Monday, 27 February 2012

Chow Phan- the ultimate leftover dish!

We had a visitor at the weekend from abroad- craving a taste of the old country. We dined on Sussex Ploughmans courtesy of a lovely pub  on the way back from Gatwick, then a roast chicken with all the trimmings on Saturday and a leisurely full English breakfast on Sunday. Suitably fuelled, our guest departed back to foreign parts.

And so - to the kitchen to make something tasty with the leftovers from two wonderful meals: Chow Phan!

This is a dish from my childhood in Hong Kong- similar to a nasi goreng- a rice dish with meat and vegetables.

To create a harmonious dish the four seasons must be represented: a white and a dark meat (chicken/turkey contrasted with bacon/sausage/pork or prawns). Spring should be represented with something green (peas/spring onions/ green pepper), Summer with something yellow (scrambled egg/omelette strips/sweetcorn). Autumn should have something brown (mushrooms/ water chestnuts). Winter should have something white (onion/beansprouts).
Any combination of the four coloured ingredients and meats will produce a delicious Chow Phan.

Here is my selection: spring onions, scrambled egg, mushrooms, bacon, chicken. gravy and peas along with rice and soy sauce.

Cook the rice until steamed and fluffy.

Fry in a wok- the bacon, egg, mushrooms, peas and spring onions.

Add as much chopped chicken from the carcass as you can spare.

Mix in the rice and add the gravy and soy sauce.

Heat through- tossing and stirring all the time.

You can garnish with omelette strips or chopped spring onions if you like. Yummy!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

This little piggy- made 18 meals!

All from one smoked gammon joint (1 kg) too!

I started by roasting the gammon in the slow cooker - thanks to a really good recipe from
 The author suggests that the sauce is a bit runny- but I want it like that to save it as the base for my Sussex Cassoulet so I drained it off, and we had the delicious soft gammon with roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese.( 5 meals served.)

Second meal for five is a simple quiche lorraine- fill a pastry shell with chopped leftover gammon, grated cheddar cheese,3 eggs beaten with some milk (or cream if you must) and bake in a moderate oven 180 degrees until firm and golden.
Now for the Sussex Cassoulet!


Leftover gammon, cut into chunks
local sausages
1 tin butter beans
leftover roasting juices from gammon
2 tbsp soft brown sugar or treacle
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 carton chopped tomatoes (with added chilli or arrabiatta if you can get them)
1 chopped onion
stale bread (made into breadcrumbs)
cheese for sprinkling (cheddar or parmesan)


1. Fry the onion until soft
2. Fry sausages until browned
3. Place onion, drained butter beans, tomatoes, roasting juices, sausages and ham into a casserole dish
4. Add sugar, vinegar and any other seasonings you like (but no salt as the roasting juices are very salty)
5. Cook until bubbling through (about 30 mins at 180 degrees)
6. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and put back in the oven until the cheese has melted and browned.
Sussex Cassoulet

This easily served five with nothing more than some crusty bread with it.

The remaining 3 meals took the form of picnic sandwiches for three of us on a weekend  trip away.

Not bad, eh?

We'll meat again.....

Sorry about the pun.

Today's blog is all about meaty feasts -  and how to feed lots of hungry adults over and over again. (I feed five at the moment- including my elderly parents for whom I operate a sort of 'meals-on-wheels' service so I have to make sure there is enough food leftover for them each time .)

I started by making a beef ragout- 750g beef mince, (1 onion, 10 pitted olives, 1 carrot, chopped mushroom stalks left over from the mushroom cup recipe, 1 beef stock cube and a dash of Worcester sauce- all blitzed in the food processor), 2 cartons of chopped tomatoes and a tablespoonful of tomato puree.Fry the vegetable mix until soft and then brown the mince with it.Add the tomatoes and puree. Either cook on the stove on a low heat for half an hour (lid on) or cook in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours. Adjust seasoning (I like to add a dash of red wine vinegar too).

This will make spaghetti sauce for five...

and a lasagne for six as well! Layers of ragout, pasta sheets, white sauce- finished with grated cheddar cheese and parmesan.

Hungry yet?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

So, here goes....

I'm going to publish my first recipe!

I hope this first attempt sets the tone for the rest of the blog : look in the fridge, carefully marshall what's there, put it together into something delicious, waste nothing... that's the essential philosophy behind my posts.

So, in the fridge a few days ago I had mince, carrots, cabbage, stale bread, mushrooms, salad stuff and eggs. (It would be good if I could be clever enough to work out how to hyperlink all of these so they link to subsequent recipes etc- but I mustn't try to run before I can walk...)

I've decided to make Home Made Burgers in a Garlic Mushroom Cup (served with salad and coleslaw).

Burgers (Serves 4)

450g beef mince
1 egg
2-3 slices stale bread
1/2 onion finely chopped
dash of Worcester sauce
salt and pepper

1. In a blender, grind up the bread to soft breadcrumbs- tip into mixing bowl
2. Now put onion, Worcester sauce and egg into the blender and quickly liquidise
3. Mix together the mince, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and egg/onion mixture until the moisture is absorbed and the burger mix is ready to shape into patties
4. Set patties aside to chill and firm up in the fridge for 10 minutes
5. Fry or grill until brown and caramelized on both sides and to a suitable cuisson inside (rare, medium, well done- depending on how you like your beef.)

Garlic Mushroom Cups (Serves 4)

4 field mushrooms (of similar size to your burger patties)
50g salted butter
1 clove of garlic (pureed with some salt using the blade of a knife) or a squeeze of garlic puree.
olive oil

1. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a piece of kitchen paper, cut out the stalks (but don't throw them away! Use them to add to the beef ragout which I hope to post up in the next few days)
2. Toss them in a little olive oil and place in a baking dish- gill side upwards
3. Dot with butter and garlic puree
4. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes (or until soft and dark all over with the butter nicely melted)

To serve- sit the griddled burgers in their mushroom cups - et voila!

Blogger, moi?

Well, apparently so. A food blog to boot.
This isn't going to be the sort of blog though where I lovingly detail the exquisite morsels that I've experienced, daintily crafted from expensive ingredients.
Oh no- quite the opposite.
This is where I hope to showcase my talent for making hearty fare from just about nothing.
This is the ultimate blog for the superscrimper, the moneysaver, the waste-not-want-notters.
Of course - if I do experience anything exquisite or dainty, I will post it up!