Waste not…

Yesterday’s recipe got me thinking about using stuff up again, especially since I’ve reached the point where I have more leftovers in the fridge than enticing new prospects. This month’s include the rest of the bottle of cider I opened for the farls (the only annoyance of that recipe was that although I had cider I don’t drink it, so now I have 475ml of a 500ml bottle left…can’t quite work out why I bought it in the first place), some bok choi, lots of hard cheese (mostly Cheddar but some Parmesan and a fag-end of something blue), a few eggs, half a tin of coconut milk and some spring onions. There’s also half a tin of anchovies, some rather woolly tomatoes, a pot of double cream and a pot of buttermilk (time to make soda bread methinks…). As ever, in the hardback-book-sized freezer, I have a squished bag of gnocchi, Thai bird’s eye chillis and lime leaves. Oh and lots of little bits: mustard, capers, breadcrumbs (really must stop leaving bread to dry out) and, you know, a nice bottle of white wine (this stuff, gorgeous).

Once upon a time, before I started this blog, I would have found that list completely depressing but now, well now I find it a challenge. Tonight I made a noodle dish, inspired by Nigel Slater, that used up the chicken stock, coconut milk and bok choi. It’s not really worth a recipe this one: cook some thin rice noodles according to the packet instructions, steam the bok choi or a similar type of green, put chicken stock and coconut milk into a saucepan and heat to a simmer. Then season the liquid with a splash of fish sauce, a dash of soy, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and some chilli paste, put noodles, bok choi and stock into a bowl and eat.

Tomorrow I’m going to try and find a way to use up the cider (how would it be in a rarebit? Weird or inspired?), then I recently read about an anchovy and tomato risotto which sounds like a perfect recipe for nights when you want something amazing but don’t want to go shopping. Then, for the gnocchi, I could make a Sicilian sauce that uses up all the breadcrumbs, or a creamy blue cheese one just because there’s nothing more soothing than a melted cheese sauce and, erm, perhaps something with capers, anchovies and olive oil. See what I did there? I turned an unappetising list of not-very-much into six different dishes. And I still have some mustard left over…

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