Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Waste Not Want More

I have serious waste issues, not of that variety although I do live in India so technically it's not to be ruled out.
I hate wasting things and often spend far too much time trying to utilise utterly useless household tosh, such as biscuit tins/shoe boxes/offcuts of string/crisp packets.
I also extra abide food wastage. Possibly trying to redeem myself from the hiding and therefore wasting of revolting Girls School dinners, but if I waste I only want more.

Alongside this I have a tendency to bulk buy, even fresh food, although I do this as you're never sure when it's going to be in the shops again here. So I constantly have a clever/dumb balance issue (think more dumb/dumb). My third issue, well I do actually have way more issues than three but only three happen to relate to this blog so I won't digress, is portion control.
I tend to cook dinner as if I'm expecting the 5.000 to pop round and Jesus is too busy and can't do his obviously far more rational portioning. Anyways the point being I buy too much, cook
too much and don't like waste. Mmmmmm...Problemo.

So what to do with these colossal amounts?
Create a food mountain? Nope, the EEC have got that in the bag.
Third World distribution perhaps? Nah, Bono is all over that one
(and don't get me started about my Bono isues or we'll be here all day).
Instead I turn to making Leftover Recipes.

I like to be inventive, though I think the cooking and the eating of leftovers isn't possibly the greatest way to be inventive, hardly the wheel, but inventions invention, so here goes...


1. Roast Chicken - Extremely versatile leftover product, brilliant for soup, stews, pies, stir fry, rice dishes and for simply eating straight off the carcass out of the fridge when you're having a secret Neanderthal Carnivore moment or you're pretending to be Nigella.

2. Rice - Leftover rice can be simply reheated and served with another dish, fried rice (add beaten eggs to oil in a wok lightly scramble throw in the rice and a few peas), spanish rice (add chopped onion, tomato, chilli's and peppers to oil in a pan, sautee and throw in the rice, with or without the leftover chicken) rice balls (small piece of chilled cheese in a ball, coat with rice, dip into beaten egg, breadcrumb then deep or shallow fry).

3. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables - Over ripe tomatoes can be made into a rich tomato sauce or used in minestrone, soft fruits made into jams and sweet chutneys (recipes on Sound Bites for this category) apples and pears made into pies and tarts.

4. Bolognaise sauce - You can make a Vat of this stuff (I know this because I have done) from basic bolognaise add chilli, kidney or black beans, spice it up a bit et Voila you've got a half decent chilli on your hands (good with leftover rice) still go some to spare? whip a bit of mash potato up, top it on the chilli, few chilli flakes and cheese, in the oven, Et Voila encore, you've got Mexican Shepherds pie.

5. Mash Potato - Made too much of that for your Mexcian Pie? No probs, fish cakes, croquettes, parathas or a just a couple of good sausages and some gravy.

And just a couple more Pasta - Think pasta salad or minestrone Bread - day old bread can be used for prawn toast, bread soup, croutons, breadcrumbs and any left over flatbreads? Say Chapati for instance? Last night I made a Keema Matter curry (ground mutton in a curry sauce with peas), with rice and chapati breads, as usual the 5000 let me down so the next morning I whipped up this tasty Brunch treat...

This Ratio should yield 2 hearty portions so just double, triple or X2500 accordingly

Left over curry, or chilli, or bolognaise
2 chapati's
leftover rice
can of baked or refried beans, with a dash of hot sauce
(or any similar store cupboard fodder)
olives/peppers whatever you have got to garnish hanging around
handful of grated cheese
salsa & sour cream to serve

Reheat the curry/chilli/bolognaise sufficiently
Warm the chapati through on a gas flame or briefly in the oven
fill the chapati & wrap enchilada style
Top with olives & Peppers
Sprinkle on Cheese (and a few chilli flakes if you like it spicy)
bake in a medium to hot oven until cheese is mouthwateringly melted
Reheat the rice (in the microwave is best with a dollop of garlic butter)
Warm the beans and serve with salsa & any other sides you like/have need using up
Marvel at yourself for creating a speedy brunch at barely no additional cost :)

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