As we were out to supper with friends last night and off to France tomorrow I deliberately didn't buy any food this weekend, reckoning we could easily live out of the fridge and freezer.
We could and did. Lunch was a warm 'salad' of black pudding, leeks, apple and potato (above), supper tonight some leftover braised oxtail I froze a few weeks ago topped with mash (also frozen) and served with carrots and hispi cabbage. There are more than enough carrots for the two of us so I'm going to blitz the rest and freeze them for a soup when we come back.
We also managed to polish off a bit of chorizo and some leftover plums (not at the same time, I hasten to add). I've frozen the cheese that would have gone off while we were away (not ideal but it'll be fine for cooking) and will freeze any leftover bananas for smoothies.
Whether you're going away or not it's a good exercise to do from time to time otherwise you end up chucking away perfectly good food that's simply gone over its 'eat by' date. Here's the black pudding recipe - or a variation of it I did for my book Sausage and Mash:
Black pudding with potato, apple and onion
2 medium sized potatoes (about 200g)
1 small to medium sized onion or a washed and sliced leek
2 medium eating apples, e.g. Cox or Braeburn
A small handful of fresh sage leaves
3/4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
A 250g pack of sliced black pudding or a small black pudding, thickly sliced
Peel and halve the potatoes and cut them into thick slices. Tip into a bowl of cold water and swirl them around to get rid of some of the starch then pat dry with a clean teatowel. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, add the potatoes and fry for about 7/8 minutes, turning them over occasionally. Meanwhile peel and thinly slice the onion and quarter and slice the a apples. Add the onions to the pan, stir and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the apple pieces and stir. Continue to cook, stirring and turning until all the ingredients are well browned and soft (about another 10 minutes), adding a little extra olive oil if it looks too dry. Add the sage for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time. Meanwhile heat the grill, rub the black pudding slices lightly with olive oil and cook them for about 4 minutes each side until hot and crispy. Lay them overlapping slightly on warm plates and spoon the potato and apple pan fry alongside.