17 January 2008

Homemade from the cupboard

There is no rhyme or reason for this list of simple homemade recipes. If you are stockpiling, they're all recipes you could probably make with what's in your cupboard right now. If you've never tried cooking from scratch, these recipes are a good starting point. You'll find, especially if you taste as you go, that the results will be much better than the same thing bought from the supermaket. Please experiment. If you like more spice, add more, if you don't like it so sweet, add less sugar.

Peanut ButterPlace two cups of raw peanuts and salt (to taste) in a food processor. If the nuts are too dry, add a small amount of peanut or olive oil. Blend until smooth and store in the fridge.

Baked Beans
This is an excellent recipe for the slow cooker if you have one.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped large onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 x 400g cans cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained. OR - if you use dried beans, soak overnight and drain.
2 x 400g cans tomatoes OR 800 grams (one and 3/4 lbs) of fresh very ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
¼ cup molasses or golden syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil and drop in onion and garlic. Cook on low heat until tender.
Add beans, tomatoes, molasses, worcestershire sauce, mustard and sugar. Add salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for about one hour, stirring frequently. This will taste better the following day, so make it one day ahead.

Condensed Milk - this is the sweetened milk
Place 1 cup powdered milk, 1/3 cup boiling water, 2/3 cup white sugar and 3 tablespoons butter in a blender and process until the sugar dissolves. This will make the equivalent of one can of sweetened condensed milk.

Evaporated Milk - unsweetened
1 ½ cups warm water
1 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons butter
Mix milk powder and warm water together. Add the butter. Heat the mixture in a small pan. When thoroughly combined, beat with hand beater, cool and store in the fridge.

Quick Vanilla Ice Cream
250ml (½ pint) cream
Can condensed milk (see above recipe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put in the fridge to cool. When cool add to ice cream maker and make according to manufacturer's instructions. Or click here for instructions for making ice cream without a machine.

Baking Powder
Two tablespoons and cream of tartar to one tablespoon of bicarb will give you three tablespoons of baking powder. Don’t make too much at one time as the reactions between the two elements cause the powder to go stale in a few weeks. Just make up what you need at the time.

Pancakes1¼ cups plain or all purpose flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 large teaspoon baking powder - see recipe above
¼ cup melted butter
Mix the above ingredients (except milk) together. Add enough milk to make the mix the consistency of heavy cream. Put the mix in the fridge for 1 hour (this will relax the gluten in the flour and make soft and fluffy pancakes). Pour the mix thinly over the base of a non-stick pan and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook other side.

Milk Kisses - a quick sweet biscuit/cookie
1 and 1/3 cups (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups shredded coconut
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine ingredients thoroughly. Place teaspoon portions of the mix on a greased baking sheet, making sure they aren't too close together. Bake at 180 C (370 F) for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Finely crush water crackers, corn flakes or plain biscuits with a rolling pin, or crumb day old bread in the food processor.

Brown sugar
White sugar mixed with a little molasses or golden syrup.

Sour cream
Add the juice of a lemon to a cup of cream. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to each cup of milk. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. OR a cup of yoghurt added to a cup of milk and allow to stand 30 minutes.

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