I hate waste and try everything I can to avoid it.
Christmas time is when we all tend to over shop, so January is when I do most of my cooking out of the larder and freezer. I find it's quite a challenge, and you really do have to be inventive with the resources to hand.
So far this week I have made the following
1. Tuna and vegetable bake - pasta with a cheese sauce, tin of tuna, small tin of peas/ sweetcorn/ mushrooms (whatever) - piled into an ovenproof dish and baked until golden brown.
2. Risotto - To avoid wasting mushrooms, I always thinly slice any that are hanging around and leave them to air dry in a warm place for a few days. I then store them in an airtight jar and they last for ages and really are big on flavour.
So, I sweat an onion or two in a mix of olive oil and butter - I then add risotto rice and cook for a few minutes more.
I pre -soak the mushrooms (about a small tea cup full) in some boiling water for about 30 minutes and drain them, reserving the liquid, which tastes divine. Add the chopped mushrooms after the rice
I make up about a pint (ish) of chicken or vegetable stock (hot) and add the mushroom liquid to it.
Slowly, I add the hot stock to the rice mixture a bit at a time and allow time for each addition to absorb. I keep adding the stock until the rice has swollen and has cooked through - you may need a bit more stock towards the end, depending on your rice (best to use round/ risotto/ arborio rice)
To serve, grate some cheese to top the risotto - I use Parmesan as it is such a good keeper, but anything will do, as long as you like it.
My daughter loves a topping made from some crumbled Roquefort mixed with two tablespoons of crème fraiche, and melted through in the microwave.............I tend not to add salt, as powdered stock can be very salty. Add it if you are using fresh stock of course.
I don't intend to go shopping before the end of the week, so watch this space for a few more ideas - please feel free to add some ideas. I also made bread yesterday to save the trip to the boulangerie - very nice even if I say so myself!