I recently came across a recipe book which promises recipes for using up leftovers, but the author’s idea of what constitutes a ‘leftover’ differs somewhat from mine. For example…10 fish fingers. TEN? Who has ten fish fingers left over? Ten is a packet, ten means a planned meal. Similarly, in recipe for fishcakes you’ll need 350g of smoked haddock! That’s an amount you buy deliberately, not have left over!
I love real leftovers and never throw away them away at the end of a meal, nor do I discard those bits and pieces that remain after I’ve taken as much as I need for a recipe. If I can’t use them soon then my freezer is a receptacle for all manner of odds and ends that can be used later. I remember my mother so often saying, ‘no point keeping that bit’ and in the bin it would go. Not in my kitchen!
Salmon pate: I had friends to lunch and cooked a side of salmon which left me afterwards with enough for a meal for two and another small additional piece of around 70g. That’s a leftover! Mash the salmon, add a small amount of chopped red pepper and stir in a glug of sweet chilli sauce and a couple of teaspoons of yogurt. Hey presto! A tasty topping for a few crackers.
Tortilla crisps: I’d cut circles from tortilla wraps to use as a topping for pies (a great diet-friendly pastry substitute). The leftover bits were cut into small triangles, sprayed with one-cal oil spray and seasoned with onion salt, black pepper and paprika. Baked for a few minutes in a warm oven they are ideal to eat with hummus or pate.
Sage and onion scones: What to do with half a dish of leftover sage and onion stuffing? This is not an uncommon leftover after a roast dinner and I’ve used it before in a chicken pie – sometimes a pastry one, other times potato-topped, but this time there was no chicken left so I crumbled up the stuffing and used it to flavour a plain scone mixture. Sufficient for six scones, it was a definite success. They were delicious when accompanied by a piece of mature cheddar.
Roast dinner pasties: It’s not only stuffing that’s leftover from a roast dinner. I’m no pastry maker; I don’t even bother trying any more. There’s always a block of ready made pastry in the freezer for use on just such an occasion as this. I always cut it into four before freezing so that, if necessary, I can take out just a piece at a time. There’s no reason why you can’t add meat leftovers too but I like vegi pasties. Season (herby, spicy, whatever you like), damp the edges, fold and bake. Very tasty!
Enchiladas: A great way to make use of a small amount of meat/veg. Once a pack is opened, wraps don’t last long . Fill with leftover roasted veg, mix in some spices and and a spoon of passata/salsa/chutney/sauce (use whatever you have to hand) and sprinkle with grated cheese. Into the oven for a few minutes for a great lunch.
Extra fruity fruitcake: A third of a jar of mincemeat (leftover from an apple and mincemeat crumble – yummy) sat in the fridge so I added it to my next apple fruitcake instead of he usual mixed fruit and sultanas. It worked well and tasted nicely juicy.
Baked potato filling: use the remains of a chicken curry or similar which isn’t enough for the main component of a meal but ample to fill a couple of baking potatoes. Mix in a dollop of passata (there’s always a carton on the go in my fridge) to stretch it a bit if need be.
Throw-it-all-in-frittata: mine often contains the trimmed ends from asparagus, a few chopped or broccoli stalks (both are always saved and popped in the freezer) and perhaps a few cold potatoes. I might add some mushrooms that need using up, an onion, a bit of bacon. In fact, anything savory that’s hanging around. Mix in three beaten eggs, season and top with grated cheese. Baked until firm, it’s ample for two people. I usually serve it with grilled tomatoes.
Slimming World Quiche: Similar to a frittata but with added quark or cottage cheese.
And last but definitely not least – Soup Click here if you want some ideas SOUP!