If you are working from home or self isolating then explore our collection of hints, tips and recipes which may make life a little less arduous.
Make the best use of your loaf
Bread makes a great pudding – think Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding, other preserves are available!
Sweet and rich yeasted goods can also be used for puddings, think hot cross buns, croissants, brioche, Chelsea buns.
Pitta bread can be cut into squares, drizzled with oil and used in salads.
Pitta bread can also be used as a pizza base, cover with chopped tomatoes, few herbs and cover with Mozzarella cheese slices, or any other cheese you have. Place in the Roasting Oven to heat through and melt the cheese.
Not-so-fresh loaves can be resurrected by briefly holding under running water then placed in the AGA Roasting Oven to crispen up
No bread flour on the shelves, then soda bread can be easily made using plain flour and raising agent, add seeds and pinhead oatmeal or rolled oats for added texture.
Recipes: Irish Soda Bread Mozzarella Stuffed Tear and Share Bread Top Plait AGA Loaf
Store cupboard canned beans and pulses can be combined with onions, garlic and chilli to make a meat-free chilli.
Mix drained canned beans or pulses with roasted vegetables to serve with griddled Halloumi, or feta. Beans and pulses are good for adding protein.
The Simmering Oven of the AGA is perfect for the slow cooking of dried beans. As appropriate soak overnight, some need a 10 minute boil too before placing in the Simmering Oven. The beans are not drained before simmering.
Avoid keeping rice for more than a day and always refrigerate, use it up by stir frying with a few prawns, spring onion, chilli, ginger and pak choi or chard.
Make friends with your freezer
Lemons can be frozen whole but they are mushy when thawed, (OK for juice though, or the whole lemon can be grated from frozen) however there are other ways:
Grate the zest and either freeze separately or place in an ice tray with lemon juice.
Open freeze lemon slices then place in a freezer bag – use in drinks either cold or hot, as in lemon and honey.
Cut bread into slices and freeze 2-3 together so you do not have to thaw a whole loaf – the AGA easily toasts bread from frozen.
Stale bread is ideal for making into breadcrumbs – use for au gratin dishes, in meatballs, stuffing mixture for mushrooms, courgettes. Freeze the breadcrumbs.
Pitta and various flatbreads can be frozen.
Make cheese and chutney sandwiches and freeze. Cook from frozen on Bake-O-Glide on the Simmering Plate.
Keep nuts in the freezer to avoid them going stale and rancid – they can be used straight from the freezer.
Freeze left-overs (cool down quickly, then freeze) so they can be enjoyed at a later date.
Left over vegetables
Left-over roasted vegetables? Then use up in a frittata or add finely chopped chilli and feta cheese to make a tasty filling for samosas.
Left over baked potatoes? Cut in half and scoop out the centres, mix with grated cheese and mustard, add some finely chopped ham or flaked canned tuna or chopped cooked spinach if you like, pile back into the shells, cover with a little grated cheese and freeze. Cook from frozen in the Roasting Oven.
‘Bottom of the ‘fridge’ soup is ideal for using up vegetables that may have passed their best, prepare and chop, place in an AGA Stainless Steel Saucepan, add seasoning, cover with water, bring to the boil then place in the Simmering Oven for about an hour until the vegetables are tender then whizz in a food processor (or squash with a potato masher), check for seasoning and serve. If you have some rind of Parmesan cheese throw this in for flavour before simmering and remove before you purée.
Mushrooms can be very successfully dried in the AGA Warming or Simmering Oven. Dry on a rack, sliced for larger or whole for shitake and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Recipes: Tomato & Butternut Squash Soup Tomato & Butternut Squash Soup Stuffed Peppers with Couscous Baked Aubergines
For those with a sweet tooth
Making meringues or meringue roulade then use the egg yolks to make a rich omelette, or bind a stuffing mix, enrich shortcrust pastry, glaze bread or add to a quiche mixture.
Found some stale cake then don’t throw it away, crumble it up and mix with a little liqueur and sugar and use as a stuffing for canned peaches, sprinkle with flaked almonds and cook in the Baking Oven for about 20 minutes.
Almond paste left over from cake icing can be grated and used in crumbles, or in the base of a pastry flan or rolled into small balls and placed in biscuit dough for a surprise almond centre. Also good in stoned fresh dates as a replacement for the stone.
Soft bananas in the fruit bowl then mash to make a Banana Bread or Banana and Chocolate Cake. If you haven’t the time to make a cake peel the bananas and freeze until hard then add to cold double cream in a blender, a quick whizz and you have ready-to-eat banana ice cream.
Recipes: Store Cupboard Loaf Cake Cherry Swirl Meringue Mary Berry's Victoria Sandwich