The author of the Borough Market Cookbook is back in the Demo Kitchen—this time cooking a few recipes from the book that promote being ‘resourceful’ in the kitchen
It’s frustrating, isn’t it when, having followed a recipe, you’re left with lots of bits and pieces but not the obvious makings of a second meal. Or when you’ve simply over-shopped or cooked too much, and you’ve got leftovers in which you can’t quite see a flavourful future.
The mark of a good cook, I think, is how resourceful you are. It takes practice to be able to look at a set of half-used ingredients and leftovers and to come up with a Ready Steady Cook style menu. But you have to start somewhere, and the process of learning and improving can be quite fun.
Of course, it’s useful to have a little assistance—a prod in the right direction—and hopefully I’ll be able to do that when cooking at the demo kitchen on Friday, during which my intention is to give you a few ideas for surplus food and leftovers.
The recipes I will be cooking all come from The Borough Market Cookbook: recipes and stories from a year at the market, a key aim of which was to show readers how to make the most of market produce. While market shopping can be less wasteful than other options (you can, for example, buy pretty much the exact amount of vegetables, cheese or meat you need, rather than a set amount already in plastic wrapping), sometimes surplus ingredients are inevitable, whether that’s leftover ham or cheese from a lunch platter, an egg white or three (or yolks, for that matter), the last quarter of a punnet of berries, or the final third of a sourdough loaf that’s a little bit dry now three days have passed since you bought it.
Accordingly, in the book I suggest a few recipes for likely leftovers and surplus ingredients, there are cocktails made from poaching fruit syrups, a decent balance of egg white and egg yolk recipes and so on. And the recipes I’ll cook next week reflect that.
For example, we’ll quickly whizz up a cured ham and honey butter; a solution for the last few pieces of cured and dried meats that have dried even further because they’ve been (inexplicably) left on the lunch board.
I’ll also show how to make gnocchi using sweet potato and that end of blue cheese that (again inexplicably) is hardening at the back of the fridge. This is also a good use of a rogue egg yolk (though if that yolk is the reason for cracking the egg, note the final recipe of the demonstration which’ll make use of the white).
Someone once said to me that good bread doesn’t go stale—it’s just been aged. There are lots of ideas of ‘aged’ bread in The Borough Market Cookbook, but I’ll be making Portuguese-style ‘migas’ to go with a pork and clam stew.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, there’s every chance that you’ll find yourself with a handful of fresh cranberries, or maybe a vat of homemade cranberry sauce, the level of which doesn’t seem to be dropping. My clementine and cranberry sponges are a solution for those.
And to finish, one of my favourite low-hassle ways to use up excess egg whites: a sour cocktail. I can’t guarantee there’ll be enough tasters of my spiced calvados sour to go round, but I’ll happily describe its refreshing qualities as we finish the demonstration.
The Borough Market Cookbook will be on sale on the day. I’d love to sign a copy for you whether you’ve already got one and bring it to the demonstration, or you buy it there and then (wouldn’t want those books to go to waste, now).
Join Ed for tips, tastings and recipes Friday 7th December in the Market Hall, 12:30-2pm