Theo Michael's tinned food masterclass
There’s more to tinned food than just baked beans and soup. Whether you’re a student, or just want to make a budget-friendly family meal, Theo Michaels is here to give you the confidence to reach into the back of your store cupboard and whip up a dish using tinned food. He’ll be showing you how to make both chicken and mushroom lasagne, and his sweet donuts, using only canned ingredients... and that includes the chicken!
Chicken and mushroom lasagne bake
2 x 400g cans chunky chicken in white sauce
2 x 290g cans sliced mushrooms, drained
30g plain/all purpose flour
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp olive oil
9 sheets dried lasagne pasta
120g cups grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 160 fan/180/gas 4.
2. In a large bowl mix together the cans of chicken in white sauce and the drained mushrooms. Swirl around the chicken cans using 100ml of the milk, to get the last dregs of the sauce, and pour into the bowl. Mix everything together and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
3. To make the white sauce, put the butter and flour into a small pan over a low heat. Stir as the butter melts, to form a roux and cook for a minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining milk, a little at a time. Grate a little nutmeg into the pan, season with salt and pepper and return to the heat, whisking all the while. When it starts to bubble, remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese, then set aside.
4. Drizzle the olive oil over the base of a 30x20cm/12x18inch baking dish. Lay three lasagne sheets down, pour over half the chicken and mushroom mixture, then do another layer of lasagne and a layer of chicken. Place a third layer of lasagne sheets over the chicken mixture and top with the white sauce. Scatter over the remaining cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, before serving with a green salad, if you wish.
Sweet donut arancini
400g can good quality rice pudding/creamed rice
100g self raising flour, plus 130g for dusting
2 eggs, whisked
100g fresh breadcrumbs
500ml vegetable oil (enough for deep frying)
½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
3 tsp strawberry jam/jelly
2 tbsp icing sugar
1. When you open the can of rice pudding, most of the contents will have settled to the bottom. Discard the milky sauce on top, then tip the remaining rice pudding into a sieve/strainer.
2. Place three small bowls in a row: the first containing the flour for dusting, the second containing the whisked eggs and the third containing the breadcrumbs. Pour the oil for deep frying into a large heavy-based saucepan and begin to heat.
3. Tip the drained rice pudding into a mixing bowl. Gently fold in two-thirds of the remaining flour and all the cinnamon. Continue adding more flour until the mixture starts to hold together; it will be fairly loose - you’re not making a dough.
4. Dust your hands with flour, take a heaped dessertspoonful of the rice pudding mixture and drop it into the small bowl of flour; remove the spoonful of pudding mixture and gently form it into a ball by rolling between your palms, then poke your finger into the middle, about halfway in and fill with about ½ teaspoon jam/jelly, then pinch the tip together to close the hole. Drop the ball back into the bowl of flour and roll around, then into the egg wash, then finally into the breadcrumbs to coat.
5. Test the oil temperature by dropping in some breadcrumbs; they should sizzle immediately but take 30 seconds to turn golden. Carefully lower the rice ball in and deep fry for a few minutes until golden. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels while you finish the rest. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the top of the arancini. Serve warm.