Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Making it up as you go along / can't be bothered food

Sometimes when I've had a long day at work followed by a busy evening I lack all inspiration when it comes to making something to eat. I just want something quick, preferably tasty and on this occasion hot; with which I can collapse in front of a dvd.
This is not good food, it's not even good for you food but I think we all have these moments. In this case it was 'open the cupboard door and see what I could throw in' night.
I'll give you what I did, then I'll tell you how it could be improved. Then I'll express my amazement that anyone would even consider following a recipe such as this much less imagine me making it again. lol

Storecupboard bake
0.75 pt veg stock
Dried Celery - small handful
Oats - large handful
Pinch Cayenne
Large pinch - prob approx 0.25tsp - garlic granules
1 tsp black onion seeds
1 pack S'burys Basics Sage and Onion Stuffing (85g dried weight box)
Knob butter
Small dash Worcestershire sauce
Grated cheese - something with a decent bit of taste to it - cave matured cheddar for me!
Black Pepper

Preheat oven to Gas 5.
Bring stock to the boil. Add celery, oats, cayenne and garlic granules and boil for approx 5-10 mins.
Lower heat to a simmer and add stuffing mix, onion seeds, worcestershire sauce and butter. Stir well and watch it doesn't stick on the bottom.
Once liquid has been absorbed remove from heat.
Stir in grated cheese - amount depends on you / strength of your cheese. I added a good handful.
Butter a ceramic oven dish and place mixture in, levelling off the top. Sprinkle with grated cheese and ground black pepper.

Bake in oven for 20 mins.

Serve with greens / carrots / salad. Or not. I actually just had mine with a dollop of mayo.
First thoughts - too salty. I think this is a combo of the use of stock, the cheapo stuffing and the cheese. Cheese has salt in it - can't do much about that.
Stuffing - another brand may give a better result; interestingly the Basics is listed as giving 0.50g salt per 50g serving but 3.25g salt per 100g serving. Not quite sure how that works? The regular S'burys stuffing has the same 0.50g for 50g serving but a lower 2.5g per 100 serving. Paxo only lists sodium content so that's a fat lot of help though I get the feeling their's would be lower still.
Stock - try with plain water or half the stock cube / powder for the amount of liquid.
Having said this it was ok in a puffy spongey sort of way. I had mine with mayo to combat the saltiness. Once it cooled down a little I think it was nicer although I'm hard pressed to put my finger on why.
You couldn't notice the black onion seeds so wouldn't bother with those another time.
I've only recently started using oats in savoury cooking so am very much a novice in their uses but I foresee them becoming quite useful as a cheap 'bulker outer' of food in the future. As I've a mind to set myself another frugal challenge month next month this could be good practice.
PS - apologies for the awful quality of the photos on this post. I use my phone for almost all the pics on the blog; yesterdays blossom being an example and generally it's not bad but these however leave a lot to be desired. Also - I think the lens may have steamed up slightly on these.


  1. I'd never thought of using oats in a savoury dish, but I like the principles of this dish so might just have a go.

  2. If you do, do let me know what changes you make and how it comes out. Having been fairly scathing about it it's not actually too bad as a base just needs working on.


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