Karon writes "Hi Cath, I just got back from the supermarket where they were taste testing a new product from the dairy case. Heat and serve cheese on toast! Who would buy this item at nearly $4-00 a pack? Hence my tip. For years I have made subs and UFO's as snacks and soup accompaniments. All you need is stale long or round bread rolls. Cut in half lengthwise, spread with topping (recipes follow) and bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes.
Pizza topping: Mix 1 tbsp tomato sauce or paste with a cup of grated cheese and some diced bacon, shredded ham, salami, or strass.
Ploughman's Lunch: 1 cup grated cheese, 3 chopped pickled onions, a little Worcestershire sauce.
Chook and Cheese: 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup leftover diced cooked chicken, a little steak sauce, mayo or mustard.
Each topping will generously cover 6 roll halves.
From the Cooking Tip Store
Stock soups are made from stock (preferably MOO) with the addition of meat and fresh vegetables and a grain, cereal or bean i.e. dried lentils, kidney beans, rice or macaroni.
To make a basic thick soup you will need:
4 - 6 litres stock, including the meat from the bones
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 cups soup mix - a mixture of lentils and beans
1. Bring the stock to a rolling boil in a large stockpot.
2. Add the vegetables and the soup mix and stir.
3. Turn the heat down until the liquid is at a rolling simmer. This is important because unless you want to stand and stir constantly for hours, you need the vegetables and soup mix to keep rolling around in the pot. If they settle they will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, ruining the soup.
You can add any other vegetables you like to your soup pot. Potato makes a good addition, bulking out the meal and acting as a thickener when soup mix is scarce. You can also add tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage - you are limited only by your imagination and the contents of your fridge.
To make your own soup recipe follow this outline:
1. Start with a stock (choose one)- chicken, beef or lamb.
2. Add a protein (choose one) - meat, chicken, lamb, ham or bacon bones
3. Choose a thickener (choose one, measure 2 cups) - soup mix, beans, lentils, macaroni, pasta twirls, broken spaghetti, rice or barley
4. Throw in the vegetables (as many as you like, about 4 cups) - onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, cabbage, capsicums, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip, turnip, swede, squash, pumpkin, green beans, peas,
5. Season to taste* - salt, pepper, bouquet garni, thyme, parsley, chives, coriander
Bring the stock to the boil in a large stockpot. Add the other ingredients of your choice and simmer for at least 1 hour.
*It is better to under season and add more at the table than it is to over-season and have a soup that is too salty or too spicy. If you do over-salt the soup, add two potatoes, peeled and halved, about 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. The potato will absorb some of the salt.
Don't you just love Christmas food? It's the one day of the year you don't have to watch what you eat and you don't need to feel guilty for eating lots of yummy things. Unfortunately, even when we eat to bursting point we still seem to end up with a fridge full of leftovers (because it's wasteful to throw them out), even though we are sick of the sight of turkey, ham, chicken, seafood, Christmas pudding and baked veggies.
So what are you going to do with them? Turn them into delicious and appetizing meals, meals so good no one will know you made them from leftovers!
Turkey Toastie Tasties
Slices of bread
Slices of cooked turkey (or chicken)
Cream cheese spread
Butter the bread slices on one side as you do for toasted sandwiches. Spread cream cheese on one side of the sandwich, then spread the cranberry sauce and top with the sliced turkey. Cook in a sandwich press or hot fry pan until toasted and golden.
Real Ham Steaks and Pineapple
1cm thick slices of ham
Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Melt the butter and cook the ham slices until browned on both sides. Remove from frying pan and keep warm. Drain the pineapple slices and add to the frypan, cooking until golden on both sides. Place a ham steak on each plate and top with a pineapple ring (or two). Serve with hot toast for breakfast or lunch or with a tossed salad for dinner.
Chicken Roll Ups
These are so good, it's easy to eat four of these without hesitating. Double, triple or quadruple all the ingredients except for the extra butter to suit your family. You can double the extra butter and then melt more if you need to, just remember not to scrimp with it or your roll ups won't be golden and crisp.
8 slices fresh bread, crusts removed (put them in the freezer for crumbs later on)
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
1 tbsp oil
1 cup finely shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper to taste
125 -150g butter, extra
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Using a rolling pin, roll the bread slices until they are thin and flat. Combine oil and 30g butter over a low heat and cook spring onion for 1 minute. Add the chicken, cheese, egg yolk and seasonings and mix well. Spread a layer onto each piece of bread. Roll bread up. Line a lamington tray with baking paper. Melt the extra butter. With a pastry brush, dip in the melted butter and brush the outside of each bread roll up generously. Place on baking tray, join side down. Dip the outside of the rolls lightly into the butter on all sides and also on the base and put each one onto the tray, join side down. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp.
This is the best way to reserve leftover roast potatoes. I usually deliberately over cater on the roast spuds, just so we can have smashed potatoes on Boxing Day.
Cold, leftover roast potatoes
Herbs - I use rosemary and garlic
Pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, or lightly oil it.
Put the potatoes in rows on the baking sheet.
Taking a potato masher, squash each potato until it breaks open and spreads a little.
Gently brush with the oil - olive oil gives a gorgeous flavour.
Sprinkle with the salt and herbs.
Cook until the edges are crispy and golden and the potatoes are heated through - 20 - 25 minutes.