the roots of pesto: people making the most of what they have around them every day.

      A handful of green beans can be the inspiration behind tonight’s supper, and I hope you enjoy making sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

       

      Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

      Prep Time5 mins
      Cook Time30 mins
      Total Time35 mins
      Servings: 4

      Ingredients

      • leftover green beans
      • 200 grams short pasta, such as fusilli or penne you can use anything, it's just nice to have the food a similar size
      • 200 grams salad potatoes
      • few tablespoons pesto

      Tools

      • Scales
      • Slotted spoon/tongs
      • Knife & chopping board
      • Saucepan with lid
      • Colander/sieve
      • Spoon
      • Mixing bowl

      Instructions

      Optional: make the pesto using this recipe

      • Rinse the potatoes and place in the pan and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil
      • If your potatoes are lots of different sizes, or you just need to cook very quickly, you can cut them into smaller pieces.
      • Whilst the potatoes are cooking, cut the green beans to a similar length to the pasta.
      • Check for 'done-ness' - depending on the size they'll be ready in anything between 20 and 30 minutes.
      • When they are soft, remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon/tongs and place in the bowl. Do not drain the water. Stir pesto through the potatoes whilst warm.
      • Get the water boiling again and cook the pasta; check it 2 minutes before the packet suggests as sometimes they aren't quite accurate.
      • When the pasta is done, again remove with a slotted spoon and add to the pesto and potatoes.
      • Boil the beans in the potato pasta water. Remove when done, around 4 minutes.
      • Add more pesto if you wish (I like a lot) and serve.

      Storage

      • This will keep in a lidded container, in your fridge, for up to 5 days, although it'll be better within a day or two of cooking.

      Leftover sausage and bacon wraps

      Leftover sausage and bacon wraps

      Leftover sausage and bacon wraps

      At home we’re trying this whole “don’t just eat it because it’s there” thing.  Not easy when it’s so easy just to eat those last two sausages, last rasher of bacon, just sitting there, just in reach, so easy to just eat them … but we were good, we didn’t. Food waste is also eating food that we don’t need, a luxury that most of the world hasn’t long been able to achieve.
      But 2 sausages and 1 rasher of bacon?  Cold bacon?  Ergh. Or maybe … some perfect salty, rich flavours that can stretch to feed 2 hangry adults or 4 modest appetites…
      Using some Mexican inspired flavours, I though about refried beans. Refried beans were so surprisingly tasty to me when I got over my jitters and tried them.  The name is misleading, a mis-translation. In my local Asda, a tin of refried beans is £1.50, and a tin of pinto beans is 55p. It won’t surprise you to know I went for the pinto beans. Buy ready made if you like – we all need different shortcuts in life, and you’d be horrified to see the inside of my car, etc etc.
      The garlic-y, soft beans are a great foil to the salty meat.  Toast your wrap, chuck in whatever salads you have, crumble over a little of the meat, some Tabasco or chilli flakes to taste and you’re done. Go crazy and add some sour cream.  Living on the edge, stopping food waste and saving money, whoop!

      Refried beans

      Adapted, barely, from Wahaca by Thomasina Miers, p148-9
      Prep Time10 mins
      Cook Time20 mins
      Total Time30 mins

      Ingredients

      • 1 can pinto or black beans
      • 1 medium onion (about 200 grams)
      • 1 clove garlic
      • 25 + 10 grams unsalted butter or lard * 25 grams for cooking, 10 for serving
      • few fresh bay leaves
      • salt & pepper
      • * if cooking with lard, still use 10 grams of butter to serve, not additional lard

      Tools

      • sieve/colander
      • frying pan
      • chopping board and knife
      • food processor or immersion blender & bowl

      Instructions

      • Drain and rinse the beans. Place in bowl or food processor and blitz, adding a little water to loosen up.
      • Finely dice the onion.
      • Heat the fat in your frying pan. When it starts to foam, add the onion and season well. Let it cook until really soft - about ten minutes. When the onion is nearly ready, finely slice the garlic.
      • When the onions are done, add the garlic and stir, making sure that it doesn't burn - not too hot. After about a minute, add the pureed beans and bay leaf and stir well. Season heartily, as beans like a lot.
      • Stir regularly over the ten minutes to keep the texture nice and avoid sticking to the pan. Add a little more water - you're looking for a puree that falls off your spoon.
      • When you're ready to serve, stir through the 10 grams of butter. Spread over your wrap.

      Storage and other uses

      • Drizzle with sour cream and serve with tacos.
        Store in a lidded container in the fridge for up to five days.

      Leftover Easter Chocolate Eton Mess

      Leftover Easter Chocolate Eton Mess

      Make Eton Mess with leftover Easter eggs

      My mum makes amazing meringues. I do not. This is my gift to you!

      Meringues aren’t the easiest thing to make. I have struggled. The egg whites to perfect stiff peaks, and then a little sugar and a little more and a little more and … fluff. Flump. Glossy failure. I would scrub the bowls I’d wash the whisk but every single goddam time my stiff peaks would turn into soft swirls.

      My mum once went to the effort of writing out, step by step, every step. Both my mum and ex mother in law makes perfect pavlovas. I cried, I swore, this was not fair!

      After we eliminated EVERY variable, we worked it out: I prefer unrefined cane sugar. It’s a bit heavy for meringues. So, no fancy-ass sugar and your meringue woes may be over.

      So, for those of us who make a pert meringue and have annoying little chocolates hanging about after Easter, or Christmas, make this fabulous cream-rich, fruit spiked Eton Mess.

       

       

      Easter Egg Eton Mess

      Based on Sue Quinn, 'Cocoa', p138

      Ingredients

      • 150 grams leftover Easter Chocolate
      • 4 large egg whites
      • 200 grams egg whites

      To serve

      • 300 ml double cream
      • 25 grams sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      For the rhubarb

      • 250 grams rhubarb
      • 40 grams caster sugar

      Tools

      • scales
      • small heatproof bowl and small pan
      • large bowl
      • electric whisk/stand mixer
      • baking tray
      • greaseproof paper
      • foil
      • chopping board and sharp knife
      • wire cooling rack

      Instructions

      For the meringue

      • Preheat the oven to 120C. Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper. Set to one side.
      • Chop the chocolate and place in the small bowl. Place about 5cm of water in the saucepan and bring to simmering. Fit the bowl onto the saucepan and stir until the chocolate has melted. Once melted put to one side.
      • Take your bowl and make sure it is scrupulously clean. With your whisk, beat the eggs until stiff peaks form. Once you have stiff peaks, gradually add the sugar, around a tablespoon at a time, until you have stiff peaks again.
      • Pour the sauce over the meringue. Scoop the meringue onto the baking sheet; bake for around an hour, until the top is crisp. Place on the cooling rack.

      For the rhubarb

      • Increase the oven heat to 180C.
      • Cut the rhubarb into pieces are 7cm long. Place in the baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar. Wrap the dish with the foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender but still holds its shape. When cooked, remove the foil and place on one side.

      Finishing the Eton Mess

      • Pour the cream, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk until it holds its shape.
      • Crumble the meringue, and stir the cream and fruit together. Enjoy!

      Storage

      • This really doesn't keep. Scoff!