(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

(Scraggy) cheeseboard end potted cheese

(Scraggy) cheeseboard end potted cheese

Lots of people say “no such thing as leftover cheese’ but sometimes just looking at those same leftovers over and over again just sucks all enthusiasm from me.  Especially as the lone adult in my home, well, it can be a struggle.

In the summer I went on a picnic; it was during the heatwave and I bought a load of cheese.  Cut to a couple of hours of unattended food and some pricey cheese later and fuck – there was no way I could let that go to waste.

When my girls were little, we’d listen to audiobooks and I loved ‘The Wind in the Willows’.  We had a recording of the Alan Bennett National Theatre version, with Richard Briers and lovely songs.  When Ratty talks about his picnics on the river there’s bloater paste and lots of potted shrimp and cheese; we’d never heard of it.

So, faced with £15 of grotty, separated cheese I made potted cheese!  This is super quick and means that your cheese is preserved for another meal – especially great for skint January. You can use it in cheese sauce, too, here’s to fighting food waste with every meal.

Potted cheese

Makes one jar

Ingredients

250 grams leftover cheese
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature – in 90 grams and 25 grams set aside
optional, but lovely: 2 tbsp sherry (or madeira or port) – don’t buy it!
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder or prepared mustard
A splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Melted clarified butter (optional)

Prep

Melt the 25 grams of butter and clarify – melt it gently until the fat and the milk solids separate.  Skim off the butter fat; save the milk solids for some lovely pancakes.

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls/food processor
Saucepan
Jar with lid

Time

About 20 minutes

Method

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Bread sauce scraping) little baked pockets

(Bread sauce scraping) little baked pockets

These are my biggest experiment and I’d love to know what you think. Bread sauce, reimagined, 3 ways, baby.

I thought about scones and I thought about their non-buttery brother soda bread and I thought fuck it – let’s try something different.

These are funny things .- halfway between a pitta and a cracker. They are best when warm – slice into each little pocket and stuff in any scraps of cheese that have been hanging around.  The cheese goes a little melty and against the little cracker pocket it’s perfect.

The cumin seeds are optional; bread sauce is traditionally made by simmering bread and milk with an onion that has been studded with a couple of cloves.  Cloves, cumin and hard cheese are a fab combination, so if you feel like getting creative with your leftovers (and maybe avoiding a trip to the shops) try these!

(Bread sauce scraping) Cumin Pockets

Makes around 12, depending on the size of your cutter

Ingredients

around 150 grams leftover bread sauce
225 grams plain white flour + more for rolling out
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Around 1 tablespoon milk

Tools

Scales
Measuring spoons/teaspoon
Bowl
Greaseproof paper
Baking sheets
Rolling pin or wine bottle
Optional: biscuit cutter (I use an egg-poaching ring) or sharp knife

Time

About twnety minutes to assemble and an additional 15-18 minutes to bake

Prep

Take the butter out of the fridge to soften

Method

Turn the oven to 180C and line the tray(s) with baking paper
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and cumin seeds together
Rub in the butter
When the butter is rubbed in, stir the bread sauce in
You should have a fairly soft dough
Flour your kitchen surface and roll out the dough until its around 5mm thick
Either cut out circles or us a sharp knife to cut squares/triangles (I usually do this – saves time)
Reshape any off cuts of dough and re-roll/cut
Place the pockets on the lined tray and brush with a little milk
Bake for around 15-18 minutes until golden
Once baked and golden and puffy removed from the oven
Carefully, cut into them and liberally stuff with cheese and allow the cheese to melt; enjoy!

Storage/further meals

Eat when warm and stuffed for best flavour; reheat as necessary.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Roasted too many) Parsnip Macaroni Cheese

(Roasted too many) Parsnip Macaroni Cheese

Leftover roast parsnips can be tricky to use up, I think, because the texture can be off-putting.  I know I hate leftover roast potatoes and have to really disguise the flavour. Roast parsnips are similar, because they are high in starch.

This genius idea was inspired by the amazing Jack Monroe.  Her latest book (well, not including the almost-published tin-can lovely) provided the inspo for this recipe.  Mashing up your leftover roast parsnips well … it uses them.  You can’t really taste them.  And sometimes, especially if you feed picky eater (young AND old), this is A Good Thing.

If you have a lot of people to feed on a budget, then this is a cracker of a recipe.  It freezes well, too – so if you’ve got parsnips to use up, but no time to eat them, this dish is for you.

Not got cheddar?  Just use 100 grams of whatever you’ve got and you like.  Emmental and stilton?  Cheddar and Lancashire?  Talleggio and Pecorino?  Use around 100g and enjoy.

Making a white sauce is too much for some people, so use a ready made one; if you can be arsed to try to learn then all power to you.  You’ll save money, so much money.  Just don’t walk away from the pan half way through cooking. Ahem.  Burnt on white-sauce is the devil’s own job to clean off.  That is when you need a wallpaper scraper and wire wool.  I once got huge kudos/horror from a writer for walking away from a bubbling white sauce; he was right.

Adding sweetcorn or peas is totally optional but I like the bite and texture against the creamy sauce and soft pasta.  And use any pasta, esp if you have 4 bags of a few random shapes. Random pasta, random veg and random cheese: this is thrifty, leftover busting cooking at its finest.

(Roasted too many) Parsnip Macaroni Cheese

Adapted from Jack Monroe, ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’ p112
Serves 3-4

Ingredients

50 grams leftover roasted parsnips
90 grams plain flour
50 grams butter/oil
350 ml milk/milk mixed with veg stock and leftover gravy from your roast
Salt & pepper
100 grams strong cheese, grated – this can be plain old lovely cheddar, or a mix of cheeses from the depths of your fridge
160 grams of pasta
100 grams sweetcorn (optional)

Tools

Colander
Saucepan with lid
Saucepan
Balloon whisk
Scales
Immersion blender and bowl
Serving bowl
Heatproof jug

Time

About half an hour

Prep

Place the parsnips into the bowl of your immersion blender and pulse until smooth
You’re likely to need around 50ml of the milk/milk & stock mixture to make it into mash
If you’re using frozen sweetcorn, leave it out to defrost, or drain if using tinned *

Method

Place a saucepan on the hob and, if you’re using butter, melt it
Add the flour and, using the balloon whisk or a fork, mix it 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
Season like Jeremy Lee on MasterChef
Bring gently to the boil and, once it’s popping gently, turn the heat down and stir occasionally for 5 minutes

Meanwhile…

Put your pasta water on
When the water is boiling add salt and then the pasta
Put the pinger on for 5 minutes fewer than the packet directs
After the 5 minutes popping on the cheese sauce are up, add the cheese and mashed parsnips

Finishing it off…

When the pasta pinger goes off, save a a small jug of pasta water (around 50-80 millilitres) in your heatproof jug/little bowl
Try the pasta – you want it a little underdone because it’s going to cook with the cheese sauce
When it’s ready (that is, with quite a bit of bite/still raw in the middle), strain the pasta in the waiting colander
While the pasta is draining, take the sweetcorn and stir it into the sauce
Stir the pasta into the pan with the sauce
If the cheese sauce looks too thick, pour in about a tablespoon (15ml) of pasta water and some salt and pepper; if the sauce is still too thick you can add some more. Discard the pasta water when you’re happy with the consistency

Serve alone or as a side dish

Storage/further meals

Allow to cool to room temperature then cover
Parsnips can keep to up to 5 days in your fridge
If your parsnips were 1 day old when you made this, you can keep this macaroni cheese for up to 4 days
If they were more like 4 days old, either eat straight away, or freeze when room temperature
Eat within 3 months of freezing

  • You can freeze sweetcorn: take a baking tray and line it with greaseproof paper
  • place the sweetcorn in one layer
  • cover the tray and place it in the freezer
  • when it’s frozen, tip the sweetcorn into a bag and use it as you would use ‘normal’ frozen sweetcorn

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Slightly Soft) Roasted Leftover Pear, Stilton & Walnut salad

(Slightly Soft) Roasted Leftover Pear, Stilton & Walnut salad

Pears are a tricky beast. Buy a bag of 6, and how many do you really eat, every time?  3?  4?  All?!  GTAF.  I make like Nigel Slater and put four in a bowl to ripen, give those round little bottoms a little squeeze a couple of times a day, until they are perfectly ripe and giving and juicy etc etc.  But then it’s 3 days later, the washing mountain is building, the kids homework is beyond late and I remember that the kids don’t really like pears.  My once perfectly sweet bowl of pears are threatening to turn themselves into Lambrini Perry, scrumpy edition.

So, how to avoid the pitfalls of the mushy pear?  Once they’re fermenting in the bowl, they are, well, fermenting and there’s fuck all you can do about it.  (I am, right now, imagining my GCSE English teacher, Mr Lanaway, admonishing me for an over-reliance on swearing in my work.  I feel expressing the frustration of wasting £2.50 and a contribution to our food waste mountain is judicious, sir. Ahem).

Anyway.  Back to pears.  Once they are ripe PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE.  THE FRIDGE.  Right at the front SO YOU DON’T FORGET TO EAT THEM OKAY?

If your pears are a teeny bit mushy without being the whole hoopla rank, then just cook them.  Yes!  Cook them!

I am not a blue cheese fan.  Indeed, I used to sit on the cold – real October cold – pavement outside my dad’s favourite cheese shop, holding my nose and bawking.  I once asked a cheesemonger for a cheese “that isn’t really festy”.  I then told *these* little lines to The Cheese Buyer of Neal’s Yard. FFS.

Anyway.  If you’re looking to use up your roasted pears AND start sampling the delights of blue cheese, may I recommend this warm salad?  The cheese melts onto the nuts and pears, which does the job of making pears in salad less odd AND the cheese less intense.  If you think pears in salad is weird – remember StorrCupboard lovers! – tomatoes are fruits, so, you know, get over it and try it.  Or wait until my 2 other recipes come out 🙂

Warm, roasted leftover pears with toasty walnuts and melty cheese?  You are so welcome.

(Slightly Soft) Pear, Stilton & Walnut Salad

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

NOTE – this is more of a method than a *recipe* – so if you have 35 grams or 75 grams of nuts or cheese, get ’em used up x

2 pears – anything from *will NEVER ripen & I’m going on holiday tomorrow” to “oh god I’d better eat them even though they’re the wrong side of soft”
1/2 tablespoon of fat; I used pork fat for umami/keeping it cheap, but ground nut or vegetable oil would be great.  Avoid olive, too strong
around 50 grams of walnuts or pecans
around 50 grams of Stilton or other blue cheese
Few handfuls of salad leaves

Tools

Colander/sieve
Baking tray
Teaspoon
Scales
Chopping board
Knife
Mixing bowl
Tea towel/kitchen paper

Time

10 minutes prep
30 minutes to roast pears
5 more minutes to mix

Prep

Preheat the oven to 180C
Cut your pears in half and remove the core; chop into about 3 pieces, for even cooking
*I don’t peel the pears as I think that the skin provides a nice texture, but it’s up to you*
Place on the baking sheet and drizzle the oil all over
Roughly chop the blue cheese

Method

Place the oiled pears in the oven
Wash the salad leaves and leave to drain; either spin or pat dry with a clean tea towel
Place the salad leaves in a mixing bowl
After 20 minutes, add the nuts to the tray and coat in the oil
TIMER ON; check after 5 minutes
The nuts are done when they smell all toasty; take them out a little too soon rather than burnt
When the nuts are golden brown and the pears a little caramelised, remove from the oven
Stir the cheese into the pears and nuts on the tray
Mix the warm pear-cheese-nut goo into the salad leaves
Eat!

Storage
You can store the roasted pears for between 1 and 5 days, depending on how ripe they were when you roasted them.  You can roast alongside the nuts but do not store together, because the nuts will go soggy (insert joke here).
To serve from cold, bring to room temperature for a couple of hours before serving, if possible.  Warm through in the oven or in a microwave, if you like.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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