Cupboard clearout: Mac and cheese, split peas and pain au Speculoos
It turns out before too long, I'll have to move house.
And you know what moving house means? Moving kitchen. And you know what moving kitchen means (apart from a pain in the arse)? It means having to go through all the crap in your kitchen and try and use it all up before the removal trucks turn up, discovering all manner of antique oddities that you bought back when shell suits were considered appropriate casual wear and never used again.
This week I've begun the excavations of my cupboards and fridge while the clock counts down to moving out day.
The first thing I decided had to make an ex-resident of my fridge was an enormous jar of sauerkraut with about half an inch of slowly deceasing cabbage in it. I'd been refraining from eating it because I had a recipe that I wanted to use it in. Alas, I'd totally forgotten what it was, so it had been in stasis waiting for my kraut-based amnesia to pass.
Luckily, during MoFo, I'd spotted Mac and Shews on Vegan in Brighton - a mac and cheese recipe from PPK where the part of cheese sauce was played by cashews and sauerkraut.
it was fabulous. Seriously, the best vegan cheese sauce I have ever made or eaten. Do yourself a favour and go cook it now. No, really, stop reading this and go make it!
Now, I'm not sure if this next cupboard clearing out attempt is genius or madness, so I'll let you call it. After going to Amsterdam a while back, I've still got the world's largest jar of Speculoos.
I like the stuff, but I guess I just don't like it enough to need a 5kg or whatever it is sized jar, so I've been trying to work it into other stuff as an ingredient rather than waiting for the one week in a million where I fancy some Speculoos on my toast.
I used it as a filling for some cupcakes the other day, and that was kind of nice, then I remembered I had some vegan croissant mix past its sell-by date in the fridge. I decided to kill two birds with one stone (is there a vegan equivalent for that phrase? Puree two kales with one blender or something?) and use the Speculoos in the middle of the croissants.
I sort of hoped to create a pain au Spekuloos - fluffy pastry around a warm sweet centre. I think I created a sort of nuclear reaction instead - the molten filling was so hot I probably needed St John ambulance on standby to fix up the third degree burns.
It was a nice, if not entirely successful idea.
The next ingredient sent to meet their maker were the remainder of a bag of split peas that had, in another life, been the basis of pease pudding.
I decided to turn them into a kale and split pea soup, based on a recipe in Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It was pleasant, but didn't rock my world. I amped up the paprika suggested in the book, but I reckon there's still more spice needed if and when I plan a return visit to split pea soup world.
Still, three ingredients almost down, a million more to go. Wish me luck, and expect more cupboard clearout posts in the very near future!