If you’ve been housebound for the past few days due to the snow, by now you may be running out of ideas of what to cook using the little food you have in.
To help, chefs and HuffPost UK bloggers have shared their favourite “kitchen cupboard” recipes, designed to help you utilise odds and ends in your home you never realised could make a delicious snack or meal.
To kick off proceedings, blogger Jessy Ball told us how to make a scrummy honey granola pot from oats. Many of the ingredients are interchangeable, making it extra useful while Storm Emma and the ‘Beast from the East’ continue.
Jessy’s Honey Granola Pot
100g coconut oil (or 100g butter)
100g coconut sugar (or 100g caster sugar)
100g cranberries (or other dried fruit)
50g chopped nuts
1. Melt the honey, oil and sugar until combined well.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients thoroughly off the heat.
3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
4. Pour the mix into the tray and press down.
5. Bake at 170C (150C fan oven) for 30 minutes.
6. Rest for at least an hour (I prefer mine super crunchy so I let it dry out a little overnight).
7. Eat it all.
The honey granola can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack, but for lunch, blogger and chef Lisa Roukin taught us how to make a quick pea soup from frozen veggies, taken from her cookbook ‘My Relationship with Food’. If you don’t have shallots, exchange for another onion. While the celery will give your soup extra flavour, it’s not essential if you don’t have any at home.
Lisa’s Pea Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, cut in half (will be discarded from the soup before blending)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 kilo frozen peas (ideally petit pois – the smaller ones)
1 chicken stock cube
1 vegetable stock cube
Sea salt and white pepper (or any salt and pepper you have)
Optional mint and pea shoots for dressing
1. Finely chop the shallots and cut the celery stalk in half.
2. Place a saucepan on the stove with the olive oil, sauté the shallots until translucent. Add the celery stalk and season lightly with sea salt and white pepper.
3. Add the frozen peas and stir for about two minutes.
4. Dissolve the chicken and vegetable stock cubes in a little over a litre of boiling water. Pour into the saucepan, bring to the boil reduce to a medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat, discard the celery stalk and blend either in a liquidiser or with a hand-held blender.
6. Place in individual serving bowls with an optional drizzle of olive oil for garnish and some pea shoots and mint.
Lisa’s tip: “If you find that the soup is too thick after blending, pour in a little water.”
The parmesan madeleines in chef Adam Handling’s cookbook ‘Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen’ can form tasty accompaniments to soup or make enjoyable snacks by themselves. While parmesan works best, experiment with other cheese in your fridge if you can’t get outside. What’s more, a madeleine mould will give you that perfect shape, but a muffin tin will also suffice.
Adam’s Parmesan Madeleines
4 large eggs
196g plain flour
3g baking powder
50g olive oil
1. Mix together the egg and sugar until light fluffy.
2. Fold in flour, salt, baking powder and Parmesan.
3. Add oil.
4. Beat until smooth.
5. Place in piping bag and rest in the fridge for an hour.
6. Oil madeleine moulds and pipe in a quarter full.
7. Cook in over at 175 degree celsius for 6-8 minutes.
With breakfast, lunch and snacks covered, it’s time to move on to dinner. Blogger Linda Duffin’s lentil-based recipe is a true winter warmer and adaptable depending on what ingredients you have available. “If needs be, skip the bacon, use orange lentils and more spices and turn it into a dhal,” she says. If you don’t have fresh parsley it’s also not the end of the world. Exchange this for other green herbs if you have them (wilted kale or spinach also work well).
Linda’s Lentils With Poached Egg And Bacon
170g Puy lentils
1 carrot, peeled but left whole
1 onion, peeled and chopped
Bouquet garni (any bundle of herbs)
500ml chicken or vegetable stock or water
A large handful of chopped fresh parsley
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 rashers of streaky bacon
1. Rinse the lentils to remove any grit and place in a large saucepan.
2. Add the carrot, onion and bouquet garni and stock and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer gently until the lentils are tender but still have a bit of bite.
3. Heat the grill and put a pan of water on for your eggs.
4. Drain the lentils (save the stock for a soup), discard the bouquet garni, dice
the carrot and return it to the pan.
5. Season with a splash of good quality oil, a big squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Keep warm.
6. Quickly grill the bacon until crisp and poach the eggs. Stir the parsley through
the lentils, divide between two bowls and top with the eggs and bacon.
Alternatively, Lisa Roukin’s chicken in cornflakes recipe is a fun dinner likely to excite the imagination of any children getting restless after a few days off from school. Of course, this only works if you have chicken in the freezer, but the cornflake method can also be used to bread fish. Lisa serves her chicken with a salsa made from mango, avocados, olive oil, red onion and sweet chilli sauce, but it can be paired with any veg or salad you have at home.
Lisa’s Corn Flake Chicken
4 chicken breasts
150-200g corn flakes (gluten free if you wish)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
2 tsp honey Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Garlic granules (optional, do not replace with fresh garlic as this may burn)
Sea salt and white pepper
Cooking oil spray (or other oil available)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, gas mark 6, 200°C (180°C fan-assisted). Spray the cooking oil onto your baking tray.
2. Place the corn flakes in a plastic bag and crush with your hands until the flakes have broken down. On a plate, combine with a sprinkle of sesame seeds if you have them, plus sea salt and white pepper. Toss together.
3. In a separate bowl large enough to hold two chicken breasts at a time, crack the whole egg and beat.
4. Season the egg with the Worcestershire sauce, honey Dijon mustard, garlic granules, and a bit more sea salt and white pepper.
5. Coat the chicken breast in the egg mixture then carefully place the chicken breast on the plate with the seasoned corn flakes, and coat both sides, repeat with the remaining breasts, place on the baking tray.
6. Cook in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, ensuring presentation side (rounded part of the breast) is facing up.
7. Remove the chicken breast from the oven and rest for eight minutes before cutting.