Crispy schmaltz mashed potato

Crispy schmaltz mashed potato

Crispy schmaltz mash potatoes

Okay, so you could eat these as a side dish. But, for me, these chicken fat rich mashed potatoes, drowned in gravy, are good enough on their own. Maybe some broccoli and peas so that the whole meal isn’t beige.  Don’t skip the rosemary, it’s heavenly, and the perfect way to use up your leftover chicken skin.

 

Schmaltz Mash Potatoes

Adapted, barely, from James Beard 'Waste Not', p83 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

For the schmaltz

  • at least 90 grams leftover chicken skin & fat

For the mash

  • 450 grams floury potatoes such as maris piper, king edwards, or 'red'
  • 50 grams butter
  • 75 ml single cream you might need more or less depending on how much chicken skin and fat you have
  • The schmaltz

To serve

  • Chicken gravy
  • One sprig of rosemary

Tools

  • Scales and bowl
  • Small saucepan with lid
  • Large saucepan
  • Measuring jug

Instructions

Make the schmaltz

  • Chop up the skin and fat, and place in the saucepan. Cover with water and put on a medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook at simmering point for an hour.
  • Increase the heat to medium after an hour and continue to cook the mixture until the pieces of skin have browned. This will take around 15 minutes.
  • Strain the schmaltz; if there's any little crunchy bits at the bottom of the pan

Make the mash

  • Peel and boil the potatoes in well-salted water. They are cooked when a knife pushes into one and gives way.
  • Mash the potatoes with all the cream, all the schmaltz and all the butter.
  • Warm up the gravy, finely chop/mince the rosemary, and serve. Add some green veggies on the side, if you like, maybe a fried egg.

Storage

  • The mash will keep for up to five days.

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.

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 corn bread

Bought-too-many-herbs corn bread

I love cornbread, corn chips, corn crackers, corn fed chicken and sweetcorn.  Big bowls of polenta (grits) all rich with corn, butter and cheese, topped with heaps of veg or ragu/bolognese.  It’s the warm flavour of corn that does it for me.  So, for my final ‘good god either I don’t have enough herbs or I have too many’, I offer you: herby cornbread.
Sometimes cooking a dish that you can freeze for another day is the perfect way to use up a leftover; maybe it’s leftover because you ran out of time this week, or the herbs are going off more quickly than you expected.  Or, maybe, you’re just sick of the sight of the fucking herbs/veg/meat sitting there. looking a bit manky and beaten up.
Cornbread pairs really well with chilli, ribs and barbeque.  It’s also amazing toasted, buttered, and topped with a fried egg.  If you won’t eat the whole loaf in a day or so, get it frozen!  Slice it, freeze it, label it – and, hey!  Maybe breakfast could be cornbread and eggs rather than toast and marmite?  (Though I love toast and marmite tbf).
NOTE: do not use quick cook polenta; it’s milled the wrong way for this.  A bag of cornmeal/polenta will set you back 80p, and it’s amazing in cakes and bread.  If you bake homemade pizza, you can use it to dust the bottom of the tin, so it won’t go to waste.

(Bought too many herbs) cornbread

Based on Smitten Kitchen’s Sourcream cornbread with Aleppo

Makes 1

Ingredients

125 grams plain flour
145 grams course cornmeal/polenta (NOT QUICK COOK!)
10 grams granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
up to 50 grams mixed, fresh herbs
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
225 ml sour cream *
150ml whole milk *
2 tablespoons neutral oil (ground nut, sunflower, light olive oil)

* If you buy a 300ml tub of sour cream and you might not use it all, just shove it in and use less milk; if you can only afford/want to get a 150ml tub, then add more. Sure, the consistency will be a little different, but variety is the spice of life, no?

Tools

Scales
2 mixing bowls
Teaspoons
Balloon whisk
Measuring jug
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Large loaf tin/7 inch round tin
Skewer

Time

15-20 minutes to weigh and mix
22-25 minutes to bake
Around 10 minutes to cool before slicing

Prep

Preheat the oven to 180C
Line your loaf or cake tin with greaseproof paper
Finely chop/process your herbs

Method

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, milk and oil
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones using your balloon whisk, mixing until just barely combined
Spread the batter in your prepared and bake for 22 to 25 minutes
A skewer pushed into the middle of the cake should come out clean

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

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