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.
As the snow continues to tumble outside – and indeed on this blog – there are few dishes more warming than a great big bowl of goulash. This one is not made with bear, but with leftover beef stew. Continue reading
Hello! First of all my apologies for going AWOL for rather longer than promised. Finishing the book somewhat took it out of me, and what with all the other jazz going on with supper clubs and various articles I neglected the blog. But I’m back. *Doffs cap*. Continue reading
We’re a very wasteful country. Each year we amass something like 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink waste. Every day we throw away 1.3 million unopened yoghurt pots, 440,000 ready meals, 5,500 whole chickens, and 4.4 million apples. Every day! Most of the food we sling is edible, too. Spooked by stringent ‘best before’ – not ‘eat before’, mind – dates and salmonella scaremongering, we chuck food that, quite simply, doesn’t need chucking. Continue reading
I’m starting to wonder if leftover chicken recipes are all I have up my sleeve. The blog is inundated with them. This is largely down to the fact that Sunday night roast chicken is a fortnightly treat, thus Monday morning brings with it the promise of leftover goodies. This dish was inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe in the latest Sainsbury’s magazine. Cheers Nige.
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
100g brown basmati rice, soaked in cold water
Asparagus, roughly chopped
A handful of cooked prawns
Parsley and mint
Half a lemon
Olive oil, salt, pepper
– Sweat the shallot and celery in olive oil until softened. Drain and rinse the rice under cold running water for a minute or so, before adding to the pan with salt and pepper. Add enough stock to cover by a couple of centimetres, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes.
– Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the asparagus. Simmer for 2 minutes, drain and run under a cold tap for a minute.
– When the rice is cooked add the chicken, asparagus, and prawns, along with some chopped parsley and mint, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Warm through and serve.
Chicken and avocado is a classic and criminally boring combination. In a sandwich, with enough mayonnaise and lemon juice, it is just about acceptable when other options are wanting. But other than that it’s a marriage of a not particularly flavoursome fruit with yesterday’s chicken. Both ingredients need something more than bread to make them really sing, and that’s just what this recipe does.
1/2 tsp wasabi powder
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Squeeze of lime
A few drops of sesame oil
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 chilli, sliced
Leftover roast chicken
– Mix together the wasabi powder, mirin, rice vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, groundnut oil and soy sauce, along with a pinch of salt. Add the chopped chilli.
– Pick apart the leftover chicken and toss through salad leaves. Add scoops of avocado and dress. Serve immediately. Quick lunch eh?
As lunchtime recipes go this is up there in the ‘aggressively speedy’ category. In fact it was so quick that it took me by surprise, beating me to the punch before I’d got my act together to make a salad dressing. Morcilla is the Spanish variant of black pudding, and this was kindly given to me by Rachel McCormack. Ta Rachel.
Leftover mashed potato
A few thick slices of morcilla or black pudding
Salt, pepper, oil
– Pat the mashed potato into a cake and fry in a little oil until crisp and golden on one side. Turn and add the slices of morcilla.
– Fry the morcilla for 2 minutes on each side and remove, along with the potato cake, to a warm plate.
– Lower the heat and fry the egg for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with the sausage and spudcake, along with a few salad leaves and a piquant dressing.
What’s your favourite way to serve black pudding?