AND CUPBOARD COOKING
Open up the cupboards and
have a look at what is in there. You'd be
surprised at just how much you can make with what
you have lying around. Cupboard cooking is
also a great way of getting rid of stuff that really
should be used up. There are no hard and fast
rules here, just see what you've got and get stuck
in. But to get you started here are a few
ideas containing items that you might have lurking
somewhere in the galley. Below is a rough
guide on how to store your left overs.
A pretty standard meal in many
places, it uses up all that old pasta, and that
dodgy cheese that's starting to climb through the
hatch. This should serve about 3-4 hungry
Macaroni Pasta – 2 cup (any
pasta will do)
Butter -3 tbsp
All purpose flour – 3 tbsp
Milk – 3 cups
Cream – 3 tbsp (leave out if you don't have any)
Salt and pepper
Cheddar cheese – 1 cup (grated) any old cheese will do
Boil your pasta, set
aside. Now melt butter in a pan and add the
flour, fry till slightly browned. Take off the
heat and slowly whisk in the milk, avoiding making
any lumps, add the cheese, cream if you have any and
cook till the cheese melts, add salt and
pepper. Add the pasta and put into an oven
proof dish and bake for about 20 mins at 320 degrees
F. Or till it's nice and browned on the
top. There, that wasn't difficult.
These don't really need an
explanation. Place what ever you have left
over, either hot or cold, and put inside a
pre-bought wrap. Anything goes here and they
make a great snack for when you have guests just
popping over and you need instant sustenance for all
that rum and beer. Packets of wraps are a
great item to keep in the cupboard, read the
instructions, but can generally be eaten straight
out of the packet, microwaved for about 10 seconds
or quickly fried in a teaspoon of oil - nothing is
useful tips on storing and using left overs...
How to store - fresh:
Poultry can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Make sure it is defrosted properly before cooking,
if stored in the freezer.
How to store - Cooked chicken, turkey or duck can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
How to use: If you've got leftover chicken from your roast dinner this can be added to a curry, risotto or stir-fry to bulk your dish up. It can also be added to pies or served cold with salad for lunch. Other poultry can be used in this way too.
How to re-heat: You can re-heat in the microwave, cook in sauce or once again in the oven. Make sure the poultry is piping hot all the way before serving through.
How to store - fresh: Red meat is best stored in individual portions e.g. beef steaks or lamb chops. Store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Make sure you thaw your meat properly before cooking.
How to store - cooked: Cooked red meat can be stored in the same way but is best served within 2 days of storing in the fridge.
How to use: Chunks of cooked beef, lamb or pork are perfect for adding to salads, soups or curries. Try making a hearty pie with your leftovers or mix with some rice for a pilaf-style dish.
How to re-heat:
Cooked meat can be added to sauces and boiled,
fried in stir-fries or microwaved for a quick
If that loaf of
good bakery bread loses its freshness after a day or
two, do what the Italians do: Halve the loaf
crosswise, drizzle it with good olive oil and rub it
with the cut side of a halved ripe tomato. Season
the bread with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and
bake until warm. MORE
ON MAKING BREAD...
How to store: You can store bread in a bread bin in its original packaging. You can also freeze bread which is ideal if you don't think you'll use it all by the use-by date. Dry bread naturally or in the oven, just after you've used it. crunch up into breadcrumbs and store in an airtight container.
How to use: Slightly stale bread is perfect for bread and butter pudding or even eggy bread, so think twice before you chuck those last few slices away
How to store - fresh: Potatoes and sweet potatoes need to be kept in a cool, dry place. Just make sure you keep the onions away from other fruit and veggies, check out the warm storage page.
How to store - cooked: Cooked veggies are best stored in a bowl covered in clingfilm in the fridge and should last for a few days. You can freeze chunks of cooked vegetables - If you store them at room temperature, do not keep for more than a day, and ensure that they are thoroughly cooked through before eating.
How to use: Leftover veg can be mashed together and combined with egg, fried and served for lunch as bubble and squeak. Cooked veg can be blended with warm stock to create lots of different soups. You also add leftover veggies to omelets or tortillas or serve with mixed dips such as hummus as a light snack.
How to re-heat: Veggies are pretty easy to re-heat and can be warmed up in microwave or fried on a low heat. Bake in the oven or roast in a tin with leftover chicken to make a tray bake. You can even serve them cold for a healthy salad.
How to store: Most fruit can be stored in a well ventilated dark area, items such as melon once cut should be chilled.
How to use:
Leftover fruit can be used in cakes, in desserts,
smoothies and more! Brown bananas are perfect for
making a banana cake and leftover blueberries can
be transformed into blueberry muffins. You can
make a fruit salad with all your leftovers too -
just chop them up, put them in an airtight
container and drizzle with orange juice or lemon
juice to preserve them for a few days.
How to store - fresh: If it's freshly-made sauce from scratch, it's best to store this in the fridge and use as soon as possible. With shop-bought sauces refer to the packaging.
How to use: If you've made a spag bol and have some sauce leftover, don't bin it! This can be added to a tin of chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and a bit of chilli to make a chilli for the next day.
How to re-heat: Ensure that they are cooked through before eating. Don't be afraid to experiment and mix together different sauces for different flavors or combine them to make a completely new sauces.
Milk: If your milk is getting close to its use-by date, you can add it to rice, a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sugar and bake in the oven to make rice pudding for dessert.
can still be used a few days after their use-by
date, you just need to check their freshness;
place the egg into a glass of water and if the egg
stays flat at the bottom, it's fresh, if it floats
it's ready for the bin. An alternative to
this is chucking them into an anchorage, and
retrieving the ones which have sunk, once reaching
the surface you explain to your neighbor that you
have just 'caught' some sea eggs - now watch them
all dive in to try and find some of these mythical
delights for themselves! Add extra
eggs to a cake mix or if you catch them just
before they go off, boil them until hard, leave to
cool and then peel the shell off. Mash in a bowl
with some mayonnaise or salad cream and season
with pepper and you've made yourself an egg
mayonnaise sandwich filler! MORE
Yogurt: If you've got a few tablespoons of yogurt sitting in the bottom of the pot, add to your curry recipe for creamy finish, add to your cake for an extra moist sponge or blitz with fresh berries to make smoothie. This can also be popped into the freezer to make a simple and delicious frozen yogurt.
Cheese: If you've got half a block of cheese left over or just want to save some room in the fridge, grate your cheese into a zip lock bag, makes life easier when wanting to sprinkle it on meals, or use up that last bit of space in an already overloaded small fridge. The harder the cheese the longer it will last out. Cheeses like Camembert don't last long, as they seem to get eaten by mystery people who sneak aboard boats searching out such delicacies.
How to store: Cake is best stored in an airtight Tupperware box in a cool place in the kitchen. Cakes with buttercream or chocolate-based decorations are best kept in the fridge. Un-iced cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
How to use: If there's a rare chance that you have some cake left over and it's a bit on the stale side, never fear - it doesn't have to be chucked! If you've got some brownies leftover, break them up in chunks, pop them into the microwave and warm through for 10-20 seconds and serve with heaps of ice cream and chocolate sauce for a naughty dessert! This method works really well with chocolate cake too. Stale cake can be used to make summer puddings, using up all that old fruit as well.