How To Turn Scraps Into a Fancy Meal: Bits And Pieces
We almost never realize that we often throw away food that is absolutely fine and edible. Sometimes we don’t even know how to prepare it.
In the last week’s post, we discussed how you can rationally use pasta scraps and turn them into mouth-watering appetizers. Today, we will continue the topic, but this time we will reveal how to turn little bits and pieces that usually go to the trash bin into a good and a chic dish.
For me, the issue of the leftovers got sharp, after I worked at the restaurant and saw how many fresh things were thrown into the compost. No, I’m not talking here about half-eaten dishes. I talking about secondary ingredients like cheese rind or basil stems, which could be used in soup or make aromatic olive oil.
Today I will talk about some of the ingredients that I often store in the freezer, and sometimes use them for something interesting.
Cheese rind = cheese broth
For two or three months I collected rinds from hard cheeses like manchego, parmesan or grana padano (the list can be continued indefinitely). I put them in a Ziploc bag and kept them in the freezer until needed.
Recently I made pumpkin soup and came up with cheese broth for it. I had about 7-9 rinds in my freezer at that time, and it was enough to make a nice and flavorful cheese broth.
How to make:
Put 7-10 cheese rinds in a cheesecloth. Fill a deep saucepan with two liters of water and put a cheesecloth with rind there. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the broth takes a strong flavor of the cheese. Salt to taste, pour into a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Pureed Soup = pasta sauce
If you feel that you have cooked too much pureed soup but have not finished the portion, do not pour it immediately into the sink. This kind of soup, especially if it turned out thick, can easily be emulsified (thickened) without the help of starch and flour into a nice sauce. All you need is a good olive oil and a little patience.
How to make:
Cook the pasta of your choice. Pour a bowl of soup into a frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook stirring until the liquid has formed into the sauce. Combine with pasta, mix well and serve with your favorite cheese.
The recipe works with almost any home-made cream soup.
Basil stalks = aromatic oil
In restaurants, we usually discard the stems, working with leaves only. But in fact, you can save some money on aromatic oils, simply by keeping these stems.
How to make:
Pour 0.5 cups of olive oil into a separate container, place 5-7 basil stalks and close the lid. Let it stand at room temperature for 4 hours, pull out the stems and enjoy.
Citrus peel = great addition for a dessert
With citrus peel, I did the same as with cheese rind. I put it in a bag and froze until I needed to make a dessert.
This time I made a candied peel of grapefruit, which turned out to be a delicious chewing candy that I sometimes eat when doing homework. You can also use them for pastries, on a cake or put on a sweet toast.
How to make:
Cut approximately 2 cups of peel into small pieces of the desired size. I cut into strips.
In a small saucepan combine the peel and water and bring to a boil, Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes. Drain and repeat the process 2 more times.
Move the zest onto a paper towel and allow to dry completely.
In another saucepan combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Wait until the sugar is completely dissolved, add the zest and boil for another 8-10 minutes, stirring.
Transfer the zest to a baking tray and allow to dry completely.
Mix with a little sugar and transfer to a jar. Keep in the fridge.