Sad salad pack rescue mission

Sad salad pack rescue mission

How to rescue leftover salad packs

I’m not a fan of salad packs – those washed bags of rocket and crunchy slightly meh leaves.  I definitely don’t like a bowl of rocket.  As a dedicated veg box customer these fuckers come my way from time to time.  Supermarket salad packs aren’t great either; the bags are gassed for preservation, with nothing to be said for the way that the leaves are farmed, ‘neutralising’ the soil because the ecosystem has been so depleted through the farming methods required to grow acres and acres of these delicate plants – which shouldn’t need fucking neutralising!  It’s soil!  Aaanyway … the reason your salad pack turns from a bag of scrumptious leaves to green goo as soon as it’s opened is because that gas has now escaped, and those leaves that are quite possibly weeks old are now, you know, too old and they will go off.

The sheer amount of energy that is expended to get these buggers to your supermarket – not to mention the time to take to earn the money to pay for the leaves – means there’s no room to waste your leftover salad pack.

As I said, I’m not a huge fan of the salad pack.  So, this is my thought process: okay, I don’t like this ingredient/I’m stuck.  I don’t want salad.  Why would I want salad?  It’s fucking January, why would ANYONE want a salad in January?! I slam the fridge and sulk and imagine inhaling a bowl of warm pasta, even though I’m not terribly hungry and the salad back is begging to turn a little yellow…

So, I calm down, stop the anxious brain from running and look at it again.

These are leaves.  Little baby leaves.  You know what else is leaves?  Spinach.  You buy spinach leaves, no?  Or bags of frozen spinach?!

So, wash those leaves, pop them in a little pan with a dash of extra water and cook them down for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.  They’ll wilt down and – voila!  Okay okay okay they don’t taste the same as spinach – give your cooked greens a taste and see what you think.  You might want to mix them up with your spinach to, essentially, well, hide the taste.  I won’t judge.  You can even then freeze the cooked greens, perfect if you need a few days’ grace.

To freeze your cooked greens, simply lie a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray; squish up little handfuls of greens and place on the tray, and when you’ve used all the greens, cover and place in the freezer.  Once frozen hard you can pop into a bag and VOILA, frozen greens, ready to heat up and stir through any soup, stew or whatever you like! Leftover salad packs never seemed so versatile!

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

(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 glass of) Red Wine Risotto

(Half a glass of) Red Wine Risotto

Leftover wine means risotto.  I so rarely make it because (cough) I don’t like to have leftover wine, and I certainly don’t like sacrificing a hefty glass to the cooking pan.  A bottle of wine isn’t a cheap thing for most of us; I hover around spending around £7 per bottle and I intend to drink my wine!  But when drinking it isn’t on the cards, let’s not waste our precious my precious wine.

Oh, to live in Italy or France where 4 euro wine is good!  Anyway, this price point reminds us to not leave half empty glasses of wine. or be like Marina O’Loughlin and not pour hulking great glasses in the first place.  If you’re tidying up after a boozy lunch or lovely party DON’T throw every half glass leftover; freeze it if you need to and know that this risotto can be filling up your bowl with all its warming and cosy goodness.

This red wine risotto can use up frozen red wine if you have some lurking.  I served it to my friend Lucy with a hefty stir through of Stilton and some leftover sprouts; both optional, but if you’re feeding a lotta people on Boxing Day or after, this is a thrifty and delicious way to nail those tricky leftovers.

(One glass of leftover) Red Wine and Stilton Risotto

Serves 2, heartily

Ingredients

50 grams unsalted butter
1 medium onion (around 100 grams)
200 grams risotto rice
250ml red wine
250ml chicken/veg stock/water
Around 100g blue cheese (optional)
Around 50 grams grand padano/any Italian hard cheese
Leftover greens (totally optional)

Tools

Knife, chopping board
Large frying pan
Wooden spoon
Grater

Time

About three quarters of an hour

Prep

If using frozen wine, defrost
Finely dice the onion
If using a stock cube, prep the stock

Method

Heat the butter in the saucepan and when it’s a little frothy, add the diced onion
Cook on a medium/low heat until the onion is see-through – at least 10 minutes but give it 20 if you can
DON’T LET IT BROWN
Only when the onion is soft enough to be squashed with your wooden spoon add the risotto rice
Stir it around and make sure it’s all covered with the butter
Turn up the heat and pour in the wine; let is cook nice and hot for a couple of minutes
Heat back down to medium and add some stock/water and stir
Keep on adding the stock/water and giving the odd stir until the rice has a nice texture; not too soft but I’m not keen on too much of a bite.  Some brands of rice might take 20 minutes, some 30, so follow pack instruction
When you’re happy, stir through the grated hard cheese, and a little of the blue cheese, if using
If you’ve got some greens or sprouts to use up, stir them through, too
Serve with extra blue cheese and  sprouts if you like

Storage/further meals

Lots of people worry about storing leftover rice; billions of people all over the world eat leftover rice, so just be careful and you’ll be fine
Allow to cool to room temperature then cover
You can keep for 5 days in the fridge as long as kept cold and covered
Only reheat what you need at any one time

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

ann@storrcupboard.com