13 May 2007


Feeds: 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Left Over Hash

This is one in a long list of recipes for those who hate waste. Whether you can remember rationing or not, food waste is naughty. The UK is miles ahead of America on this front. The climate here means composting is ideal without trust funding pests, and having to shop more frequently [I can only carry so much back from Tesco] means using up everything is both economical and a time saver. I’m always on the lookout for more recipes like this. Migas is another one involving eggs…but here’s one that goes well with eggs…sausages…beans on toast…everything…

One of my most comforting things to eat is a stupidly large salad. Ingredients vary, but the mainstays are:

Lettuce [Botavia, rocket, romaine…any firm[ish] leaf will do]

Red onion

Tinned tuna

Tomatoes [sometimes]

Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar [Sherry vinegar works nicely as well]

Basically I’ll sit in front of the TV with my salad and bottle of wine and just munch all night. Invariably, I won’t finish everything, and the dregs of the salad get put back in the fridge and look all soggy and wilted the next morning. These dregs make the basis for the Left Over Hash.

Dregs of salad, oil and vinegar included

2 Tbs olive oil for frying

3 x medium potatoes, peeled and grated

Anything else that needs eating

1. Use a cheese grater to shred the potatoes. Do it on the biggest setting as the potatoes are raw and might be full of water.

2. Add all your ingredients to the bowl with the salad dregs using common sense on how much of the liquid [oil and vinegar] to keep. You won’t be using a binding agent so too much liquid and it will be impossible to keep together in the pan.

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high flame. Ball together some of the hash mix and brown each side. It will want to fall apart so be gentle with it.

4. Cook for 15 minutes, alternating sides.

This really is lovely. And every time you make it a different flavour pops out at you. I’ve used pine nuts, chorizo, mint leaves, shallots, garlic, salami, parma ham, falafal, humous, cabbage, bacon…anything you like really.


Feeds: millions [w/ Jesus] or 4 without him

Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 2 – 4 hours rising time

Cook Time: 40 minutes

White Loaf

15g fresh yeast; or

2 tsp dried yeast plus

1 tsp sugar; or 1 sachet

easy-blend dried yeast

300ml lukewarm water

500g strong plain flour

2 tsp salt

15g butter or lard


¼ cup lightly salted water

1. Dissolve sugar in the water [this feeds the yeast] and add yeast. Leave for 15 minutes to froth up. If using easy-blend yeast, add it straight to the flour.

2. Toss the flour and salt into a bowl. Use your hands to work the butter or lard into the flour. Then make a well in the centre and pour in yeasty water [or plain water if using the sachet].

3. Stir to form a dough, then knead with your hands until the dough leaves the side of the bowl.

4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes. You want the dough to be firm and not sticky.

5. I rinse out the bowl I used to mix the dough in at this stage, and then put the firm dough back in. Cover with cling film and put it under the radiator [or anywhere warm]. Leave for 1 to 2 hours, or until double the size.

6. After it’s puffed itself up, give it a good ole punch. This is your chance to channel that aggression pent up from the other half saying “you’re making a mess of my kitchen. You’re gonna clean up this mess!” Punching not only disperses the air throughout the dough, it shows you mean business. You are a force with which to be reckoned. You are in control. You are Zen master. All of your chakras are aligned and you are at peace with the world.

7. You can either make one large loaf, or now divide the dough into two. I always find the loaves rather small anyway, so I don’t divide them, but this is the time to separate if you want, especially if you’re making rolls.

8. Place your dough, seam side down, into a greased tin or tray. Cover with cling film [although carrier bags work well if you are doing rolls or a large round loaf]. Leave to rise at room temperature for 40 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 230C. When the bread has risen for the occasion, brush the top with some salty water. Baked for just over half an hour.

10. If baking in tins, they should fall out when turned upside down. Tap the underside – it should sound hollow. If not, blast away for a few minutes more. If they are finished, rest on some cooling racks. Bring them to the attention of your dissenting party[ies], and watch how they grin sheepishly. They’re thinking they wish they knew how to do that. Comment on the smell. “How lovely”, works well. Use words like “rustic”, “salt of the earth” and “nature’s way”.