Apt as it may be but many being house bound due to inclement weather and the need to produce warming wholesome meals – time to turn to the store cupboard. Whether you are a cook by numbers person or have a flair for creation, store cupboard ingredients are often inspiring with a little imagination. Looking at the offerings in the deep freeze, fridge and cupboard can inspire. The obvious culprits of course are Pasta, Rice, Cous Cous, and Polenta. With Pestos, Pulses, Tinned Tomatoes, Coconut Milk, Passata, Herbs and Spices. The run of the mill selection of vegetables also often need that little bit extra. How about tossing Crispy Roast Potatoes in Marmite or Vegemite for a little something different. Or before Roasting, Boil drain add the Oil of Fat and then dust with Semolina for a little extra crunch or just toss in Flour.

Only the other day I had what I would describe as a deconstructed Curried Cottage Pie. The usual minced beef cooked with added curry spices and then spinach and sliced ready cooked potatoes added and served.

Or why not a thin fillet of smoked haddock sandwiched with a thin loin of cod, the filling some Pesto and all wrapped in Filo Pastry and baked and served with Hollandaise Sauce.

Parmegano of Aubergine combines a chunky Tomato Sauce layered with Grilled Aubergine and Cheese and then baked. Why not do the same with blanched Cauliflower and Broccoli. Or make a White Sauce, add cheese (blue cheese is nice) and bake. How about Baked Leeks with Cheese Sauce, you could add crispy Bacon too.

The inspiration the other night for supper came from staring at a packet of Sausages defrosted from the deep freeze. Of course, Bangers and Mash, or Chips or even Toad in the Hole came to mind. Store cupboard to the front and here we go.

Sausage Chilli

Sausages – cooked and sliced in chunks (I had 10 Sausages)

3 Diced Onions – sweated till tender (I used the microwave)

3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped

Packet Chilli Con Carne Mix (I used 2)

2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes

A glug of Tomato Ketchup

1 Can Mixed Beans in Chilli Sauce

Seasoning

Put all the prepared ingredients together in a pot for the oven or on the stove. You may find you will have to add some stock or liquid to thin it a little.

Cook gently for an hour if in the oven or 30 – 45 mins on the stove (make sure not too high heat as it could stick)

This would be best made in advance and then reheated for use.

Serve with Rice – Pasta or Potatoes of your choice.