When leftovers aren’t leftovers

I think we have to accept that Summer is over and Autumn, with all its gilded colours is with us. I actually love all the different seasons and never regret the passing on as we do different things in them and I look forward to the changes.  One of the things I like is that in Autumn and Winter we have friends for Sunday lunch more often.  In the Spring, there is lots of gardening and the Summer brings days out so we tend to eat in the evening.  Thus, I started thinking of whether people cooking for one are missing out, thinking it wasn’t worth the effort – and what to do with the leftovers which there would inevitably be? Obviously, you are worth it – so buy the meat of your choice from a friendly butcher who will cut it to the size you want/need – and for chicken, you could roast a poussin (a small chicken). Enjoy the making – you may even now have a Sunday lunch when you know what you can do with the leftovers!

Leftover Patties

  • 3 -4 leftover roast potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 100g leftover Sunday lunch vegetables (carrots, swede, broccoli, cabbage etc), roughly chopped
  • 75g leftover roast meat, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish (or mustard)
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • Fried or poached eggs, to serve

In a large bowl slightly mash the potatoes with a fork and add the vegetables. Stir in the roast meat, horseradish (or mustard), rosemary and season. Divide the mixture into 4 and mold into cake-like shapes. Chill for 5-10 minutes. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat with the oil. Toss the cakes into the flour, shaking off any excess and fry for about 5 minutes on each side until golden. Serve hot with a fried or poached egg and a little brown sauce.

Leftover Chicken Wraps

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeds removed, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 125g leftover roast chicken
  • 2 wraps (find them in packets in the bread section)
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 25g/1oz sour cream or creme fraiche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and stir fry the spring onions and pepper for 1 minute, until just softening. Add the ground cumin and smoked paprika, season with salt and pepper and stir fry for another minute. Stir in the chicken, then cook for 3–4 minutes, until the chicken is coated and heated through. Place a wrap on each plate, top with the chicken and vegetables, scatter the coriander over the top and finish with a squeeze of lime. Dollop the soured cream on top and roll up before eating.

Apple Betty (using stale bread and windfall apples)

  • 60g leftover bread for breadcrumbs
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 2-3 apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 40g light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Spread the breadcrumbs onto a large shallow baking tray and toast for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Tip into a bowl, add the melted butter and stir well to coat. In a separate bowl, mix the apple slices with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and half the toasted breadcrumbs. Tip into a well-buttered 1 litre ovenproof dish and then scatter with the rest of the toasted breadcrumbs. Grate over a little more nutmeg, cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the apple is tender. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp. Serve hot with thick cream.


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