I was born in the 1950s when the whole ethos was "make do and mend" and "waste not, want not".
World war II had meant rationing of vital foodstuffs so that everyone had a small and reasonably fair share. I suppose this is what leads to me hating food waste. I love cooking and usually am a bit of a spendthrift when it comes to food but I always make a point of using up the odds and ends left from the weekend. Cold meat from a Sunday roast might become a cottage pie, curry or hash; cold roast potatoes and leftover greens become "bubble and squeak". Winter lunches mean soup to my husband and so vegetables are never wasted.
The week away meant that the pickings were sparse. The fridge revealed a few eggs, some chorizo sausage, some ever so slightly over-ripe tomatoes and onions (always onions!). I googled for recipes with chorizo and found a recipe on BBC Good Food for Rigatoni with spiced prawns, chorizo and tomatoes. We always have a few varieties of pasta in the cupboard so I will probably use penne or farfalle instead of rigatoni. I was short of the prawns but as I was only cooking half the recipe 100g of prawns were all I needed. Mike ran the errand for me so I could continue my chores.
I had noticed several almost empty packets of dried fruits in the cupboards and a half empty jar of malt extract. Malt loaf was a childhood favourite of mine so I decided to throw one together before tackling the ironing. If you have never tried making this and have only tried the commercial version I can really recommend this recipe. It is so easy and you will not need a mixer just a large bowl, a large spoon to mix the ingredients and either a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin or 2 x1lb tins. I use the paper linings from Lakeland to save on the greasing and lining.
Heat the oven to 170°c or 150° fan oven. Shelf in the middle of the oven.
Ingredients for Malt Loafsunflower oil, for greasing
150ml hot black tea (I used Assam tea for a maltier flavour)
175g malt extract, plus extra for glazing
85g dark muscovado sugar
300g mixed dried fruits
2 large eggs, beaten
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Throw the mixed dried fruit (mine was a mix of sultanas, raisins with a small amount of currants), malt extract, sugar and hot tea into the bowl and stir well until mixed.
- Mix the beaten eggs in.
- Add the plain flour, stir well then add the baking powder and bicarb. Beat again to combine.
- Quickly pour the mixture into the lined tin and place in the centre of the oven.
- Bake the small tins for approximately 50 minutes. A 2lb loaf will take about 10 minutes longer.
- Test with a skewer to check that there is no wet mixture at the bottom of the loaf.
- Leave in the tin for 5 minutes or so then remove to a rack to cool.
- Brush the top with a small amount of malt extract while the loaf is warm to glaze.
It looks a bit of a dog's dinner here but it tasted good. Try the link to the original recipe for a better photo!
I hope to get back to some crafting tomorrow. We are having a lunch party for friends in a few weeks and I would love to make some bunting to pretend we are having a summer party- when will the sun shine again, do you think?
Meals on Mondays might become a regular feature to encourage me to blog regularly. I hope you like it. Please leave comments and let me know what you cook.