I have of late developed a real dislike of over-catering. There are those who take great pride in cooking twice as much as they need, as if it suggests some inherent generosity of spirit, an abundance of love and a desire to please. Well maybe, but it’s incredibly wasteful. We throw an appalling amount of food away in this country, and considering the soaring cost of the stuff, we should be being extremely careful about cooking that which we don’t need to eat.
That said, as and when it does happen (and it happens regularly enough, despite my strong feelings), I do enjoy leftovers. Mashed potato is arguably the King of such fridge-lurkers. Leftover roasties are an abomination, as are chips, while leftover baked spuds are good only for mash. Mash is boss, right?
There was much tittering the day Darina Allen told us about fadge, or potato bread, the carby part of a traditional Ulster fry, but you’ll be familiar enough with it, in that it’s not a million miles away from bubble and squeak, and is a distant, understated cousin of the more flamboyant fish cake. Ultimately it’s zjuzjed (or zhooshed, as I believe it is ‘supposed’ to be written) up mashed potato.
Take the cold, leftover mash and whip through it a few of tablespoons of plain flour, some grainy mustard, and chopped spring onion. If you want to hoy anything else in there then by all means do. Parmesan cheese, chopped chillies, breast milk, it’s all good. Tip the mix onto a lightly floured surface and press flat, before cutting into wedges. Melt a little butter in a frying pan and lightly fry the wedges of fadge until golden on both sides. Serve with sausages, and a smug sense of satisfaction that you have, for once, used up some leftovers.