Posts Tagged: leftovers

Aug 10

Lucky leftovers


Sharing a flat has its fair share of ups and downs – after all, none of us are perfect. One thing I continually enjoy though is the ongoing surprises you find hiding in the fridge that can turn a bowl of leftover mash into a meal of the highest order.

Actually – the mash was my doing, I always make far too much than is necessary as it’s a brilliant all-rounder you can turn into any number of things – topping off shepherd’s or cottage pie, mixed into fishcakes, fried with corned beef and an egg to serve as hash or just shaped into cakes, dipped in beaten egg and flour and fried till crisp. An ideal breakfast or a perfectly wonderful weeknight supper served with a couple of rashers of crisp, smokey bacon and a wobbly poached egg.

Today’s lucky finds were: the end of a chunk of gruyere, a little leftover broccoli, an inch of salami and the potato – mixed together, shaped into cakes and fried they made a lunch I’d be pleased to find on any pub menu, served with a splodge of brown sauce.

Jan 10

Last of the leftovers


Happy new year to you all! By now I imagine you have just about managed to clear out the fridges, polish off the last of the port and pry the remaining relatives off the sofa, away from the television and out of the door.

I always find there are a few little bits that hang around though – chocolates, nuts and quite often a few too many mince pies (if that’s even possible, I’ve been known to make a batch in the middle of summer!).

This recipe is a delicious and enjoyable way to use up the last of the pies and a good excuse to make some more if you’ve run out. A chef’s suggestion – get one of the kids to do the stirring, as there’s quite a lot of it.

Click here to read the recipe for Mince pie and Armagnac ice cream

Apr 09

A quick bite – the open sandwich


Some of the best meals I’ve ever eaten were born out of necessity. Sometimes the most perfect harmony is struck by pure coincidence – the chance leftovers of a number of different meals thrown together with some of the things we always have in the fridge.

For some reason I always have cucumbers and spring onions – probably because they are both quite versatile. Cucumbers are part of one of my weird food loves – Ryvita with cucumber, cottage cheese and Marmite. It’s the sort of thing that makes some people balk but draws a knowing nod from others. You might think itis a bizarre combination but there’s method in my madness – a luscious combination of crunch, cool, salty and creamy. But you’d have to try it to believe me.

The spring onions sit atop many a dish I make – and are particularly good in noodle soups, where the green parts soften and wilt slightly. They add a different type of crunch to salads that an ordinary onion might too. A more ‘green’ flavour.

So – with a little leftover duck and some fancy Poilâne bread (the classic French sourdough loaf) they ended up as quite the luxurious, stylish lunch. You could cook a duck leg off for this recipe – slow roast it in an oven for 2 hours at 130°C before allowing to cool. Alternatively, use duck breast, pan frying for 10-12 minutes.

Open sandwich of duck with cucumber and spring onion

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 duck leg, meat shredded
  • 2 spring onions
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 pieces good bread about 1 cm thick ( Poilâne is ideal, available in Waitrose)
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • ½ lime
  • 1 tbs Hoisin sauce, optional


Heat a griddle pan on a high flame until hot. Griddle the bread for a minute or so on each side until it has dark lines on it from the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and throw in the shredded duck to warm through.

Finely slice the spring onion on the diagonal. Do the same to the cucumber but then cut each slice into four slivers.

Spread the mayo on to the bread, then top with some of the spring onions and cucumber. Spread the duck on top, then add more of the salad. Squeeze over the lime, season and drizzle over Hoisin sauce if wanted, and serve.

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