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

Bought-too-many-herbs garlic bread

Bought-too-many-herbs garlic bread

“There’s no such thing as too much butter” said a friend to me one boozy evening.  I texted him a picture of the garlic bread I’d just made, after a couple of glasses of pinot.  “Okay”, he said “maybe you have a point”.
Dear leftover lovers I have refined for you my butter to bread ratios, and I bring you a herby garlic butter to make fabulous use of that handful of herbs.
Garlic bread, in its full 80s/90s glory, has to be made with a supermarket baguette, all bleached white.  You need to squash up your garlic for this recipe, so use a crusher or grate it on the ‘thin cheese’ side of your box grater.  You *don’t* want to bite into chunks of garlic (shudder).
Think your kiddos might balk at this amount of greenery in the garlic bread?  Add more butter and garlic so that the ratio is more to their liking.  If you have a food processor, you can cut the herbs teeny tiny, which might help.
Any herb-garlic butter you don’t use now can be wrapped and frozen for another time; you can stir it through pasta, use it in a jacket potato or to melt over a perfectly cooked steak.

(Bought too many herbs) garlic bread

Serves 4

Ingredients

15g herbs (parsley, coriander, chives) after removing stalks
7g garlic (roughly x2 cloves)
75g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Half a big baguette

Tools

Grater/crusher
Chopping board
Bread knife
Bowl

Time

15 minutes to mix
15 minutes to bake

Prep

Take the butter out of the fridge – if you can, n hour or so before using but even 10 minutes is helpful, but not essential
Turn the oven to 220C

Method

Take your herbs and
EITHER
Gather them into a little bundle and, using your knife, chop them.  As the bundle flattens and spreads, gather it up again and chop again.  And again!
OR – process quickly in a blender/immersion blender so finely chopped but not into a paste
Garlic: either grate it using the thin cheese side of your box grater, or use your garlic crusher, or squash to a paste with the side of your knife
Place the garlic, herbs, butter and salt into a mixing bowl
Get your hands right in there and squish that shit together so you’ve got a nice even mixture
When you’re happy with the mixture, wash your hands!
Take your bread knife and cut slices into the baguette around 2cm wide – like a garlic bread from the supermarket
Take a loaded teaspoon sized scoop of butter and squish it into each cut into the bread
Keep going until the garlic herb butter is evenly spread out
When all the butter has been used, place the bread on a tray and into the oven
Check after 10 minutes; you want the bread to be golden and crunchy, the butter all melted
You might need a little more time; if the top is golden but the butter not melted, just turn the heat off and leave the bread in – the leftover heat will do the job
Eat …. enjoy!

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover beef stew sandwich joy

Leftover beef stew sandwich joy

My mum always told me to cook two batches of stew at once.  And so I do.  And I love stew, all chunks of meat and veg and gravy: minimum input, maximum output.  Loads of stew, ladled over a buttery jacket potato, the veggies all soft in gravy and some greens on the side.

 

I’ve used beef stew here because, well, before I met my partner, I didn’t even know you make stew with anything else apart from beef!  I thought he was peculiary for suggesting pork stew.  *How* I got into food… anyway. We four all like beef stew and sometimes that feels like a miracle.

 

Storing your leftover stew.

 

Cool down as quickly as you can (so not by the oven!).  If you have a pan that can go in the fridge, then just put the cool pan and stew in the fridge.  If not, then place the cool food into a food-grade container.  My favourites are old ice-cream tubs.

 

If you have a lot, or you’re not sure when you’re going to eat, freeze in smaller 1-or-2 person sized portions.  Old soup and hummus containers are perfect for this.

This is my lazy riff on/lazy version of a cemita. I found the proper recipe in Rosie Ramsden’s ‘The Flavour Wheel’. Her recipe uses chipotle sauce and lots of coriander and mint which sounds amazing, but let’s keep it simple.  A few chunks of leftover beef, half an avocado, a pinch of chilli flakes/some Tabasco sauce and some fresh mozzarella make this little sandwich great with flavour and texture.  If you’ve only got one spoonful of stew leftover, well, tomorrow’s sandwich lunch looks amazing.

 

From a little stew to a lotta sandwich​​

 

If you have a lot, or you’re not sure when you’re going to eat, freeze in smaller 1-or-2 person sized portions.  Old soup and hummus containers are perfect for this.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Fishfinger tacos

Fishfinger tacos

Fishfinger taco

Fishfingers (lurid orange or beige and homemade) are leftovers that loads of us have. Especially if you have kids and they have friends around for tea, it’s a simple, brainless meal. With that crunchy, delicious outside, though, it’s not always easy to think of something new.

Your fishfinger is a piece of fish covered in breadcrumbs. That’s the ingredient we’re working with.  Something ready wrapped and good to go

Fish tacos were a crazy new idea to me. Fish. Taco.  It sounded gross. Because, despite all these recipes, I’m not great at trying new food. Honestly it’s always a bit of a stretch. But, as I’ve said before, we can learn to try new things, if we want to. And nations of people cannot be wrong about something delicious to eat.

Soft fish sitting inside a crunchy (or crazy 2019 new world) taco is a total winner.  If you’ve got even just one fishfinger and a box of shells in your cupboard, then, well, lunch just got a load more interesting.  A little salad, some salsa, sour cream, guacamole … again, remember this is lunch not pretending to be real Mexican style food, just taking some inspo to make the most of the food we’ve already cooked and already bought.

Try it, I think this might be my favourite of the week.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Cornflake crumbed chicken

Cornflake crumbed chicken

Cornflakes are a tricky leftover, I think, for one reason- if you don’t want to eat them in the way that you ‘should’ (in a bowl, with milk), then, what?  You’ve bought this box, this product.  Now you don’t have enough for a bowl of cereal so – well, what to do?  You’re not a mad, cereal mixing freak, are you?  ARE YOU?

Have you seen the recipes for a cornflake breakfast bowl?  What about the white chocolate cornflake cookies?  Not got a sweet tooth?  Well how about some soft chicken all crunchy with a nice corn(flake) coating?

Okay okay I know this is a litle Blue Peter BUT it works! Bash up the cornflakes and add in some peri-peri. This is a great way of using up all those odd ends at the bottom of the cereal bag and saves you from having to buy/make breadcrumbs. The chicken is crunchy and tender. I love it.

Top tip!  Use your right hand for coating the chicken with the flour/cornflakes, and your left for the egg.  This means your hands don’t end up with thick layers of crumb coating!

If you’re making loads and want to freeze, place layers of greaseproof paper in between the chicken, to stop them freezing into a solid mass OR lay them on a lined baking tray, cover and freeze.  When frozen, pop into a tupperware/bag, write what they are and enjoy your own frozen convenience food!

Cornflake crusted chicken

Serves 3-4, depending on appetite!

Ingredients

2 chicken breast fillets
1 egg
50g plan white/gluten free flour
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons peri-peri spice mix (optional)

Tools
Scales
Chopping board
Sharp knife
2 plates
3 bowls
Whisk/fork
Frying pan
Slotted spoon/flipper
Kitchen paper

Optional tools
Measuring spoons

Time
10 minutes prep
15-25 minutes to make
20 to cook

Level
Little more advanced

Prep
Place cornflakes in a bowl and crush into small pieces with your hands
Add peri-peri to the cornflakes.  This optional, but it adds a nice flavour
Whisk the egg.  Season the egg with a little salt and pepper
Season the flour with a little salt and pepper
If using chicken breasts (rather than pre-sliced mini fillets), cut your chicken breast into long strips.  You should cut around 8 strips per breast

Method
Place the bowls in a row with a clean plate on the end
Pick up one chicken strip.  Place it in the flour.  Using your right hand, make sure the piece of chicken is entirely covered in flour
Place the floured chicken piece into the egg.
Using your LEFT hand, cover it in egg.  Still using your left hand, place the chicken into the crushed cornflakes.
Back to your right hand!  Press the cornflakes into the chicken quite firmly. This makes sure you’ve got a good amount of coating (and flatter makes for quicker cooking)
Place the crunchy fillet onto the plate
When you’re feeling confident you can do about 3 at once
Once they are ready, place a big frying pan on the hob, at medium hot heat
(If you’re getting supper ready, pop any veg on now – you’re about 20 minutes away)
Add enough oil so that you have 1mm in the bottom of the pan
Chuck one cornflake into the oil.  When it sizzles and wriggles, the oil is hot enough. DON’T CROWD THE PAN!  Your chicken won’t get crisp, which is gross.
The chicken pieces should sizzle but could burn easily, so don’t wander off.
Jiggle them around as they cook to help the heat to spread nicely
Turn each piece at around 5 minutes.  The chicken is cooked when it’s firm.  Worried?  Cut into the fattest one that’s cooking and check!
Leave to drain on some cooking paper while you cook the rest
Serve with veg or in a wrap with salad.

Storage/further meals
These won’t be so nice re-cooked, but would be great cold in a sandwich
If you know you won’t eat them all, place in a freezer bag/tub and freeze for up to 3 months.

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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