Friday, 16 October 2015

Food Waste Week (bread): Squash Pie

Nutmeg and Almond Squash Pie
The pie above was a gorgeous and super easy version of my Victoriana Squash Pie, using (appropriately) acorn squash rather than butternut (pumpkin of course also works perfectly.) As much as I love American-style pies full of cinnamon and vanilla, I adore this English nursery style version with almond and nutmeg. 

This version of the pie evolved due to having only a wedge of squash left, and so the mixture becomes more of a set custard than the more breadcrumby variety of the Victoriana pie - in fact, this is more authentic (at least, in that American squash pies tend to be a set custard and Victorian nursery puds were often of the blancmange type.)  If you have more breadcrumbs than I did this time around i.e. a quarter of a slice of cream cheese and buttered white bread, then feel free to try the Victoriana recipe instead.  This version also has the advantage of being lower in sugar yet still being sweetly perfect.

This is how I made it:

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Food Waste Week (bread): Roasted Vegetable or Sweetcorn and Bean Enchiladas with Cheese

I wish I had a better photograph of this. It looked lovely in the dish.  It was so nice and I was so ready for my meal that I forgot all about taking a picture until there was only my youngest's still fairly untouched!  I caught it before the sweetcorn was gone and so everything else on the plate began to get some attention!

Cocoa and Bean Enchiladas
I have already posted a Cocoa and Bean Enchilada recipe on From Acorns. This is more of a cheat version, as well as a leftover version.
In this went some vegetables that had been roasted for the fajitas we had two evenings earlier.  There were only enough flour tortillas to have one per person in the enchilada dish, but that really is plenty - especially when it is topped with plenty of blitzed up cheese sandwich crusts and cream cheese sandwiches plus the handful of salted crisps that were leftover from that lunchtime...

(Though if you really wanted, you could add some potatoes to the plate.)

How I made it:

Food Waste Week (bread): Pineapple or Grapefruit and Coconut Dhal with Spiced Potatoes

I wanted to share a recipe in which I could prove that you can use leftover bread or crusts in pretty much whatever you are making.  The uneaten crusts of peanut butter sandwiches where blitzed to crumbs and mixed into this dhal. The peanut butter and bread were indistinguishable but were useful to thicken the stew and add a little extra creaminess - the protein of the peanuts did not go to waste.

I would usually use pineapple in this recipe.  However, when I went to the cupboard I realised there were no tins of it left.  We did have some grapefruit in syrup though.  I was a little sceptical things would work out, particularly as I am the only one in the house who likes grapefruit, but it went down beautifully.  Everyone cleared their plates and were none the wiser; the segments broke down into stew and the tangy syrup added a lovely undertone to it.  There has a half-eaten apple hanging around too, so that was peeled and chopped finely to complement the grapefruit and hopefully reach the light sweet sour tang and similar bite that the pineapple would have; it wasn't very much similar but no less pleasant.  The sultanas left on the table at lunch time went in - I mean, why throw them out just to add another handful from the packet to the next meal?

(As an aside, further leftovers of this dhal make an amazing cold sandwich filler, along with some cream cheese, spring onion and with or without walnuts and lettuce - either in bread or in a flour tortilla wrap - yum!)

Oh and I would have potatoes like this every single mealtime...

For the dhal:

Food Waste Week (Bread): Jam Roly Poly

Jam Roly Poly with Ice Cream

This gorgeous rib-sticking pud can be made with all flour or up to half of the flour quantity replaced with breadcrumbs. 

It might seem odd to make it with an unsweetened dough but the jam makes up for this and with added sugar, it would be far too sweet.

How we make it:

Friday, 9 October 2015

Food Waste Week (bread): Lazy Everyday Yeast Bread

Apologies for disappearing with my bread recipes on my self-declared food waste week.  Family circumstance saw it put on the back burner.  However, we are back and ready to retackle wasted bread products!

First of all: making the bread itself.  I touched on a thought of mine in my last post regarding wasted bread: perhaps when it is not the product of someone's own effort and time, the small cost of the waste from a mass-produced loaf might seem less significant at that moment it is tossed in the bin - and I speak for myself here. Homemade bread is tastier however and so is less likely to be left languishing in the cupboard but it is also cheaper than bought stuff.  You can use cheaper plain flour and more expensive bread flour in any ratio you like, bearing in mind that the plain flour gives a slightly cakier texture if still a very decent loaf.

I find that if I want to make bread without any added sugar at all, this is best achieved by using a packet of fast action yeast rather than the cheaper dried yeast; skip the frothing stage and mix it straight into the flour with the liquid then leave to rise until double - this will take a bit longer than it would with added sugar as the yeast has not been given an energy boost. More often though, I use the cheaper dried stuff.

I am quite a lazy person and so I discovered that rather than leaving the dough to rise a second time - the proving stage, that is - if I do not preheat the oven but set the oven at temperature and pop the bread in the oven straight away, then the oven heating up gives a speed-boost to the rise.  And when it comes to kneading, well I am often known to give it more like 2-3 minutes, and things still work out alright - basically, once the dough loses stickiness and becomes smooth, it will be ok.

This dough is what I use for pretty much any bread product: pizzas, flatbreads and rolls all turn out great with this recipe.

This is what I usually do: