Tag Archives: storecupboard

Chicken Fritters

Tonight I needed to cook dinner, I really couldn’t be bothered and I had next to nothing in the cupboard.
But I did have half a cooked chicken and some dry goods.

I thunk and thunk and wondered what the outcome would be of making a crispy batter and shallow frying the chicken.
This is what I did and jolly nice it was too with a nice spicy aftertaste.
This serves 4 as usual.

CHICKEN FRITTERS

Dinner from bugger all

Utensils:
1 x medium mixing bowl
1 x whisk
1 x large frying pan
1 x fish slice
1 x slotted spoon
Kitchen roll / paper towel

Ingredients:
4 small chicken breasts or the equivalent cooked chicken
If using raw chicken – ¼ pint chicken stock
4oz self raising flour
½ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ pint milk
vegetable oil for shallow frying

Method:
If using raw chicken, poach lightly in the chicken stock until cooked through and drain
Cut the chicken into chunks or strips
Put all the dry ingredients together into the bowl and blend well
Gradually whisk in the milk until it forms a thick paste
Put the chicken into the paste
Heat the oil in the frying pan until it is very hot
Fish the chicken bits out of the batter with a slotted spoon
Fry quickly in batches in the hot oil turning until the chicken is golden brown on both sides
Drain on the kitchen paper and blot to get rid of any excess oil
Serve immediately

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Filed under Food, Leftovers, Regional, Storecupboard

Thrilled to the Marrow

Just as Sue at The Quince Tree has been awash with quinces, so I am awash with marrows.  I bought one from a garden gate stall and Ms Rozzer gave me three more.  Now, I like a marrow and the Aged Parent, she likes a marrow ‘n’ all, but I’m not sure about the chaps.  Boy the Elder will try anything but Boy the Younger shows unfamilial suspicion of anything he doesn’t recognise.

I decided to stuff one – a marrow, not a boy (although…) as even if it they didn’t like it, they could still eat the filling.  My ingredients are only a guideline because that is what I had in the larder and fridge.  If you don’t have these things, use something else.  One could easily leave out the mince and add more mushrooms, or use peas instead of sweetcorn – you get the picture.

I have not decided what to do with the other three.

STUFFED MARROW – serves 4 or 6 depending on the size of your marrow.  Missus.

Utensils:
1 x medium saucepan with a lid
1 x chopping board
1 x baking tray
Foil

Ingredients:
1 medium marrow – sliced in half and the seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 small or ½ large red pepper – chopped
½ lb / 240g minced beef
2 handfuls of long grain rice
1 small tin sweetcorn
1 tin kidney beans
4oz / 120g mushrooms – chopped
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
½ pint 300ml beef stock
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp paprika
1 splash Worcester sauce
4oz Cheddar cheese – grated

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200 / 425 / 7
Lay each marrow half on enough foil to be able to wrap it round the filling and seal it up and place on the baking tray
Heat the oil in the saucepan and add the onions, pepper and garlic.  Cook until soft.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add everything else and stir well
Put the lid on and leave to cook through on a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is soft
If there is too much liquid, turn up the heat and cook rapidly for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until it has reduced
Divide the mixture equally between the marrows
Wrap in the foil, sealing off the edges and cook for 40 minutes

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Filed under Food, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

Chestnut and Bacon Soup

This is a luxurious, warming and filling winter soup that I often serve when I have friends round for lunch.  If you keep a can of chestnut puree in the larder, it can be produced, with or without bacon, at the drop of a hat.  If you are feeding Vegefriends, leave out the bacon and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.

I know I give you quite a few soup recipes but they are just such good food.  They can operate as warming, energy giving fast food and you can hide all manner of things in a soup that a child or fussy person might sneer at if presented in recognisable form.

Utensils:
1 x chopping board
1 x large saucepan
1 x measuring jug

Ingredients:
2oz / 60g butter
1 medium onion – finely chopped
4 rashers of bacon – chopped
1 tblspn dried sage or 2 tblspn fresh chopped sage
1 x 436 tin of chestnut puree
1 pint of chicken stock
¼ pint / 150ml double cream

Method:
Saute the onion, bacon and sage in the butter until the onion is translucent
Add the chestnut puree and stir well
Gradually add the stock, stirring briskly to break down the puree
Simmer for 15 minutes
Add half the cream
Serve immediately using the remaining cream to put a generous swirl on each bowlful
Serve with tasty bread

4 Comments

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Chocolate Brownies (and tomorrow how to caramelise a Boy Scout)

These are so quick and so very, very good.  Very, very good. 
God they’re good…
And guess what?  Storecupboard Ingredients!

Utensils:
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x12″ x 9″x 1″  baking tray
1 x food mixer
1 x wire cooling rack

Ingredients:
10oz / 250g butter
13oz / 380g sugar
4 eggs
3oz / 90g cocoa
4oz / 120g self raising flour
4oz / 120g plain chocolate chips

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Grease and flour the baking tin
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
Bake for 40-45 minutes
Remove from the oven and cut into square in the tin.
Place the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool slightly before removing.

And that’s it!

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A Red Winter Soup to keep out the chills

This soup is full of vegetables and herbs that are blood cleansing, immune system boosting, low fat  and full of vitamin C.  Like most soups, it is quick and easy to make and it uses predominantly storecupboard ingredients.  I would not recommend that people with arthritis eat too much of this, as it is quite acidic; tomatoes and peppers are well known to exacerbate arthritis.

Utensils:
Red Winter Soup 19.10.091 x large saucepan
1 x medium saucepan
1 x stick blender
1 x chopping board
1 x wooden spoon

Ingredients:
1 oz / 30g butter
1 medium red onion – finely chopped
1 red pepper – finely chopped
2 large carrots – sliced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
8oz / 240g  red lentils – cooked according to the instructions on the pack
1 pint / 600ml chicken stock (vegetable stock if you prefer)
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn turmeric
½ tspn cumin
A little cream to swirl on top if you like

Method:
Melt the butter in the large pan on a medium heat
Add the onion and pepper and cook until soft but not browned
Add all the other ingredients and bring to the boil
Turn down the heat and simmer until the carrots are soft.
Puree with the blender.
Serve with a swirl of cream and nice bread

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Filed under Food, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

What you should have in your drawers (and cupboards)

It’s very tempting to fill your kitchen with unnecessary gadgets  but all that happens is that one ends up with a kitchen full of stuff, half of which you never use.  I am assuming that you understand your own needs regarding crockery, cutlery, mugs and glasses, a kettle and a toaster and I will therefore concentrate on essential everyday equipment if you are planning to cook properly at least some of the time, plus a few things which would useful when entertaining or if you regularly make certain things.

This article goes nicely with my earlier post on Storecupboard Ingredients.  It may sound like rather basic information, but if you are only just starting to get interested in cooking, it’s very easy to go over the top.  A large and expensive food processor sounds like a great idea, but unless you have a large kitchen where it can be out on the worktop all the time, you may find that you simply can’t be bothered to get it out of the cupboard and £200 of kit will languish, sobbing to itself, in the deepest darkest cupboard, with naught but the silverfish for company, dreaming of making coleslaw for 50 people.  Resist.  Keep it simple.  

I’m sure you have your own favourites, or can point out some glaring omission, so do please share them with us.

Essential Equipment
1 set of three different sized mixing bowls (if you get ovenproof they are more versatile still)
1 set saucepans e.g. 2 large, 1 medium, 1 small
2 casserole dishes – 1 large, 1 medium or small suitable for oven or hob
2 frying pans – 1 large and deep, 1 omelette type
1 pie dish – medium
1 lasagne dish
2 heatproof jugs for gravy, custard etc
1 colander
1 sieve
2 chopping boards – 1 large, 1 small
Several wooden spoons
1 fish slice
1 soup ladle
1 potato masher
1 large spoon
1 slotted spoon
1 whisk
1 pastry brush
1 flexible scraper
1 vegetable peeler
1 rolling pin
1 tin opener
1 corkscrew
1 measuring jug
1 set of scales
1 stick blender – vital
1 electric mini chopper – marvelous for breadcrumbs, nuts or any smaller quantities
1 electric hand mixer
1 large baking sheet
1 roasting tin
1 x 12 hole bun tin
1 x 7×10 baking tin
2 x 7″ cake tins – pref. loose bottomed
1 cooling rack
1 set of pastry cutters
1 grater which does coarse, fine, slices etc
1 lemon squeezer
Knives – it is better to have 1 large and 1 small really good quality, sharp knives than loads of thin, bendy blunt ones (with which you are more likely to injure yourself)
1 set of tupperwares – assorted sizes inc a large one for cakes etc
Several odd saucers – as spoon rests, for pre-weighed ingredients, to put mugs on; they are very useful
Large sharp kitchen scissors
1 radio – more entertaining and less distracting than a television
Freezerproof containers – washed out takeaway boxes are perfect for this

Additional useful items:
1 slow cooker – very useful if you’re out at work
1 ice cream maker
1 cafetiere
Storage jars – not necessary but make it much easier to see what you’ve got, esp if you label them clearly, which you would need to for flour
1 large flan dish
2 x 1lb loaf tins
1 garlic crusher
1 flour / sugar shaker
1 kitchen blow torch – for quick browning and sugar melting

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Super Quick Banoffee Ice Cream

Ice cream is a firm favourite in our house and can be a great way of using up slightly over-ripe fruit, or taking advantage of a special offer at the shops.  Personally, I’m quite happy to eat a black banana, but many people are not and this is a great way to use them up.  Yet again, this is made from storecupboard ingredients.

Remember that home-made ice cream will freeze much harder then shop bought, so take it out of the freezer a little before you plan to eat it, to let it soften.

If you are fond of ice-cream, I do recommend you think about buying an ice cream maker.  You can get a perfectly decent one for about £30, which has a gel-filled bowl which you keep in the freezer and a separate motor driven paddle which fits on the top.  The recipe below could be on the table in just over half an hour – very handy for feeding an unexpected guest.

Utensils:
1 x ice cream maker * see below if you don’t have one
1 x stick blender
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x medium bowl – microwaveable
1 x scraper
1 x freezer-proof container with a lid

Ingredients:
1 397g tin of sweetened condensed milk
3 large ripe bananas
1oz / 30g butter
1 heaped tblspn dark brown sugar
2 tblspn golden syrup
2 tblspn double cream (optional)

Method:
Puree the bananas
Whisk in the condensed milk and consign to the ice cream maker until it has turned into ice cream
Scoop it out into the lidded contained and put in the freezer.

You can of course leave it here and tuck in with gusto (or a wafer, whichever) but I like a rich vein of toffee in mine.  So…
Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a bowl and microwave for about 1 ½ minutes.  It should be bubbling furiously.
Leave to cool, stirring occasionally.  If you add cream at this point, it gives it a more fudge like consistency
Take the ice cream out of the freezer and pour the toffee on the top
Swirl the toffee through the ice cream with a fork to create a ripple effect
Put the lid back on and return the tub to the freezer until your tummy gets the better of you
 

* If you don’t have an ice cream maker:
Pour the banana and condensed milk mixture into the lidded container, put the lid on firmly and put in the freezer.  Leave for an hour then take it out and give it a good whisk.  Repeat the process about every 30 minutes until it has frozen properly.

VARIATIONS:

Forget the toffee and whisk in ¼ pint of Baileys Irish Cream with the bananas and condensed milk for a slightly more grown-up variation.

Stir through some chocolate drops and pour into lolly moulds for a healthy treat

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Two Tasty Ways with Corned Beef

Corned beef is a very useful and cheap standby and these two dishes can be whipped up in no time at all using storecupboard ingredients.  Always buy the best quality corned beef – the more expensive brands tend to have more meat and less fat (ie £1.75 rather than 99p a tin).  To learn how to make your own corned beef, I would recommend you look at the delicious Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s  ‘River Cottage Meat Book’.

The Corned Beef Hash detailed below is a fairly standard recipe, but I have taken Hugh F-W’s advice from the above mentioned book and added beetroot in the style of his New England Red Flannel Hash.  If you don’t like beetroot, don’t use it, use an equivalent quantity of extra potatoes instead.  I do urge you to try it though.  This is a useful recipe for those of you who get beetroot in your veg boxes and don’t know what to do with it.

CORNED BEEF HASH
Utensils:
1 x large frying pan
1 x large chopping board

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients:
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1lb potatoes – cooked and diced
250g cooked (but not picked) beetroot – cubed
340g tin of Corned Beef – cubed
1 handful of fresh chopped parsley (or ½ that of dried parsley)
1 tsp paprika
black pepper
a little oil for frying

Method:
Heat the oil in the frying pan
Add the chopped onion and cook over a medium heat until translucent
Add all the other ingredients to the pan and cook, turning frequently, until good and hot and all the ingredients are just starting to brown nicely.

Eat on its own or, to make it go further, serve with nice bright vegetables like green beans or sweetcorn.  Baked beans go beautifully with it for a heavy duty energy boost.

CORNED BEEF RISSOLES

These are not a million miles away from Fishcakes in their method, and are a good example of how delicious food can be thrown together at the drop of a hat.

Utensils:
1 x baking tray
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x fish slice
1 pair of clean hands

Ingredients:
340g tin Corned Beef
12oz / 360g mashed potatoes
2oz / 60g wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp dried parsley
1 dash lemon juice
1 good splosh of Worcestershire Sauce
black pepper to taste

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200 / 400 / 6
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands
Form into rissoles about 3″ / 7cm diameter
Bake for about 20 minutes until nicely browned

Serve with chips or jacket potatoes and vegetables.  These are filling so don’t overdo it.

I will add a photo of the rissoles tomorrow when I’ve cooked them for dinner.

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Melting Moments & a promise of things to come…

Melting Moments 23.09.09I’m going to show you how to make the easiest biscuits in the world; they look lovely and are absolutely delicious.  They melt in the mouth and only take a moment to make.  And they are made from, you guessed it,  storecupboard ingredients!

Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about The Dinner Lady and The Bullies.  Bullying is no longer the domain of the playground and the Wartime Housewife, unsurprisingly, has an Opinion.  However, I made a batch of Melting Moments this evening, because I had the oven on for dinner and (all together now)  “We don’t put the oven on for just one thing!”.  Makes about 14 biscuits.

Utensils:
1 x medium mixing bowl
1 x food mixer
1 x large baking sheet (may need 2 x 12″x8″ baking sheets)
1 x wire cooling tray

Ingredients:
6oz / 150g butter
3oz / 75g white sugar
7 ½ oz / 200g white self raising flour
7 or 8 glace cherries – halved
Oats (2 or 3 ounces for rolling)

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy with the mixer
Beat in the flour
Roll the mixture into balls and press them down lightly with your hand to flatten to about 2″ diameter
Coat them in the oats and place onto a greased baking tray
Put half a cherry in the centre of each biscuit
Bake for about 15 minutes until just starting to brown
Remove from the oven but leave the biscuits on the tray for 10 minutes to settle
Then remove to a wire cooling rack until completely cold.

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Filed under Behaviour and Etiquette, Food, Recipes, Storecupboard

Yorkshire Pudding, Toad in the Hole and Meringues

Toad in the Hole is a lovely dish; filling, tasty, nutritious and very simple to make.  Yet again, you will be using storecupboard ingredients, making a basic Yorkshire pudding mixture with added sausages.  The only problem is that you are then left with one egg white at the end.  I therefore increase the mixture slightly so as to be left with two egg whites which can be made into meringues ready for tomorrow’s pudding.

Incidentally, my grandmother (who was from Lancashire) used to make sweet Yorkshire Pud.  Add 2oz white sugar in with the flour and then sprinkle the baked pud with sugar just before serving.  Has anyone else come across this?

I will give you the standard Yorkshire Pudding recipe with the increased quantities in brackets.
All recipes serve 4 unless otherwise stated.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING

Utensils
:
1 x large bowl
1 x measuring jug
1 x whisk or hand blender or food mixer

Ingredients:
4 oz / 120g plain white flour (5 ½ oz/160g)
½ tsp salt
2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk (2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks)
¼ pint / 5 floz milk (6floz)
¼ pint / 5 floz water (7floz)
a little oil for greasing

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 220 / 425 / 7
Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre
Beat in the eggs and egg yolks to form a thick paste
Gradually whisk in the liquid until the batter achieves the consistency of thick cream
Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes
Place a roasting tin with the oil in it in the oven until a drop of batter sizzles in it
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 25 minutes or until it is well puffed up and golden brown

Toad in the hole - portionTOAD IN THE HOLE

Utensils:
1 x large ovenproof dish
1 x large bowl
1 x measuring jug
1 x whisk or hand blender or food mixer

Ingredients:
1 quantity of Yorkshire Pudding batter
8 good sausages

Method:
Preheat the oven to 220 / 425/ 7
Place the sausages in the dish and place in the oven for about 15 minutes until browning nicely
Remove from the oven and drain off any excess fat.
Quickly pour on the batter and return the dish to the oven
Cook for about 25 minutes until the batter is puffed up and golden brown.

Serve with dark green vegetables.  I really like Savoy Cabbage with a rich gravy to which you have added a dessertspoonful of redcurrant or cranberry jelly.

MeringuesMERINGUES

Utensils:
1 x medium bowl
1 x baking sheet
greaseproof paper to cover the baking sheet
1 x electric mixer

Ingredients:
2 egg whites
3 ½ oz / 100g caster sugar (ordinary sugar will work but the texture will be slightly coarser)

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 100 / 200 / ¼
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks (and look like shaving foam)
Whisk in half the sugar
Fold in the rest of the sugar with a metal spoon
Put the greaseproof paper on the baking sheet
Put 8 blobs of the mixture equally on the baking sheet
Bake for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the meringues are dry and crispy
When completely cold, sandwich together with whipped cream
Add some fruit to turn them into health food

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Filed under Food, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Storecupboard

Chicken Pie

Chicken Pie 1 09.09.09This is yet another tasty way of using up leftover chicken, although of course you can buy chicken breasts and pre-cook them for the recipe if you need to. I would suggest simple grilling.  Any leftover vegetables can also be thrown in – carrots and peas are good but chopped up green beans would work, as would diced potato or swede.  As always, experiment.  And once again, most of what you need are Storecupboard Ingredients.

Utensils:
1 x 8″ pie dish – greased and floured
1 x medium saucepan
1 x chopping board
1 x wooden spoon
1 x rolling pin
1 x pastry brush – use your fingers if you haven’t got one

Ingredients:
1 tablspn cooking oil
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 heaped tblspn plain flour
1 tsp mixed herbs
A good pinch of paprika
¾ pint / 450ml chicken stock
A couple of tablespoons of white wine if you have it lurking around
12oz / 360g cooked chicken – cubed according to how chunky you like your pie
1 medium carrot – diced and cooked
Some cooked peas – about 2 tbslpns -ish
1 packet (500g) shortcrust pastry
Milk for glazing – about a tablespoon

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 350 / 4
Take the pastry out of the fridge to let it rest
Heat the oil in the saucepan, add the onions and cook until translucent
Add the flour and stir well to form a thick paste
Gradually add the stock and white wine (if you have it) stirring with a brisk figure of 8 movement to avoid lumps
Add the herbs, paprika, chicken, vegetables and any seasoning you like.  You shouldn’t really need salt
Leave the chicken mixture warming on the stove.
Mentally cut the pastry into thirds and physically cut off one third.
Roll out the two thirds portion until it is big enough to line your pie dish.
Line your pie dish, trimming off the excess round the rim. Wet all round the edge with water
Spoon in your chicken mixture
Roll out the remaining third of pastry until it is big enough to cover the pie.
Place the pastry on top and trim off the excess round the rim
Press all the way round with your fingers to seal the top and bottom pastry together.  Make 3 cuts in the top to let the steam out.
Brush with milk or smear it on lightly with your fingers if you don’t have a pastry brush
Put in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a nice selection of vegetables – you don’t need potatoes unless you are a manual worker, as there is plenty of carbohydrate in the pastry

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A Quick and Deceptively Impressive Three-Course Meal

Lunch 19.08In which The Wartime House tells you how to make Salmon or Mackerel Pate, Spaghetti Carbonara and Baked Peaches in Marsala.

This is a perfect example of a deceptively impressive lunch, or supper, which can be made almost entirely with storecupboard ingredients and can be prepared extremely quickly.  Should serve 4.

Quick Mackerel or Salmon Pate

Ingredients

1 x 140g tin of mackerel or pink salmon
Juice of one lemon
1 x tblsp chopped fresh parsley or ½ tblsp dried parsley
3oz (90g) softened butter
Twist of black pepper

Method

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and blend with a stick blender until smooth.
Serve with hot buttered toast
Garnish with a bit of fresh parsley and a slice of lemon if you have it

Quick Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients

2 x eggs
¼ pint of cream
3oz (90g) cheddar – grated
3oz (90g) chopped ham if you have it
4oz (100g) frozen peas
12oz (400g) pasta

Method

Mix the eggs, cream, cheese and ham together in a bowl.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet
Halfway through cooking time add the peas and continue cooking
Drain and return to the pan
Add the egg and cream mixture and cook over a low heat until thickened
Season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt

Baked Peaches

Pre-heat oven to 180 / 350 / 4
I recommend putting these in the oven when you start preparing lunch then switch off the oven when cooked and leave to ‘improve’ and keep warm until ready to eat.

Ingredients

8 x peach halves (skinned if using fresh)
10floz of ideally Marsala wine or white wine with a dash of sherry
2oz (40g) white sugar
1″ cinnamon stick (or ½ tsp cinnamon powder)
1 x vanilla pod (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)

Method

Place the peaches in a single layer in a shallow baking dish
Mix the sugar into the wine and pour over the peaches
Add the cinnamon and vanilla
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes
Serve with whipped cream or marscapone cheese

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