Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Eat your freezer

We're all hiding something - a few pounds under a baggy jumper, an indiscriminate purchase from a partner, or a freezer-full of frostbitten bogofs and leftovers. Now that freezers never seem to need defrosting, there is no reason to confront their contents - but there is a very simple law of science that says you cannot keep putting more in if you don't take some out. So with the C-word (Christmas, of course) in mind, I am putting myself into reverse-hoarder gear and eating the freezer. I urge you to do the same; if not to make some room for all the festive goodies you will be making in advance of the big day, then simply to save money.

Yesterday I took out some very frosty home-made tomato pasta sauce, half a rustic loaf, a bag of chicken stock, 2 M&S vegetarian Kievs, some poached apricots and some ham. So what did I make with this motley selection?

Uncooked pizza with chillii oil and ham

I used the pasta sauce and ham on a pizza with a drizzle of chilli oil, mozzarella and dolcelatte
(dough recipe here);
the rustic loaf became garlic bread, served with carrot soup made with the stock
(chicken stock);
the apricots were pureed with some icing sugar and folded into whipped cream to become a fool
(more on fools);
and the veggie Kievs are for dinner tonight with couscous

Monday, 11 November 2013

Baked apples

I'm sure you share my delight in knowing that the human race has progressed to the point where we have invented the self-cleaning cat litter tray (which automatically activates 7 minutes after kitty leaves the box) and a portable UV disinfecting scanner so you can "protect yourself and your loved ones from harmful micro-organisms found in your home, during travel or in public places".

On the kitchen front, it seems there's an implement for everything. I have tried, tested and thrown away a great deal of them, but one I've hung onto is a melon baller. Originally bought to make Gordon Ramsay's tequila-marinated melon balls, it also makes an excellent apple corer - perfect for this recipe.

Apples, halved and cored, in a baking tin
Fill 'em up

Oaty Baked Apples

4 large-ish apples
60g brown sugar
20g oats
20g plain flour
30g cold butter
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 180/gas 4. Cut the apples in half and gouge out the cores using a melon baller. Sit the apples (cut side up) in a bun tin. Whizz up the other ingredients in a food processor until they resemble large breadcrumbs then spoon them into the holes and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4

Two halves of baked apple with vanilla ice cream
Eat 'em up