The weeks in the run up to Christmas are a blur. A crisis of sorts was brewing on the client front. Which means, not much was brewing on the home front.
I got ready in near darkness, pulling last night’s dinner out of the fridge for the kids lunch, before the mad work dash. In my infinite wisdom, I tasked the man with control of the weekday meals.
Cooking, for him, is the brave attempt to stir a jar of the sauce into overcooked pasta. He sent ripples of disgust through the Italian countryside, when he shared his penchant for stirring bacon and onions into pesto pasta on one of our holidays.
When he’s feeling less adventurous, he shoves a pizza into a hot oven. In between his special brand of creative cookery, and my rejection of the kitchen, the festive season came and went. And then, mierda, our food went stale.
So while I had great plans to start the year with a suitably decadent recipe, instead, I give you stale bread. And funnily, this post has been simmering long before this article on food wastage hit the headlines.
Honestly, I’m no stranger to the odd bit of food wastage. But over the years, I have found that a generous helping of spices can help rescue many ingredients beyond their prime. My top faves are:
- Navratan Korma, a spiced coconut curry with nine vegetables, served with steaming hot Basmati rice
- Pulao, of any sort really. Quick, and delicious, with a bowl of thick yoghurt and pickle
- Jhalfrezi, of chicken, beef or prawn, a quick stir fry with easy to source ingredients that can be bought on the way home
More recently, I’ve even turned 2 pints of milk into paneer. Something that I would have never considered in the not too distant past!
The recipe here is one that I grew up with in India. I suspect it had something to do with leftovers back then too. Bread Upma is a simple saute with fresh tomatoes and onions that doubles up as a lovely brunch or kid-friendly snack.
I have only one New Year’s Resolution this year, to get better at preventing perfectly good ingredients from making the dustbin heap! So please share your favourite recipes for leftovers, and let’s all have a less wasteful year ahead.