Jim Tynan - From the Store Cupboard

The main idea behind a store cupboard is; to provide meals at very short notice without shopping and, equally important, to leave you free to make Hungarian goulash without wondering have you any paprika.

The main idea behind a store cupboard is; to provide meals at very short notice without shopping and, equally important, to leave you free to make Hungarian goulash without wondering have you any paprika.

I am very good at stocking up on dry goods along with tinned goods and accompaniments. But very often, maybe every day I wonder what have I got in store for dinner, I must go to the shop. So I have decided, for one week I am going to cook dinner from my store cupboard, only going to the shop for milk, the newspaper and maybe a bar of dark chocolate. My store cupboard contains a lot of flavour carriers like pasta, rice, tinned chickpeas, tinned tuna fish and salmon and potatoes. Straight away I can see I have the makings of some great fishcakes. My sideboard carries bottles of olive oil, vinegar, various jars of mustard along with dried herbs and spices. If I was allowed a few more things to add to my stores it would be, lemons, parmesan cheese, fresh rocket, anchovies, and freerange eggs and yes dark chocolate.

So here are some recepies using only the contents of my store cupboard.

Dressed Tuna Fish

150ml Olive oil

2tbsp French or grain mustard

4tbsp Wine vinegar

2tbsp Chopped parsley

2tbsp Chopped chives

2tbsp Chopped chervil or tarragon

2 Gerkins finely chopped

4tbsp Cream

1 Small cucumber, sliced

1 Large tin of tuna

A couple of handfuls of mixed leaves

Lay the mixed leaves on a large serving plate. Place the tuna in the centre of the plate. Scatter over the cucumber. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processer and give a good whizz.Then cover the tuna with the dressing. This makes a very nice lunch, served with some good bread.

Pasta With Whole Roasted Garlic And Goats Cheese

1 Large head of garlic

50ml Olive oil

6oz Dried pasta of your choice

6oz Crumbly goats cheese

6 Sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper

Separate and peel the cloves of garlic. Lay them on a roasting tin and drizzle over the olive oil. Place in a hot oven170o for about 15 min. Remove them from the oven and strip the thyme leaves from the sprigs and add to the roasted garlic. At this stage you can have the pasta cooked. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, toss in the garlic and thyme. Then crumb in the goats cheese ,if you wish you can add in some parmesan cheese.

Roasted Spiced Potatoes With Feta Cheese

1kilo Baby potatoes

1tsp Ground cumin

1tsp Ground chili

1tsp Ground ginger

1lb Cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

4oz Feta cheese

Place the washed potatoes in a casserole dish or roasting tray. Sprinkle over all the spices and season with salt and pepper. Pour over a good drizzle of olive oil, then lay the tomatoes on top of the potatoes. Place the tray in a hot oven about 170o for 30 minutes till the potatoes are cooked. Remove from the oven and transfer into a large serving bowl. Crumb the feta cheese over the potatoes, if you have some fresh coriander you can chop it and sprinkle it over.

This also makes a very nice potato salad served cold.