Because I am always experimenting with bread recipes we do tend to have times when there are a couple of half eaten loaves in the house. I have found lots of uses for bread that is beginning to stale and this is one of them. I replace the usual crumble recipe with breadcrumbs. If you have oats feel free to add them. If you have only a bit of bread left then make a crumble as normal and supplement it with the breadcrumbs. In which case you can just mix the breadcrumbs in the with the flour before you rub the butter in.
The breadcrumbs add extra crunch and it saves any food waste.
Fruit of your choice, I used frozen chopped apples and blackberries.
50g unsalted butter 25g granulated or caster sugar 25g dark brown sugar (but you could use 50g of just the one sugar) 50g oats Approx 250-300g bread, made into crumbs
Because my fruit was frozen I placed it into an ovenproof dish ad popped it in the preheated oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
In the meantime I melted the butter in a large pan and then stirred through the breadcrumbs and oats and cooked over a medium heat until beginning to colour, stirring from time to time. Sprinkle over the sugar and mix in well, continue to stir and cook until the mixture starts to caramelise a little.
Remove the fruit from the oven and evenly sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture. Place back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is fully cooked and the crumble is a deep brown colour. Serve with lashings of custard or cream.
We had the leftovers from a roast chicken in the fridge and I needed a dinner that could be prepared ahead and then put in the oven half an hour before we wanted to eat. This chicken pie was the result. It was rich and creamy and delicious and probably the best chicken pie I have made yet.
For the pastry top:
75g (3oz) cold butter
150g (6oz) plain, all purpose, flour
3-4 tbsp of very cold water
For the filling:
Glug of olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1-2 rashers of bacon (optional)
The leftovers from a cooked chicken ( I used the meat from a leg and about half a breast worth off the carcass, but this was a big chicken from the butchers to begin with)
2 tbsp plain, all purpose, flour
glug of sherry or madeira (optional)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper
Make the pastry by placing the flour and butter in a food processor and whizzing until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the water (you may need less or more, so take care) and whizz until it just comes together. Be careful not to overmix. If you don’t have a food processor, place the flour in a bowl and add the butter in cubes. Rub the butter and flour together using the very tips of your fingers and lifting the flour up high to incorporate air. When it looks like breadcrumbs mix in the water using the blade of a knife and then form into a ball when it starts to come together. Try not to handle the pastry too much.
Wrap the pastry in cling film or a plastic bag and chill in the fridge.
Fry the onion, carrot, celery and bacon (if you are using it) in the olive oil until the onion is translucent, the celery and carrots are tender and the bacon is cooked. Add the chicken and then the flour and stir to mix well. Leave to cook for a minute or two to cook the flour and then add the sherry or madeira if you are using it and stir well. Add the stock gradually, stirring all the time to incorporate the flour and prevent lumps. Let this bubble away for five minutes. Add the cream and stir well to combine. Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Put this mixture into a pie dish. Wet the edges of the pie dish. Roll out the pastry to fit the dish. Seal the pastry with your fingertips all round the edge of the dish. Make a hole in the centre with a small knife to allow steam to escape and brush with milk or egg wash. Cook in a preheated oven at 200°c (gas mark 6) or the Roasting oven of the Aga for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown all over.
You could serve this with a green veg, but it is not really necessary.
Last night’s tea was completely inspired by Nancy over at Good Food Matters. She made the most delicious Tomato and Mozzarella Strata, all bubbling and pillowy. Well, last night I had the remains of a cooked chicken in the fridge and half a loaf of bread on the side. So I adapted Nancy’s Strata by adding the chicken chopped small as the first layer, cooking chorizo in with the tomato sauce and used feta instead of mozzarella. A very fine dish indeed. Pop over to Nancy’s to find out how to make your own savoury bread pudding.
This was the dish before it was baked in the oven for forty minutes.
This is my submission for this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge. This month it is Chele’s turn again to host the challenge and she came up with the idea of using leftovers or surplus stock. This is a great idea post-Christmas, but unfortunately because we are so greedy in this household we had no leftovers to speak of. I have been racking my brain for a solution and of course, when I glanced again at the 10 jars (well 9 now, I did mention that we are greedy) of marmalade that are sitting on a tray on top of the hob waiting for me to decide where to keep them, inspiration struck.
One of my favourite cookbooks on my shelf is The Dairy Book of Family Cookery, not necessarily for the recipes, although I have cooked from it many a time, but because of the nostalgia it has for me. It was written in 1983 and my mum bought it from the milkman. It was a book I grew up with and used a lot when I was a teenager. I remembered this morning that I cooked a Marmalade cake with a crunchy cornflake topping when I was about fourteen (only a few years ago!). I thought I would give it a go again, but this time add chunks of chocolate into the mix. I had come to the end of the packet of cornflakes so I used half cornflakes and half rice crispies (surely this counts as using up leftovers/surplus stock too).
Well, it hasn’t worked out perfectly but the end result does taste good. I set to work following the instructions to beat together softened butter and syrup, but this turned out into a lumpy mess that no matter how much mixing I gave it did not get any better. I think my problem may have been that it is cold today and my food cupboard is on the cold side and when I add the cold syrup to the butter it just made the butter hard again. So this mix was disposed of into the scrap bowl for our chickens and a fresh batch started. This time I dispensed with the syrup and used half muscovado sugar and half caster sugar. It worked better than the syrup. The cake sunk in the middle though, which may be due to the topping being too heavy or it may be due to something else entirely. Also, because I was in a bit of a rush I thought I would be a Smart Alec and dispense with the all important lining the base of the cake tin with baking parchment. Silly me, this bad move resulted in the cake breaking up when attempting to get it out the tin. Oh well, you live and learn. The cake looks like this, but tastes very much better than it looks.
I like the contrast between fluffy cake and crunchy topping very much.
Beat the butter and the sugars together until fluffy and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the marmalade and mix well. Sift over the flour, baking powder and spices and fold into the mix, add the chocolate and the milk and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients for the topping together.
Spoon into a 20cm cake tine that has been greased and lined. Spoon the topping evenly over the levelled cake. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or in the Baking Oven of the Aga for 45 minutes – 1 hour until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes and then turn onto a wire tray to cool completely.
I haven’t shared a dinner with you for quite a while and there has been a very good reason for this. A few weeks ago Chele at The Chocolate Teapot said she had lost her baking mojo (only temporarily, she soon found it again), well I seemed to have lost my making dinner mojo. I burned quite a few things, some things I undercooked, some I just didn’t season right. Poor old Mr OC, he has had to suffer some disappointing meals.
This is why I was so pleased when this dinner made from Sunday’s leftover lamb was so tasty. I do hope my making dinner mojo is back for good! (And so does Mr OC).
For the Lamb paprika:
Cooked lamb (however much you have left from a roast, or put another way, enough for two greedy people)
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5-6 fresh tomatoes or 1 tin of plum tomatoes
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp sugar (if you are using fresh English tomatoes)
salt and pepper
If you are using fresh tomatoes, place them in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, allow to cool and then peel off the skin. Dice the tomatoes, keeping the juice.
Fry the onion and pepper in a little olive oil over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and the pepper is softened. Add the cooked lamb and the paprika and cumin and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the while so that the spices don’t burn. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice or the tin of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the sugar if using fresh tomatoes. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down and the juices have reduced to a pulpy sauce. Whilst this is happening cook the spiced rice.
For the spiced rice: (generously serves 2)
200ml basmati rice
1 scant tsp salt
1-2 tsp cumin seed
5-6 cardamom pods
generous handful of raisins
Measure the rice in a measuring jug and rinse several times with water and then leave to soak in a jugful of water for 30 minutes if you have time.
Melt the butter in a heavy based pan and add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods and cook for a minute, stirring all the time. Drain the rice and add to the buttery spices, stirring carefully until coated with butter. Add 300ml of fresh water and the raisins and salt. Stir once gently, cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the heat, take off the lid and cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand for five minutes. All of the water should have been absorbed and the rice will be perfectly cooked.
Serve the rice and the lamb and tuck in. A spoonful or two of yoghurt wouldn’t go amiss.
I had some roast wild duck left over just before Christmas and so I came up with this terrine as a tasty way of using it up. My mum gave me some mushrooms as she had picked up a bargain box from the market so the middle layer is the mushroom mixture I use for Beef Wellington with a dash of double cream and roasted chestnuts added. The whole thing was a winning combination with a good mix of texture and taste.
You could use leftover chicken, pheasant or indeed any fowl to make this terrine.
200g duck (already cooked and stripped off the bones)
6 rashers middle bacon
150g mushrooms, wiped and chopped chunkily
100g roasted chestnuts ( I used the vacuum packed variety), chopped chunkily
1 onion, chopped finely
3 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp Marsala or Madeira wine
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Line a loaf tin with the rashers of bacon, overlapping them and leaving a good overhang so that they will stretch over the top of the terrine at the end. I alternated using the back part of bacon with the rasher part which helped fill the gaps better.
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion and fry until golden, remove to a plate. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook until golden, add the onions back to the pan and add the chestnuts. Add the Marsala and reduce by a half and then stir in the cream and bubble for a moment and then take this off the heat. Add the chopped parsley and stir to combine.
Take the skin off the sausages.
Place the duck meat into a food processor with half the sausage meat (i.e. the meat from 3 of the sausages) and pulse until fairly smooth and combined.
Place half the duck mixture into the bottom of the terrine and spread out evenly. Next add the mushroom mixture and spread evenly. On top of this layer the remaining sausage meat and then the final layer of duck mixture. Wrap the overhanging bacon rashers over the top of the terrine until it is completely covered. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c (gas mark 4 or the baking oven of the Aga) for 1 hour or possibly up to 1½ hours. You will know when it is cooked as it begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Leave the terrine in the tin to settle and then turn out when completely cold. This is good made the day before you want to eat it to allow the flavours to develop. Serve in slices.
We often have leftover bread especially if I have been near a bakers for two consecutive days. We never waste it though, it either gets fed to the chickens or I whizz it into breadcrumbs and put them in a food bag in the freezer. If I have a bit of time then leftover bread gets made into this or the bread and butter pudding I have posted before. The girls both love bread pudding and so do I. It can be eaten warm with cold cream as a pudding or eaten cold the next day with a cup of tea.
This recipe is based on Delia Smith’s recipe in her Complete Cookery Course. I like to add a mixture of glacé cherries, sour cherries and sultanas and some candied peel if I have it in the cupboard. You can use any mixture of dried fruits as long as they weigh a combined 175g (60z). You could use dried prunes or apricots.
225g (80z) white or brown bread with the crusts removed
275 ml (½ pint) milk
75g (3 oz) dark soft brown sugar
50g (2oz) melted butter
2 tsp mixed spice
1 egg, beaten
175g (60z) dried fruits
grated rind of ½ orange
You will need a baking dish with a 2½ pint (1½ litre) capacity, well buttered.
Break the bread into small pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the milk over the bread and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Add the beaten egg, melted butter, mixed spice and sugar and stir well to thoroughly combine. It is best if you use a fork for this stirring to get rid of any big lumps of bread. Stir in the dried fruit and orange rind. Spread the mixture into the buttered dish and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c (350°f, gas mark 4) for about 1 hour. It may need slightly longer. It’s ready when it is a lovely golden colour.
We had a roast rib of beef for Sunday lunch this week, if I had not been so eager to eat it I might have remembered to take a photograph of it and a post all about it would already have been on the site. I will try not to be so eager next time…
With the left over beef I made a cottage pie for tea tonight and I have simmered the bones with an onion, carrot and bouquet garni in enough water to cover the bones for about three hours to make a beef stock for the freezer.
A cottage pie (or a shepherd’s pie if made in the same way using left over lamb) is pure comfort food. It can even be eaten with a spoon if you feel you really need some comforting.
It’s hard to be precise about quantities as you need to adapt according to the amount of meat you have left. I had 8 oz (225g) of beef so I added one onion, one carrot and about 4 oz (110g) of frozen peas. I then topped with half a medium swede boiled with 2 medium sized potatoes. But it will depend on what you have available in the cupboard. The glory of something that is made out of leftovers is that it is adaptable to what you have left over. It may be that you have some leftover mash (carrot, swede, parsnip or potato) from the meal when you enjoyed the roast beef, which would make a brilliant topping.
What I tend to do is whizz the onion and carrot together in the food processor until finely chopped and whilst they are sweating I do the same with the beef in the processor. It makes it into a consistency that is very comforting to eat.
Serves 2 generously
1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
8 oz (225g) roast beef, finely chopped
4 oz (110g) frozen peas
½ pint (275ml) beef stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
For the topping:
½ medium swede, peeled and cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bigger cubes than the swede
½ oz (10g) butter
Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a gentle heat and add the onion and carrot and sweat for about five minutes. Add the beef and stir and then add the stock and the bay leaf. Cook for 1 hour at a gentle heat. Add the frozen peas. Season to taste. Turn the mixture into a deep oven proof dish.
Whilst the beef mixture is cooking you can cook the potato and swede topping. Swede takes longer to cook than potatoes so I always give them a five minute head start by placing them in a saucepan and adding enough water to cover. Add a little salt (½tsp) to the water and bring to the boil, when they have been boiling for five minutes add the potatoes and cook until both the swede and the potatoes are tender (this will depend on how big you made the cubes, you can test with the point of a knife). Drain in a colander, return to the pan and add the butter. When the butter has melted mash them with a potato masher.
Cover the beef mixture with the potato mixture so that it is completely and evenly covered. Place in a preheated oven at 180°c (350°f, gas mark 4) for about 30-45 minutes until the top is crispy and browned.
I love to cook. I spend a lot of my time baking and cooking, or thinking about baking and cooking. I use this little corner of the internet to share my recipes. I hope that they inspire you to cook one or two of them. I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or visit my Contact Page to drop me an email. Kath
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