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

(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

(Three ways with half a) Cabbage and coconut soup

(Three ways with half a) Cabbage and coconut soup

A few years ago I was working at a summer show – you know, loads of tents and you can walk around, buy some nice food and a pint of Pimms (what?) and maybe watch a dog show.  There will be burgers, samosas and some quinoa salad to buy.

I was working with a new colleague and, it’s a funny one, working these events – you spend a day, or two, or three, with one other person who you may or may not ever speak to again. Quickly you know about intimacies you’d never share with someone who might be at a neighbouring desk.  But you don’t want to embarrass yourself.

So picking up a savoy cabbage so firm and fresh that the leaves squeaked, and I muttered “Oh GOD it’s so fresh you can HEAR IT” whilst holding it to my ear … so I embarrassed myself.  Oh lord.  Luckily only people who love food can stand in a tent and sell it for days and hours a week, so he got it and laughed.

But not every cabbage comes to us so fresh that you can barely snap the outer leaves off.  I know that there’s often a half eaten, ever so slightly browning cabbage in my large crisper drawer.

This recipe, which I’ve tweaked ever-so-slightly, is another light lunch lovely.  Cabbage and coconut!  It’s such a wonderful combination.  I think that the addition of tamari/dark soy or fish sauce is essential if you’re not going to use any stock.  It’s creamy, it’s flavoursome and cheap as all hell.  Add in a few handfuls of coriander if you like, and def any little odds and sods of greens that are hanging about.  Don’t waste your greens; they are cheap but they are too good to be wasted.  Get on it!

(Three ways with half a leftover) Cabbage and coconut soup

Adapted, barely, from Henrietta Clancy, ‘Just Soup’, p28
Serves 3-4

Ingredients

1/2 medium cabbage: about 300 grams with the stalk, 250 grams after removing the stalk
1 tablespoon ground nut oil
1 small onion (about 55 grams), chopped into dice
1 garlic clove, chopped/minced/grated
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
400 ml can coconut milk
100 ml water/stock
Squeeze of lime/lemon
Optional: coriander, peas, broccoli, green beans – any nice greens that need eating up

Tools

Knife, chopping board
Saucepan with lid
Immersion blender (optional)

Time

About half an hour

Prep

If using frozen peas, leave to defrost
Remove the stalk of the cabbage – if necessary cut into quarters and remove the stalk by cutting it out on the diagonal
Mince or grate the garlic

Method

Heat the oil in the saucepan and when it’s warm, add the diced onion
Cook on a medium/low heat until the onion is see-through – at least 10 minutes
DON’T LET IT BROWN
Only when the onion is soft enough to be squashed with your wooden spoon add the cabbage, garlic and chilli flakes
Stir them around for a minute or so
Add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil
Simmer for 10 minutes
If you like, blend a little
If adding more greens, do this now
Squeeze over the lime or lemon
Taste; I recommend a good few shakes of soy/tamari and a pinch of fish sauce

Storage/further meals

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

Bought-too-many-herbs salad

Bought-too-many-herbs salad

Hello!  Hi!  StorrCupboard is back!  With the help of the amazing Elizabeth Barrett and others, StorrCupboard is now fully searchable and *much* easier to use.
Not all of the recipes are back online yet; this is my passion project and my love, but there are 2 kids that need tending and a career that needs growing. This isn’t perfect but it’s here to help you.  Please email me at ann @ storrcupboard.com with any questions and I’d love to help you.
So … herbs.  We buy them because a recipe says that we need just a handful, and that fresh tastes better (usually, the recipe is right).  But wasting fistfuls of delicate green leaves is plain nuts.
The simplest way to use up herbs is to finely chop them and store in ice-cube trays.  Easy.
But how about something that is going to be a cheap, filling and healthy lunch?  Take inspo from the amazing, the wonderous, Ottolenghi & Honey & Co.  Both Ottolenghi, and the Honies (as they are often called) were born and raised in the Middle East, where herbs are used a lot more in cooking.  Handfuls of herbs are used in salads along with lettuce, spinach and rocket which adds another layer of fresh flavour.  If you’re my age or more, you’ll remember *how* exciting it was when rocket! replaced! iceberg! lettuce!  (Unless you are my parents so a salad is iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber and quartered tomatoes).
This simple salad was a couple of handfuls of bagged salad, loads of parsley and coriander, along with said tomatoes and cucumber.  It doesn’t have to be rocket science (sorry).  Enjoy the tweak of the added handful of herbs to your salad and make sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Sad Satsuma Salad

Sad Satsuma Salad

Last weekend I stayed with a lovely friend, drinking prosecco, sitting on her fire escape, gossiping and eating Malteasers. Heaven.  (We half pretend we’re in ‘Sex and the City’.  Because we are grown ups and we can. Ahem).

On Sunday morning I pulled my ‘weary’ head from the sofa and headed for the kettle.  Sitting there, on the counter top, I saw a familiar sight in her fruit bowl: 6 sad satsumas.  Satsumas, tangerines, clementines, whatever How many of yours go off before you eat them?  For me it can be at least 3 if I’m not careful.  And once the mould sets in … well if even Mum Storr says they are beyond hope, well I believe her.

These citrus fruits will have been picked aaaaaages ago.  Then from tree to pallet to packing to distribution to shipping and redistribution *at least*.  Think of all that electricity and fuel that’s been used to get these fruits to you!  From Spain (maybe) but most likely South Africa and beyond.  And that is *far*.  When I have citrus fruits, I store them in the fridge and take out more only when the fruit bowl is empty.  This means a waste hardly any these days.

Thanks to Instagrammer Saz for asking me about satsuma ideas; I hope that these are even more ideas for your too-full fruitbowl.

This salad is a Ghanaian beauty from the *amazing* Zoe Adjonyoh.  Sweet chunks of mango, pineapple and cool cucumber are dressed with the juice from your sad satsumas for a delicious and refreshing side salad. It might seem a little unusual mixing fruit and veg in a bowl, but come on!  Redcurrant and lamb!  A slice of cheese with a slice of apple!  Ketchup and chips?

Mango & pineapple salad

Barely adapted from Zoe Adjonyoh, ‘Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’, p58

Ingredients

50ml fresh satsuma juice (about 3-4)
2 tablespoons apple juice, or more satsuma if you’re feeling skint
Juice of 1 lemon
2 ripe mangoes
1/2 ripe pineapple or
200-300g tinned pineapple in juice
1/2 cucumber
200g rocket or baby spinach
Pinch salt
50g roasted and salted cashew nuts

Tools

Scales
Two large mixing bowls
Sharp knife, chopping board
Big knife for the nuts
Peeler
Bread knife
Juice squeezer/fork
Mixing bowl

Time

30 minutes

Prep

Mix the juices in a bowl
Take your peeler and peel the mango
Cut the flesh off the fruit and cut it into cubes
Take your pineapple
Pick up your breadknife and slice off the bottom and the top
With the pineapple ‘standing’ upright, take you breadknife and cut the spiky skin off the sides
When all the skin is off, you’ll probably find some little pieces of skin left (the eyes)
Use a small, sharp knife or pointy potato peeler to take the ‘eyes’ out of the pineapple
When it’s free from spikey bits, use your bread knife to slice the pineapple into slices about 2cm thick
Stack them up
Cut into quarters
Cut the tough core out and discard
Place the mango and pineapple in a bowl with the satsuma and apple juice
Chop the cucumber; you may prefer to take the core out of the cucumber
Wash your leaves!

Method

Remove the mango and pineapple chunks from the bowl and place in a new bowl with the leaves and cucumber and gently mix together
Drizzle over a little of the reserved fruit juice and sprinkle over some salt
Garnish with the cashews
Serve with fish or meat (Zoe recommends amazing dishes but these would be quick options)

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Sign up to the Storr Cupboard Newsletter

...and receive monthly recipe ideas to help you ensure there's never a leftover, leftover PLUS a free downloadable meal planner & kitchen stock check.

Once signed up check your email to confirm your subscription!

We will, of course, always ensure that your data is safe and never spam you!

You have Successfully Subscribed!