Search our Archive


Get creative and clear out the cupboard

Get creative and clear out the cupboard

Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette

Welcome to all about food. Let’s get cracking… some eggs (sorry)!

Ask Gingergirl

Hello Gingergirl,

I often admire those who seem to whip up a dinner or supper from the remains of their fridge or cupboard. I have tried my best have the creative flair to do just so but I still find myself running to the shop at least twice a week. Can you give me any advice or guidance?

Many thanks,

Elizabeth, Dooradoyle

Hello Elizabeth,

I think the secret of creating a meal out of very little comes down to stocking up on what are considered store cupboard staples. Below I have listed some basics that I keep in my larder, fridge and freezer. Frittata is a very versatile, easy and tasty last minute dish that only takes moments to make. Be sure to get creative, think about, I could go on. For the recipe below I am using smoked salmon. I often freeze smoked salmon, especially if I have leftovers, or I pick up packs of smoked salmon trimmings; it defrosts in an hour or less. Alternative frittata fillings include goats cheese and red onion, roast peppers and tuna, asparagus and potato, bacon and cheese…

Smoked Salmon & Pea Frittata

(serves 4)

8 large free range or organic eggs

300g of smoked salmon cut into strips

500g of new potatoes

2 tablespoons of fresh dill

150g of frozen peas (petit pois are perfect)

Pepper and salt.

Cut the potatoes into thick slices and boil in salted water for ten minutes, drain and set aside to cool. Boil the peas for five minutes and set aside. In a large bowl beat the eggs until light and foamy, add the salmon, peas, dill, potatoes and season well.

In a large, non stick frying pan heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, pour in the egg mixture and cook on a low heat for fifteen minutes or until the egg starts to set. Turn your grill on to medium and place the pan under the grill for a couple of minutes until lightly brown. Slide the fritatta onto a large plate and leave to cool and set for five minutes. Serve with a green salad and sour dough bread.

And finally

Store cupboard staples

Below is merely a guide and is what I always make sure to have in stock. Once the key ingredients are in all you need to do is shop for fresh produce; for me it depends on the season and what catches my eye in the butchers or fishmongers. I also grow herbs in the garden with the more woody herbs (rosemary, thyme and bay) available for most of the year. In the warmer weather the kitchen window fills with pots of basil, dill and sage.

Cupboard: spices, dried herbs, olive oil, groundnut oil, chick peas/Cannellini beans, tins of tomatoes, rice, pasta, mustard, passata, honey, flour, vinegars, dried fruits, stock cubes and a little stash of dark chocolate.

Veg Basket: onions, potatoes, garlic, chillies and peppers.

Fridge: butter, free range or organic eggs, milk, natural yoghurt, olives, semi-dried tomatoes, mayonnaise,

Freezer: frozen peas, breadcrumbs, puff and short-crust pastry, seafood and meat – usually bought when my butcher has a special offer and some frozen berries.

Contact Gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutneys made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

You can follow gingergirl’s on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.