A Genius Idea for Food Scraps

~ Food Collections ~

I have written before of the sheer handiness of having collections of this and that but it is worth repeating and going into more detail.  

Collecting your scraps saves money, avoids food waste, allows for spontaneity and can make you happy with the delicious food you make! 

The idea is simple – group together similar scraps and leftovers in the fridge or freezer, as appropriate, and add to them till you have enough to make something delicious.  For instance …

Bread Scraps

I always keep bits of unwanted bread in the freezer, they can be used in so many ways. Here are some of them …

~  bread pudding
~  French toast pancakes,
~  stuffing,
~  breadcrumbs
~  bread sauce, and
~  7 interestingly different ideas for leftover bread


Cheese Scraps

I keep this collection in a box at the back of the fridge. Wrap the cheeses loosely in parchment or greaseproof paper and then store in plastic bags in the box. A scrap of cheese can be good added to egg dishes, mashed potatoes, pasta sauces and so on. Here are 64 ideas for leftover cheese I wrote about earlier! 


Pastry Scraps

Every time I make my real man a pie (just about weekly) I add the pastry trimmings to my collection so that I can make these delicious pastry recipes.

Raw Meat Trimmings

Steak in particular – when cooking professionally and cutting up a whole tenderloin or sirloin etc. any good quality trimmings and undersized pieces I used to make Peppered Steak Salad. 


Other meats - when there are enough scrappy bits I make stock.   Better quality trimmings, both raw and cooked can be added to soups, stir fries, risotto, pasta dishes etc.  Sometimes if the meat is all good quality but a little fatty I make burgers, they are very easy. Not necessarily beef burgers, however, here is a great recipe using pork trimmings ...

BBQ Pork Burgers

2 rashers bacon – I like smoked
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dark brown sugar
½ tsp salt
500g good quality pork scraps – minced or fairly finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
BBQ sauce

~   Coarsely chop the bacon and cook, preferably in its own fat, till crisp.  Drain on kitchen roll.

~   Mix together the next 3 ingredients.

~   Form the chopped meat into two or three burgers.  People sometime ask me what I add to burgers to keep them together e.g. egg or breadcrumbs but the answer is Nothing. Just munge it lovingly together and all should be well.

~   Rub the burgers with the sugar mix.

~   Brush with a little oil and grill or pan fry till crisp and golden and cooked through – it can be a bit risky under cooking pork.

~   Brush with BBQ sauce and pop back on the grill for a minute or two.

~   Serve on buns drizzled with more BBQ sauce and a great addition is a spoonful of coleslaw on each burger.

Seafood Scraps

Freeze in two separate collections – raw and cooked.

A gorgeous use of varied fish scraps, both raw and cooked, is my Seafood Chowder but there are lots of other good ways to use them; fish cakes, salads, risotto, pasta dishes, fish pâté and more – over 30 ideas in my Creative Ways to Use up Leftovers.

Leftover Nuts

This last one is not quite a collection! I use nuts in all sorts of dishes so buy bags of mixed roasted salted nuts and pick out specific nuts as needed. I have almonds and hazelnuts with yogurt and muesli for breakfast, add cashews to curries and salads and to this excellent popcorn recipe. Brazils I give to my real man as I don’t like them and pecans tend to accumulate as I have no specific plans for them.

When I have enough set aside I make something lovely such as the biscotti in my last post.

Several of these ideas are included in Creative Ways to Use up Leftovers together with loads and loads of other ideas for over 450 possible leftovers.

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