Waste Not Want Not: 14th July, 2013

by yooeel

The Plan: Roast chicken dinner

The Downfall: Our house is probably hot enough to roast the chicken sans oven

The Perishables: Tomato passata, yesterday’s egg fried rice and stir fry veggies, another portion of rice that Hubby accidentally cooked by being a bit vigorous with the rice packet last night

Remember that leftover rice can contain bacteria that makes it very dangerous if not stored properly, and this is NOT killed off by thorough reheating.  We cooled our rice and put it in the fridge overnight.  We also used and ate all our leftover rice within 24 hours, as recommended by the Food Standards Agency

What did we do with it? Hubby and I ate the stir fry for lunch, pinged in the microwave – nothing glamorous about that one I’m afraid.

Little Boy had pizza toast for lunch. Toast, a thin spread of passata, grated cheddar, dried oregano, a dot or two of Worcester sauce.

Then grilled for a minute or two till nice and melty.

With the second batch of rice I attempted to make omo tuo (Ghanaian rice balls) and cashew nut soup.  I made up a quick cashew nut soup (which is essentially onions, garlic, ginger, garam masala, ground up cashew nuts and veggie stock) and then put the rice back in a pan with a splash of boiling water to get it going again.

I heated the rice on the hob, stirring it and smooshing it to bring all the starch out in the hope that it would stick together in rice balls.  Unfortunately, this didn’t work – but it was still sticky, squidgy rice underneath a steamy, spicy soup, so it was sufficiently yummy and sufficiently different from yesterday’s dinner to be a hit.

For those of you who are curious, I usually make omo tuo by cooking rice from scratch with just enough water to cover the grains.  I let it cook so that all the water is absorbed, adding a splash of hot water if it has all evaporated before the grains are cooked.  Similarly to a risotto, I agitate the rice with a spoon throughout and keep it just moist enough to keep cooking until eventually the rice has cooked and is lovely and starchy.  I beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon to encourage it to stick together.  Lastly I wet a cereal bowl with cold water.  For each rice ball I put one generous serving spoon full of rice in the bowl, then shake the bowl so that the rice slips and slides around the bowl, taking on a rugby ball shape, then slide it into the soup bowl.  Rinse the bowl out again and start on your next rice ball.  Serve it with soup, and if you’re really clever, you can use the rice ball to eat the soup with your fingers.  Yum.

The verdict: All tasted nice, although the rice was disappointingly blobbish.  We are still left with some passata, which will live to see another day and with a bit of cashew nut soup that I will eat for my tea tomorrow night.  The chicken will be roasted, and we won’t wimp out next time.  We’ll eat it on Tuesday with some potato salad and some courgettes from the allotment.

Have you been getting creative with your leftovers? What would you have done with the ingredients to hand? Feel free to leave a comment.