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 Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 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.

(Slightly soggy) courgette pasta (just add bacon)

(Slightly soggy) courgette pasta (just add bacon)

Courgettes were, as I’ve said, a veg I associated with having the bollocks boiled out of them and served grey.  Yummy.  It wasn’t until started getting a veg-box that I learnt that there are far tastier ways to eat courgettes.  And, to be fair, at times, there are *a lot* of courgettes, so there a lot of courgette recipes in my brain…
One day, my darling Elizabeth babysat my kids.  Getting home from work, 3 kids (my 2 her 1) needed dinner, quickly. I think we had some ham or bacon, and some courgettes in the fridge.  Pasta is super handy when using up 1 or 2 courgettes because you only ever want a little veg to go with pasta.  I chopped the cougettes up super fine, cooked them with a lot of oil and shredded the meat. By the time the pasta was cooked,so was the veg. And because the veg was cut small, the kids ate some of it.
Note on cooking pasta: I’m reading Rachel Roddy’s ‘Five Quarters’ at the moment, and she’s reminded me to be a little more careful about cooking pasta.
Put on a big pan for your pasta – big.
Salt the water when the water is boiling, not before.
When you add the pasta to the boiling water, make sure it’s moving and separated (i.e., not in lumpy clumps).
Check the cooking time.  Take off 2 minutes and put the pinger on.  So if it says “8-10 minutes”, put the pinger on for 6 minutes.
Find a heatproof jug/small bowl and ladle (you want to retrieve about 80ml water)
After 6 minutes, remove a ladle/jug full of pasta water
Try some pasta.  It might be how you like it, you might want it a little softer.
Try it every minute or so.
If you are mixing the pasta with other ingredients in a hot pan (as with this recipe) you want it a little under-done because it will keep cooking in the pan)
Drain in a colander, but do not shake off every last droplet of water – that is why your pasta clumps together
Turn the pasta into the pan with the veg and meat
Stir, and pour in a little (about 15ml, or 1 tablespoon) of pasta water. This helps to combine the ingredients.

Courgette pasta

Serves around 4

Ingredients

around 250g courgettes (2-3) weighed before grating
around 200g bacon
olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic (to taste)
300g pasta
Cheese, for grating
Salt and pepper

Tools
Sharp knife
Chopping board
Large frying pan (big enough to fit
courgettes, meat and pasta)
Large saucepan
Colander/sieve
Wooden spoon
Heatproof jug/ladle and heatproof bowl
Cheesegrater

Optional tools
Garlic crusher

Time
10 minutes prep
25-30 minutes cook

Level
Medium

Method

Cut the tops and tails off the courgettes
Cut them into 3 inch/10c long pieces
Next, cut each chunk of courgette lengthwise, so you have about 4 strips of courgette
Then cut them into fine dice (squares) around 5mm wide
Put the bacon in the frying pan and put the heat on medium – you want the meat to fry in its own fat. Add a little olive if you need, to get the cooking going
When there’s some fat going sizzle, add the courgettes- you may need to add some more oil
You do not want to brown the courgettes, you want them to soften without colouring
Put your pasta water on
When the water is boiling add salt and then the pasta
Put the pinger on for 2 minutes fewer than the packet directs
Whilst the pasta is cooking, finely dice/squash your garlic
When the pinger goes off, save a a small jug of pasta water (around 50-80 millilitres) in your heatproof jug/little bowl
Try the pasta – you want it a little underdone because it’s going to cook more with the courgettes
When it’s ready, strain the pasta in the waiting colander
While the pasta is draining, take the garlic and stir it into the pan with the courgette and bacon
After about 30 seconds you should smell the garlic
Stir the pasta into the pan with the courgettes
Pour in about a tablespoon (15ml) of pasta water and some salt and pepper
Stir these together
If the pasta is a little too sticky, then pour in a little more water until you have the
consistency you like
Serve with lots of cheese!

Storage/further meals

As you have used a good amount of pasta water, you shouldn’t have a solid lump of pasta in the bottom of a serving bowl/saucepan
Place any leftovers in a lidded container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days
Reheat in microwave or in a pan using a little water/chicken stock, or use a lot of chicken stock to make this the starter for a lovely chicken noodle soup
Or a pasta frittata
Or add some freshly cooked pasta and other veg for another meal

 

 

 

 

 

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover Bolognese wraps

Leftover Bolognese wraps

Bolognese is a traditional English meal, right?  Like chicken korma, sweet & sour pork, anything with any spices ever, English people have been learning/appropriating flavours and meals for forever.  And this was Monday night supper at my house, as a kid.
To get another meal out of your few big spoons of bolognese, just … chuck in some more tomatoes.  Some red or white wine, if you have any sitting around.  Okay it won’t taste the same, but why is that a bad thing?  It’s just a little different, and you’ve not wasted meat.
Seriously.  Just make a plain tomato sauce, add in some bacon if you’ve got committed carnivores to feed/avoid those sad “I feel hard done by” faces.  Or hungry veggies could go for an extra packet of mushrooms.  This way, a 60p tin of tomatoes and an onion (maybe a £2 packet of lardons/£1 packet of mushies) will stretch your bolognese sauce over another meal. Win win.
Make your new sauce and stir the bolognese through at the end, bring back to the boil and simmer for a few minutes to make sure that it’s all hot right through (just so you know: I use way more cheese than this.  I just didn’t want to embarrass myself.  Oh wait …)

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover sausage and bacon wraps

Sunday morning brunch is an American tradition I am happy to embrace.  A long lie in (2 cups of tea thank you) followed by a nice run or long dog walk to build an appetite: all lovely gentle ways to start a Sunday.  Also and – so importantly – it means only catering two meals.  I love cooking but, you know, not all day every day.

Last week my family went fried: sausages, bacon, tomatoes, eggs.  Big English brekkie. No hash browns this week though – toast for me.  Two pieces, loads of butter.
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.
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…
Refried beans were so surprisingly tasty to me when I got over my jitters and tried them.  The name is misleading, a mis-translation.  You can make them very easily and cheaply, but a ready made tin isn’t hellish expensive (but is a bit steep for you know, some beans and garlic). Aaaanyway, whatever, they won’t break the bank and they are delicious.
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!

Leftover roast pork sandwiches, Bahn-Mi style

A few weeks back I roasted a piece of pork belly for a big lunch – we had two sets of friends due, and they all like to eat. Well, it was going to be only roast pork belly, but then I panicked.  The thought of people being hungry at my table sends a shudder down my spine, so then I was cooking 3kg of pork & a 2kg chicken.  For 6 adults & 5 kids.  Plus many veg, and pudding (a very cooked Jeremy Lee apple tart): mission accomplished.  But then I had about 2 kg of leftover pork to use in a few days, or work out a way to freeze it.  And not drive my family nuts with repeated meals.
Now StorrCupboard isn’t a slave to authenticity.  It’s important to know the hows and whys or food heritages and traditions. There are definitive ways to make a Bahn Mi, and this is not one of them. For something more detailed from Vietnamese culture check here.  For example, I loathe coriander & its flavour deadening ways, so I leave it out, or use parsley instead.  So shoot me.  I don’t say it’s better, just what I like.
Bahn Mi is a Vietnamese pork sandwich that shows the best of pork belly, pickles, salad, mayonaisse, coriander and white baguette.  The amount of veg and pickle is great, as it stops the sandwich from getting too stodgy.  But don’t be shy: this is a main meal sandwich, and it’s great that each bite has has different mixture of soft meat, frangrant herbs and crisp veg.
A baguette roll, crunchy salad, mayo, pickles & a handful of pork: amazing, and quick mid-week supper.
Not a cold pork fan?  How about a bowl of noodles?  Or a wonderful pork/bolognese?

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

ann@storrcupboard.com

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