Soggy seconds or….
November 22, 2011 in Food and cookery
Luscious left-overs? I’m guessing that most of you out there probably think of left-overs as anything but luscious, especially the guys, but as a recent convert to the latter camp I really want to encourage you to shift your thinking about this often contentious subject.
My darling Himself recently bought me the River Cottage Everyday series and I have been inspired like never before to KISS – that’s “keep it straight and simple” for those of you are scratching your heads right now. One of the things I love most about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall is his approach to everyday cooking, in his own words “call me old fashioned but I believe that good food should be at the heart of every kitchen and the kitchen should be at the heart of every home”. In his River Cottage Everyday book he goes to great lengths to show that thinking ahead when preparing a meal means that there will automatically be something left over which can be turned into a tasty, nutritious and budget-friendly lunch. Now who doesn’t want that?
So in the true spirit of adventure I opened my fridge at lunch time and surveyed the leftovers from the previous night’s supper. There were two and a half baked potatoes, half a grilled sirloin steak, a small jug of chimichurri sauce, a chicken kebab and about three generous spoonfuls of a courgette and pea salad. Oh and a boiled cob of sweetcorn. What would you do with this bounty? Here’s what I did…
Boiled up some quinoa and made a salad for Himself’s lunch by drizzling over some chimichurri sauce, tossing in some sweetcorn cut from the cob, and topping with the left over steak, thinly sliced. Of course I cooked more quinoa than necessary and froze it in serving-size portions – Noddy badge for me.
The rest of the sweetcorn and the chicken was chopped up and added, with some béchamel sauce from the freezer, to some cooked macaroni, topped with a grating of cheese, grilled and served to the muppets for supper.
The star of the show, I must say, was the baked potatoe and salad. Simply heated up and using the potatoe to mop up all the lovely juices from the salad proved to be the perfect lunch for me. The salad was something new I had tried, and trust me, it’s going into my little black book (the cooking one of course *wink*). It was lovely as a BBQ side dish the first time around and then went on to compliment a baked spud perfectly. Here is my variation of the recipe, taken from Food & Home Entertaining’s October 2011 edition.
GARLIC AND MINT COURGETTES WITH LEMON BUTTER
8 courgettes, cut lengthways into halves or quarters depending on how fat they are
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (it doesn’t have to be too fine)
2 tbsp butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cooked peas
Olive oil, salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Toss baby marrows with the garlic, mint and a little olive oil. Season.
- Transfer the courgette mixture to an oven proof dish and roast until just tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. You still want a bit of “bite” to them.
- Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the lemon juice.
- Mix the peas and courgettes together and drizzle over the lemon butter.
Gorgeous served slightly warm but still delicious at room temperature.
The following additions would all compliment the flavours and textures of the dish:
- A handful of lightly steamed asparagus spears added at the end
- A sprinkling of crumbled feta or shavings of parmesan cheese
This salad is lovely served with grilled meat, fish or chicken. It can be used in a variety of ways the next day after gentle reheating – spoon over a baked potatoe, toss into some cooked pasta shapes for a pasta salad or simply add to a slice of toast.
What is your favourite “leftover” meal?
A little forward thinking and a generous dash of imagination can ensure that you make the most of what has been left from yesterday’s meal and I really want to encourage you to think about the humble “leftover” a little more differently. After all, waste not want not (a very old fashioned notion in this day and age but one our grandparents lived by, and very well at that).
I look forward to hearing about your leftovers adventures. Keep creating and until next time, fare well.