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.

Lardy tea bread

Lardy tea bread

Using your leftover lard in sweet bread…

 

Bread, sweet bread, sourdough and everything. It wasn’t – obviously – planned that I’d have three bread recipes in as many weeks. I certainly didn’t think that I’d find myself with dough-sticky hands again, making another loaf. But leftover lard left me needing to dive into the cookbooks.

When I have a leftover I’m happiest leafing through my growing cookbook collection. I do sometimes google but there’s too much or I’m being too specific, not giving myself the chance to be surprised.

And, naturally, this is where I found the recipe for your lazy afternoon use of leftover lard: tea cakes. The mighty Jane Grigson wrote a version of this recipe in ‘English Food’. I turned to the index and only “lardy cake” under lard. So I thumbed my way and found these.

I adore fruited loaves. And they are cheap as chips. I’ll admit – the pork flavour comes through so I wouldn’t offer a slice to everyone. But if you’ve got an adventurous pal, go for it. Swap your butter for leftover lard wholesale or an equal 50/50 split and, next time you reach for the butter, be grateful that there’s a little more left in the fridge,  because you allowed your leftovers to be your inspiration.

 

Leftover lard tea bread

Based on "Mrs Borthwick's Yorkshire Teacakes" in Jane Grigson's 'English Food', pp 305-6
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Author: Ann Storr

Ingredients

  • 600 grams strong white bread flour
  • 6 grams dried yeast (or one sachet of grams)
  • 60 grams sugar (I used caster)
  • 30 grams lard (or butter)
  • 200 grams dried fruit (I used 150 grams sultanas and 50 grams of raspberries)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 300 ml milk plus more for glazing
  • 150 ml boiling water

Tools

  • Scales
  • Bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Loaf tin
  • Brush
  • Clean tea towel
  • Wire cooling rack

Instructions

  • Add flour, sugar, yeast, mixed spice and salt together and rub in the lard
  • Add the dried fruit
  • Pour the boiling water into the measuring jug with the milk - this is an easy way to get the right temperature
  • Lightly dust your counter
  • Mix together and turn out onto your floured counter and knead for about ten minutes
  • Shape into a round, return to the bowl and cover with the clean tea towel
  • Leave to rise - this will take anything between an hour and or two, depending on your kitchen
  • Grease the loaf tin with a good amount of unsalted butter or lard
  • When the dough has doubled, shape into a loaf shape and place gently into the tin
  • As the dough reaches the sides of the pan, turn your oven to 180 C
  • When the dough is ready to go, pop into the oven and bake for around 45 minutes; keep an eye on it and reduce the temperature if the top looks as though it'll burn
  • Turn the loaf out - if it's hollow when you tap it on the bottom, it's done. If in doubt, leave for another few minutes, checking every couple for readyness
  • If at all possible, leave to cool for about 45 minutes to allow to dough to complete cooking

Storage

  • This loaf will keep well but will be better for toast, eggy bread or bread and butter pudding after a couple of days.
    You can freeze whole or in slices for months

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Mash potato buns

Mash potato buns

How to squash your leftover mash into soft buns

(Ahem; sorry just couldn’t resist). Leftover mash is as soft and beige as leftover porridge. And we all know what leftover porridge is for: porridge muffins, and porridge bread. So how about mashed potato bread?

(Also, two bread posts in as many weeks … but it’s fecking February, it’s grey here it’s cold and I just want to bake. Plus: homemade bread is cheaper than most supermarket bread, so it’s a way of saving cash.)

Remember that every bread is just carbs that are fermented with yeast (from a can or your jar of sourdough starter). I gave up on homemade sourdough long ago; it’s lovely but I’m not that great a bread baker plus I’m the only fan. There’s only so much sourdough that even I can eat.

So, mash bread; prepare yourself for soft, smooth buns (sorry not sorry). I thought about soft milk buns or brioche when I made these, as the mash was already rich with butter and whole milk. I cracked in an egg and added 25 grams of sugar, just because I wanted to. That’s where relay race cooking is the best – you see what’s in front of you (mash!), and *that* is your inspiration for the next meal – not some end of aisle teaser. Omit the egg and/or sugar if you like.

Your leftover mashed potato buns will be perfect when still warm from the oven and full of melted butter and a wedge of strong cheddar. I practised making fried chicken for my kids the other day, ahead of a gaggle of girls coming round for dinner of fried chicken and chips followed by ice-cream sundaes. Sadly for me, there was warm, crunchy fried chicken to eat up … shredded fried chicken inside one of these was … it was unholy.

Leftover mashed potato buns

Makes 8

Ingredients

Leftover mashed potato, from 25 grams to 200 grams
Strong bread flour – enough to make potato and flour equal 700 grams
A little extra flour for kneading
7 grams/1 sachet yeast
14 grams salt
1 egg, optional
25 grams sugar, optional
Up to 350 ml milk or water
A little milk for glazing

Tools

Scales
Bowl
Baking tin
Greaseproof paper
Pastry brush

Time

Around 30 minutes for combining and kneading
At least 3 hours for rising or overnight
30 minutes to bake

Method

Rub the potato into the flour to avoid lumps
Add salt and yeast and rub in; if using the sugar, add now
If using the egg, add it to 200 ml milk and whisk in
Depending on your flour/mash ratio, and how much milk was in your mash means it’s not easy to say exactly how much liquid to add; the mixture needs to come together as a dough; you’re looking at around 400ml, but it could be anything from 250 ml to 400ml. Not sure? Start with 250 and see if all the flour is wet and the dough coming together. If not, add more, steadily. You can add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, but try to avoid that if possible
Once you’re happy with the dough, it’s time to knead dust the counter with a little flour. Holding onto the dough with your left hand, push the dough away from you with you right hand. Carry on with this for 10 minutes until the dough feels silky and you can hear the odd “pop” from the dough

OR

Shape the dough into a round and return to the bowl; as it rises every few hours, gently punch down and re-shape; do this over 6 hours. No kneading required!
When you’re ready to shape into buns, take a dough cutter or large knife and cut the dough into 12 pieces
Shape the pieces into buns by making them into a round and tucking the sides under the edge
Place each bun in the lined tin around 2cm apart
Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to rise again, for about 30 minutes
Turn the oven to 180C
Optional: glaze the buns with a little milk before placing in the oven
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until all golden brown on the top
Leave to cool, if you can

Storage

Like all home baked bread, these buns are best eaten on the day you bake them
If not, cut into them and freeze for up to 3 months

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Whey cinnamon buns

Whey cinnamon buns

Brunch lovely leftover whey cinnamon buns

Who doesn’t love a cinnamon bun? Soft, chewy, buttery, warm.  Oh god I’m so happy I’ve got a few sitting in my freezer…

When I made ricotta and paneer from my Christmas milk glut, the amount of whey took me utterly by surprise.  But this is why I love cooking with what’s in front of me – I need to try something new.

But, cinnamon buns are a family favourite, and this recipe is a combination of two of my most favouritest books: ‘The Bread Baker’s Assistnat’ by Peter Reinherdt, and ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ by the Queen of Cooking.

If you’re into bread then get yourself a copy of this James Beard winning lovely.  The recipes work – because he worked as a baker, Reinherdt isn’t precious about ingredients and he wants to help you to get. it.right.

I wasn’t sure about using whey in the buns; when you make ricotta or paneer, you have to curdle the milk with vinegar or lemon.  Was I going to make horrid buns that would end up wasting a tonne of flour, butter and sugar, all in trying to not waste a sort of waste product?!  Hoping that the ever so slight tang would be undetectable (hell, yoghurt cake is good, right?), I ploughed on and baked these.  And no I didn’t tell my children what is in them, are you mad?

Result?  Best Cinnamon Buns ever.  You’re welcome. Happy Brunch.

(PS These go stale quickly; better to make them, shape them and freeze them)

 

Leftover whey cinnamon buns
Adapted from ‘The Breadbaker’s Apprentice’ and ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess”

Ingredients

For the buns

180 grams sugar
1 teaspoon salt
150 grams soft, unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract OR grated zest 1 lemon/orange
450 grams strong bread flour
1 sachet/5 grams dried, quick action yeast
250 – 300 ml whey

Filling

150 grams soft, unsalted butter
150 grams sugar (soft brown is nicest if you can stretch to it)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Milk to glaze

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls
Clean tea towel
Whisk
Teaspoon
Greaseproof paper
Tray

Optional:
Bread scraper
Measuring spoons
Electric whisk/stand mixer if you have one

Time

About 30 minutes to combine
4 hours of shaping/adding butter
25 minutes to bake
10 minutes to cool so you don’t burn your hands!

Prep

Leave butter out to soften
Get a large bowl ready and pour in a little oil into the bottom

Method

Make the dough

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt by hand or with an electric whisk
Whisk in the egg and citrus, if using
Next, add the whey, yeast and milk
Mix on a low speed/by hand until the dough forms a ball
Knead in the mixer or by hand for between 10 and 15 minutes – stop when the dough is silky and smooth

Gently place the dough into the prepared bowl, turn it around in the oil to stop it from drying out as it rises
Cover with the clean tea towel and leave to rise – about 2 hours in a toasty warm kitchen or anything up to 4 or 5 if it’s a cold, cold room

MEANWHILE, the filling …

Cream together the soft butter, sugar and cinnamon until as soft as you can get it

Back to those buns

When the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour your counter
Gently turn the dough out and scrape the bowl good and clean

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle around 1cm thick, 10 cm long and 30 cm wide
Don’t roll the dough too thin or your buns will be tough rather than soft and plump (ahem)

Gently now, squash and push the butter around the dough; if your dough threatens to rip, stop!  Fill a mug with almost boiling water and take a knife/offset spatula if you have one
Using your fingers or a warmed knife, push the cinnamon butter all over the dough
Roll up into one, long, thing roll
Using a bread scraper or large knife, cut into 12-16 buns

Take your lined tray and place each bun carefully inside, around 3cm apart
My buns do lose their perfect circularity as I chop; gently reshape as you place them

Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise again for 75 – 90 minutes or until the buns have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size
*** If making these for a brunch, you can leave them to rise in the fridge from Saturday onwards; take out 3 hours before baking to fully warm through before hitting the oven***

Baking

Preheat the oven to 180C
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown
It takes practice to know when to pull these out of the oven, if you’re really wprried, poke the most middle bun with a knife to check for raw dough

Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes to avoid caramel buns

Devour

Storage/further meals

Cinnamon buns go stale pretty quickly; if you’re making a lot to use up lots of whey/milk, freeze them raw: take the ‘composed’ buns, place them on a lined baking tray, cover and place in the freezer. When fully frozen, remove from the tray and place in a bag. Best eaten within three months
If you have 1 or 2 leftover, just ping in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Love bread pudding? Imagine one made with these…

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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