Leftover sausage and bacon chowder

Leftover sausage and bacon chowder

Leftover bacon and sausage chowder

What angel first paired smokey food and milk?  Comfort food of the highest order.  Chowder, an American soup from the east coast, has hundreds of iterations (I once sat with a cookbook devoted to chowder.  Totally ignored the friend who I hadn’t seen for about a year and her new home and hamsters, but I learnt a lot about chowder.  Sorry Becky).
If you can, use whole milk because you want that creaminess.  This is not the place for skimmed milk. The potatoes should be floury ones like maris pipers or king edwards- you want the potato to crumble in, so that you get the starchiness.
If you have time to cut the fat off the bacon and let it melt a little in the pan, then you’ll get more bacon-y flavour in the soup.  Yum.  Seriously – are you still cutting fat off bacon and frying it in olive oil?  STOP!  Snip off that cold fat (what is oil if not fat?) and pop it in the cold pan on a low heat and leeeeave it for about 15 mins.  That fat will, slowly, melt (“render”), and you can cook the onions and other veg for the soup in this fat.  And now you don’t have to buy more oil! So, you haven’t chucked good bacon fat AND you’ve not used unnecesarry olive or sunflower oil, leaving it for another meal – so, that’s basically 2 food waste pitfalls avoided.  Win win!
In this chowder  I used basic veg, but you can add in sweetcorn, peas, diced pepper.  And even my kids eat this for heaven’s sake, so it’s a straight up win for me.  Whatever random bits of cold chicken, chorizo, veg -as long as it tastes good with the soup, it goes in.  Happy days!

 

Leftover sausage and bacon chowder

Ingredients
  

  • 25 grams butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium potato (around 300grams)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • around 350 ml milk - ideally whole milk as this is creamy soup
  • leftover sausages and bacon
  • sweetcorn & peas optional
  • salt & pepper

Tools

  • Scales
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Potato masher/fork
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Optional: cut the fat off the bacon and place into a cool saucepan. Once it sizzles a little add some extra oil
  • Chop your veg. Crumble the sausage into small pieces.

Main

  • Once the fat is warm/butter is melted, add the onion and cook on a moderate (middle) heat for about 10m. You don’t want the onions to brown, you want them to go translucent and soft enough to be squashed by the back of your wooden spoon
  • When the onions are cooked, add your diced potato, carrot and celery. Season. Place the lid on.
  • Turn the heat down a little so that the veggies ‘sweat’ and get a little soft. This takes around 10m.
  • Now that the chopped veggies are ready, pour the milk over and bring to the boil.
  • DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PAN! Milk can boil over v quickly!
  • As soon as it’s boiling turn the pan down so it’s simmering (that is, little bubbles are popping up but it’s not boiling hard)
  • Timer on for 15m; keep checking the the veggies are done by pulling a couple out and checking if they are soft. Depending on how large/small you’ve cut them, this could take anything between 15 & 25m**
  • If using peas/sweetcorn, add them now.
  • Add the crumbled meat, boil it through and serve with lots of buttered bread.
  • ** If you’re making the soup in advance, turn the heat off and leave to cool. Do not add the meat and store separately. When you’re ready to eat, heat the soup; as it comes to boil add the meat and let the soup boil for a minute or so, to make sure that the meat is fully hot. Do not reheat.

Storage

  • I wouldn't re-heat this as it'll be the third time around for the meat. 

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

Leftover Green Pepper Jambalaya

Leftover Green Pepper Jambalaya

Okay so a lot of you love green peppers, but I know that there’s a tonne of you out there who are like me – green pepper is a pain in the arse rather than a veg that you love.
Creole and cajun cuisine has always interested me, and I don’t really know why. I think because the flavours and layers and history are fascinating – how French, African-diaspora, American and English histories combine.  I started cooking some Louisiana style food when the StorrCupboard babies were small, having photocopied (yes it was 2006…) most of a little book from my South London library.
It may be incidental, but there’s a lot of baked goods in creole and cajun cooking.  And whiskey.  And fat.
So I won’t ever understand marshmallows and sweet potato, or frito pie, or pumpkin pie.  But a chunky cornbread?  Jambalaya?  These foods enabled people on limited means to eat joyfully, making the most out of bits and bobs and, as I’ve talked about, that’s how I managed to feed my family when times were lean. And a small amount of leftover meat can be used perfectly. So … yes please.
Your leftover green pepper is one of the essentials in building your jambalaya.  Like onion, carrot, garlic and celery in French or Italian cuisine, green pepper, onion, celery and garlic is what you need for cuisine from the Deep South.  The bitterness that some of us (cough) struggle with is essential.  In a dish like this, rich with smoked sausage, chicken and fish, and filling with rice, the bitter note is perfect and stops it from being too rich.
Note: if you have access to amazingly diverse food shops, Andouille sausage is ideal.  If not, Tolouse, or a Polish smoked sausage.   I had only fancy fresh hot-dog sausages that have been in the UK supermarkets for the past couple of summers, and they were great.
With the meat, it’s about weight. I went for white fish as there are many ethical problems with prawns eaten in the UK, and they are hellish expensive.  Mussels would work, or salmon – this is a dish where the rice and the veg pad out and showcase the meat.  Keep the ratios the same and make it the dish that you love.

 

Jambalaya

Serves 4-6
Adapted, barely, from Felicity Cloake, Guardian.

Ingredients

3.5 teaspoons cajun spice mix
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 smoked sausages
4bone-in chicken thighs
1 onion (150g)
1 green pepper (300g)
1 celery stick (70g)
3 cloves garlic (10-15g)
4 spring onions (70g)
800 ml Chicken or pork stock
Few drops Tabasco sauce
300g long grain rice
300g fish (I used coley fillets)

Tools
Sharp knife
Chopping board
Large saucepan pan
Lid for the pan
Wooden spoon
Slotted spoon/flipper
Plates

Optional tools
Measuring spoons

Time
20 minutes prep
1.5-2 hour cook

Level
Medium

Prep
If using frozen fish, remove from freezer
Slice the sausages into 2cm-ish slices
Finely dice the onion, celery and green pepper
Crush/finely chop the garlic

Method
Pour the oil into the pan and add the sausage until it sizzles – quite hot, not max
Brown both cut sides and remove
Repeat with the chicken
Turn the heat to medium and allow to cool for a minute
Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic to the pan and cook until tender (about
10 minutes); some people like to place a lid on the pan (I find it helps)
When tender, add the garlic and and stir around for a minute
Add the spice mix and stir well to make sure that the veg is well coated in spice mix
Return the chicken to the pot, pour in the stock and the Tabasco
Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender then add the rice
Simmer for another 10 minutes
Next, stir the rice once, place the lid on and leave for 15 minutes
After the 15 minutes are up, remove the chicken and set aside
Turn the heat to low
Add sausage and fish to the rice mixture
Stir the rice around the meat and fish once, replace the lid and leave to steam
As soon as you can, shred the meat off the bones
Stir the chicken through the rice mixture

Storage/further meals
Store in a lidded container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days
Reheat CAREFULLY until piping hot
You can freeze, in a lidded container, for a month or so

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover chicken pasta bake

Need something a little comforting? Need it to be on the cheap side? Yes it’s a warm day today but, really, I love a pasta bake whatever the weather.

This Jamie Oliver chicken and mushroom pasta bake is the leftover roast chicken dish for you.  You’re just cooking up a load of mushrooms, adding wine or stock and some cream, and baking it all together. His recipe takes some time to make, having to brown off chicken thighs. If you’re using up leftover roast chicken you’re saving yourself so much time.  Avoiding food waste and less time at the cooker?  Sounds good to me.

If you’ve got loads of small amounts of pasta shapes, a pasta bake is a great way to use them up. Just cook each one to its time and clear out those annoying scraps.  When you buy lasagne sheets, they are made specifially to avoid having to pre-cook.  When you need to use up a handful each of fusilli, penne, little bows – cook them for 5 minutes fewer than the cooking time instructions on the packet.  Seem like a pain in the arse?  Pasta is cheap? Well, if you chuck handfuls of pasta each week, that amounts to bags and bags over the year.  Most of us base our shopping choices on price; so why are we happy to just throw food away, food that we have worked to pay for?  Bask in the satisfaction of not wasting foood.

You can make this dish and pop it in the freezer, which will keep your chicken safe and ready to eat at a later date. Just remember: LABEL IT!

We totally loved this, was the absolute favourite for me and the elder kiddo. Heaven.

Chicken and mushroom pasta bake

Serves around 4
Serves 4; adapted from Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

Olive/ground nut oil
At least 150g leftover chicken
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
350g fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
200ml white wine or chicken stock
320g dried pasta
300ml (1 regular tub) single cream
150g Gran Padano/Italian hard cheese*

* I don’t buy Parmesan because it’s so expensive, but use what you prefer

Tools
Scales
Chopping board
Knife
Teaspoon
Frying pan
Slotted spoon/flipper
Plate
Measuring jug
Saucepan
Sieve/colander
Large oven-proof dish

Optional tools
Garlic crusher

Time
20 minutes prep
1 hour 15 minutes cook

Level
Medium

Prep

Shred the chicken meat into pieces no wider then 5mm
Wipe mushrooms DO NOT WASH THEM
Slice the mushrooms into slices around 3mm thick
Crush or finely slice the garlic
Grate the cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C
Heat the oil in your large frying pan over a medium heat
Add the mushrooms and cook fro about 10 minutes, so that the water in the mushrooms cooks out (this is why you shouldn’t even wash mushrooms)
Put on a pot of water for your pasta, and cook to packet instructions
When mushrooms are cooked through, add the garlic and cook for a minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn
Add the wine or chicken stock and leftover chicken and simmer for 5 minutes
Pour the cream over (if you don’t quite have 300ml just add more stock/wine)
Season well with salt and pepper
Add 3/4 of the cheese, then the pasta and stir wll
Scrape into your oven proof dish, top with the remaining cheese
Bake for about 30minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling

Storage/further meals

Your can leave to cool and freeze the whole dish
If you don’t eat it all in one sitting, leave to cool to room temperature
Cover and store in the fridge for no more than a couple of days
You can eat this again at room temperature but I do not advise re-heating again, as this would be the third heating of the chicken, and you could be putting yourself at risk

 

 

 

 

 

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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