Monday, 14 May 2012

Storecupboard sweep!

Having returned from a busy few days away, I came home to an almost bare fridge and a not very well stocked larder. What could I make out of the seemingly miserable array of packets and tins, a  2 centimetre cube of cheese, a few potatoes and a bit of  of salad?

It felt a bit like ' Ready Steady Cook' when James Martin opened the bag to find a Mars Bar, a Pot Noodle and a bottle of beer. He rustled it ll together to make a beer battered deep fried Mars Bar dessert (and threw the Pot Noodle away , I think!) A chef after my own heart- although I might have tried to find a use for the Pot Noodle!

Well, I baked the potatoes in their skins, scooped out the mash and mixed it with a little corned beef, put it back in the skins and topped with some grated cheese, popped them under the grill for a few minutes and hey presto! Twice Stuffed Potatoes with salad garnish:

This got me thinking about 'This Week's Challenge'- as requested by a blog follower. What else could I make from the tins and bits in the larder? After all, we all have stuff in there that really ought to be eaten up on a regular basis, to keep the stock rotating.

So, here's my cupboard bits that I intend to use up this week: tins of sweetcorn, tuna, tomatoes, butter beans, sardines, mixed vegetables and mushrooms , packets of dried mushrooms, spaghetti, instant mash, vegetable rice, arborio rice, vegetable stock cubes, olives and flour and bottles of mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce plus some part-baked bread, anchovy paste and some cream cheese and sausages from the fridge.

First meal is a mushroom risotto made from the arborio rice, dried and tinned mushrooms and cream cheese.

First, soak a tbsp. of  the dried mushrooms in two cups of boiling water for 10 mins.
Gently fry a chopped onion in some olive oil and add the tinned sliced mushrooms.
Strain the dried mushrooms (keeping the stock) and add them to the mixture.
Mix in a cupful of arborio rice and stir to coat the grains.
Add a glass of white wine and stir until absorbed.
Gradually add the warm mushroom liquor, stirring as it is absorbed.
Add a little more boiling water if the risotto is still too dry and chewy.
When it has reached a creamy and soft consistency, it is ready.
Stir in a tbsp of cream cheese (and serve with extra grated Parmesan if you like this.)

Any leftover risotto freezes well and can be used as a stuffing for peppers (see post from May 2).

Second meal is vegetable soup (from the tinned vegetables, cooked with a stock cube and blitzed), baked bread, sardine pate and salad including a rice salad made from the vegetable rice mix, sweetcorn and mayonnaise.

Sardine Pate- blitz cream cheese, seasoning, a spring onion, a squeeze of lemon and a tin of  sardines.

More meals to follow in the blog later in the week  but planned menus are: spaghetti marinara, fish cakes with sweet chili sauce, sausage and butter bean mash with sweetcorn fritters....mmmm!

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