Prep Now, Party Later: Your Guide to a Stressfree Christmas Dinner

Prep Now, Party Later: Your Guide to a Stressfree Christmas Dinner

Prep Now, Party Later

Christmas 2020 is presenting everyone with unprecedented challenges: we don’t know how many people we can host, if we can host or what sort of rules will be in place. Will you be allowed to see and hug your folks, or … Will it be the saddest Christmas ever?

 

Consumers don’t know if they can rely on food deliveries. Memories of March’s empty shelves are pushing up against the confusion about who and how many people can we invite and: can we really afford all the bells and whistles? And what do we do with all the leftovers?

 

Hubbub and Tesco’s recent collaboration has confirmed a national skills gap in knowledge around food storage, understanding labels and how to safely reuse leftovers. This is a substantial barrier to reducing the volume of consumer food waste created by UK consumers.

 

Prep Now, Party Later is our response to helping consumers to plan their Christmas dinner, from shopping, through planning how to freeze, how to safely defrost and how to make the most of leftovers (with no turkey curry in sight).

 

Our event took people through a journey to plan, prep and love their Christmas dinner – even if it’s the first time that dad has been given the Big Job. With a glass of mulled wine in hand, we will provide recipes and tips to help consumers know how to safely defrost and cook frozen turkey, what to do with all those leftover roast parsnips and how to help families in their communities who can’t afford to make their own Christmas dinner.

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

(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

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