“THE tin is an undervalued resource,” Lola Milne writes in the introduction to her recent Take One Tin (Kyle Books, £14.99 (CT Bookshop £13.49); 978-0-85783-614-4). Its 80 recipes all use store-cupboard ingredients; I commend it to you.
We have not yet had to resort to my Welsh family recipe for Cottage Pie (one tin of mince in gravy, a tin each of peas and carrots drained, mix together, and top with Smash), but being at home so much begs good use of stocks, and possibly a kitchen clearout. It also seems that shops have rare or unusual ingredients aplenty, whereas basics, such as eggs and flour, are all gone.
Going through old bottles, I marshalled this Miso Salmon with pickled vegetables. Good for any firm fish, serve with boiled rice and soy sauce. The miso paste comes in sachets (use two) or the powder.
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon each of sesame oil,
mirin, rice wine, clear honey
4 salmon fillets
Any combination of cucumber,
carrot, radish, ginger, cabbage
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 dash sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 of salt
4 tablespoons boiling water
Mix the marinade ingredients and pour into a shallow dish. Place the salmon fillets into the mixture, skin side up, and leave for a good hour or overnight in the fridge, covered over with clingfilm. Prepare and ribbon the vegetables with the thin slicer slot on a grater. In a bowl, mix together with the vinegars, coriander, salt, and boiling water. After an hour it will all be ready.
Heat the grill to high. Line a baking tray with foil, place the fillets in skin-side down, drizzle the sauce over the top and grill for around ten minutes, with colour but not burned.
An excess of milk led me to create Honey and Lavender Blancmange (if you have no lavender, then orange zest or whisky are also good). Think of this with a rhubarb compote.
1.5 pts (850ml) fresh milk
2 teaspoons dried lavender
3 tablespoons (45g) cornflour
2 tablespoons (30ml) honey
2 oz (60g) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Place the milk and lavender in a pan. Slowly bring it to the “scald” point (not boil) and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain. Mix a little milk with the cornflour to a paste. Combine with the rest of the milk and the honey, return to the pan, and slowly bring to the boil, whisking as it thickens. At thick-cream consistency, reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes more. Stir in the butter and vanilla until all combined, then pour into small dishes or ramekins and refrigerate. For a bit of fun, rinse the cups with cold water, pour in the blancmange, chill until set, and run a knife round the edge to turn out.