Rhubarb Bread Crust and Butter Pudding

It was only recently when we were trying out a bokashi bin to allow us to compost cooked food waste that I truly realised how many bread crusts we were throwing away, and how much of the bread was still attached to that crust.  It is such a waste to throw it away, and feels even more so when the bread is homemade.  From time to time I would cut off the crusts to use for breadcrumbs for example but we don’t use those a great deal so I just kept hoping that my son would eventually start eating them if I left them on.

Anyhow, I have now resigned myself to the fact that it is much lest wasteful if I just cut off the crusts beforehand.  Now I have almost a whole shelf in the freezer full of breadcrusts so had to come up with something to use them for.  I have been blitzing some up with cheese to make a crispy topping for lasagne and other pasta bakes, and found a recipe for brushing the crusts with butter, sprinkling with cinammon and sugar and baking until crispy which was a great success – my son and his friend polished that lot off pretty quickly.

We also have a lot of rhubarb so I wanted to come up with a dessert to make use of some of that as well as incorporating the bread crusts.  So here it is – bread and butter pudding (although this recipe doesn’t actually include butter but is not like British bread pudding) made with bread crusts and rhubarb.

Ingredients:

  • Rhubarb ( approx 3 stalks)
  • Bread crusts (equivalent to approx 4 slices of bread – you could of course use slices of bread instead)
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Approx 500ml milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • Ginger and cinammon to taste.

Method:

  • Wash and chop the rhubarb and place it with the sugar into a glass jug or  microwaveable bowl – microwave for a minute or 2 until it starts to soften.
  • Spread out the bread crusts and cooked rhubarb in a shallow dish. Add some ginger to taste (this can be fresh, ground, crystallised or stem ginger – I used crystallised ginger which I chopped up and scattered amongst the bread and rhubarb)
  • Mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla essence.
  • Pour over the bread and rhubarb and leave for at least 10 minutes to soak in ( in my efforts to use them up I had used rather more bread crusts than I should and it all soaked in pretty quickly).
  • Sprinkle with cinammon or additional brown sugar to taste.
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Before baking
  • Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-40 mins until set and golden.
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Fresh from the oven
  • Serve with cream, custard or ice cream.

I made enough to last us 2 days and I would say it was actually better cold on the second day served with vanilla ice cream – I guess the flavours had more time to mingle.

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Served cold with ice cream

 

I’d love to hear your ideas for using up bread.

 

Making the most of our Easter lunch leftovers

Despite my best efforts, we had plenty left from our Easter Sunday roast.  This was partly due to the only organic chicken in the shop being a little larger than we needed, partly due to my husband thinking everyone has the same appetite as him, and partly due to him deciding to do bacon and eggs for breakfast ahead of a roast dinner.  This was not the weekend to guess that I have been trying to reduce the quantity of meat we eat. As I am also still working on getting us to all eat the same meal as often as possible to reduce the number of times a day/different things I need to cook this is something of a challenge, although we are getting there slowly.

But none of it was wasted – it was all turned into something else for the next day / for future use.

I also baked hot cross buns and a chocolate cake – funnily enough these didn’t create any leftovers.

This is what we made with our leftovers.

Curried chicken and lentil soup

chicken soup
Chicken Soup in progress (no chicken yet)
  • 1 onion ( peeled)
  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • 1 stick celery (trimmed)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coconut milk ( 1 tin or equivalent made up powdered coconut milk)
  • Chicken stock (approx 500ml)
  • Leftover roast chicken, chopped into small pieces
  • Red lentils (50 to 100g)

Do feel free to adjust the ingredients and quantities here depending what you have left – the lentils will bulk the soup out so use more if you are short on chicken or less if you have plenty.  Similarly substitute other veg if that is what you have.

  1. Cover the red lentils with cold water and bring to the boil for 10 mins. Skim any scum from the surface with a slotted spoon and rinse with fresh water.

Meanwhile:

  1. Blitz the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor or chop finely.
  2. Fry the processed/chopped vegetables gently in a little oil until softened but not browned.
  3. Stir in curry powder and other spices to taste (fennel seeds would also go well) – stir for approx 1 min.
  4. Add chicken stock (see recipe below) and coconut milk, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Add the roast chicken and lentils.
  6. Simmer for around 20 minutes, checking the lentils are tender.
  7. Season to taste.

Great served with homemade bread – we are lucky enough to have a bread machine which takes the effort out of this.

Chicken Stock:

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  • 1 chicken carcass (include any small bits of leftover skin and meat not used in the soup above)
  • 1 stick celery, halved
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut in half (peeled or unpeeled) – you can replace these with saved carrot peelings/trimmed carrot tops
  • Handful of parsley  or other herbs (we got a huge bunch from the market which I keep in the freezer and break handfuls off as needed)
  • 3 bay leaves ( we have a branch trimmed from our garden bay tree from which we take dried leaves as needed)
  • 1 handful of leek tops (thrown in for good measure as we happen to have loads of these in the freezer!)
  • A little salt and pepper to taste

You can also add/substitute any other vegetable trimmings you have on hand.  I  added our leftover gravy.

Combine ingredients in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.  Skim off any grey foam that rises to the surface.

Simmer gently for around 3 hours (check the water level if you are leaving it uncovered  – you may need to add more during the cooking time)

When ready the stock should be a golden colour.

Strain the stock carefully.  If you want to freeze the stock it is a good idea to boil it again for half an hour or longer to reduce it further  at this stage – you can then freeze the concentrated version in ice cube trays for later use ( just pop a few from the freezer into a jug of boiling water)

Allow to cool completely – then you can remove any fat from the surface.

If not freezing you should refrigerate and use within a few days.

Everything sieved out of the stock went into our bokashi bin ahead of composting.

 

My husband made up these patties for tea:

Roast vegetable and bacon patties:

 vegetable patties

  • Leftover roast veg ( we used potato, parsnip, carrot, celeriac).
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • A few slices of streaky bacon
  • Handful of breadcrumbs ( plus more to coat if you wish) ( we save up crusts in the freezer as they tend to get left and then whizz them in a blender to make crumbs as required)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • A little grated cheese ( purely as we had some leftover)

 

Fry the bacon until cooked through and chop into small pieces.  Fry the onion and garlic until softened.

Mash the roast vegetables and mix together with the other ingredients.

Shape into small rounds, coating with additional breadcrumbs if you wish.  If they are too soggy you could stir in a little flour at this stage.

Fry in a little oil until cooked through and turning golden on the outside.

 

As we were making these up on the go we didn’t manage to shape these into patties for cooking but instead just scooped the cooked mixture into balls on serving – not the most attractive but they were tasty and even our fussy 8 year old who claims to hate most vegetables ate them  and said we could cook them again which is praise indeed.

 What’s your favourite leftovers recipe?

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