Happy Old Year's Night & New Year!

Happy Old Years Night!

Even as I type Old Years Night is gearing up in Trellis Bay; my old home.  There will be so many boats parked in the bay it would almost be possible to walk ashore and music will pulsing out across the water.  

There is a helluva party about to start including fire dancers, fire balls, a burning metal man, mocko jumbies and fireworks.  I won’t be there of, course, but hope everyone has a truly wonderful time.

New Year in the Caribbean

I have been experiencing a very high rate of synchronicity recently. For instance a couple of nights ago I wondered if I should throw myself open, so to speak, to questions about leftovers from my readers.  No sooner had I done a strokey chin ponder than I received not one but two queries pertaining to leftovers.   Firstly via Twitter about soufflés and then from a friend on Facebook who said she had too many Brussels sprouts and swedes and what should she do with them.  

Dealing with the second question first ...

Leftover Brussels Sprouts

~   Shred raw Brussels sprouts and add to coleslaw  ~   Make a specifically Brussels sprout salad; shred the sprouts and toss with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, red onion and dress with a robust vinaigrette. 
~   Shred raw sprouts and stir fry with bacon and garlic to serve with pork.
~   Add cooked sprouts to Bubble ‘n’ Squeak of course.
~   Halve or quarter cooked sprouts and reheat in butter together with toasted walnuts (or whatever) or crispy bacon or crunchy freshly fried breadcrumbs, etc.
~   Coarsely chop cooked sprouts and heat through in butter and cream with a handful of parmesan – Brussels Sprout Alfredo!  

leftover brussel sprouts

Leftover Swede

I have to admit I don’t like swede or turnip so am not as inspired as I might otherwise be.  Having said that I imagine that if you do like swede the following might be good ways to use it up …

~   Cook raw swede along with potatoes till br />tender, and mash together with butter and black pepper.  Serve as a side dish or as a topping for a cottage pie or similar.  Better still serve it with your haggis on Burns’ Night (25th Jan if you can keep your swedes till then) to make a swede version of Neeps ‘n’ Tatties.
~   Cut swede, carrots and potatoes into similar sized chunks, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and a small drizzle of runny honey.  Roast in a medium hot oven till tender, crispy and golden.  Red onion would be a good addition.
~   Add cooked swede to Bubble ‘n’ Squeak.
~   Smash cooked swede into a chunky mash, season, form into cakes and shallow fry till crisp.  Serve with bacon and eggs.

leftover rutabaga
NOTE – swede is known as rutabaga across the pond so I checked if they had any ideas and indeed they had! I have just read that:

Rutabaga should be ...

"Soaked(ed) for 72 hours in 2 gallons of hydrochloric acid"! 

Americans eh? ~ they always have to go the extra mile.  Even bearing in mind that an American gallon is smaller than ours please don't try this idea.

Now to the first query … 

Leftover Soufflé  

A children's writer called Enid Richemont tweeted me saying ...

Try doing something with left over cheese soufflé - we always end up with some- too good to chuck.” 

This is a tricky one as, of course, soufflé is supposed to be serve as soon as it leaves the oven.  However …

I have often made a delicious Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé (the recipe is towards the end of the post), which is designed for reheating so I have a couple of suggestions …

1.  Try reheating leftover soufflé by putting in a shallow buttered dish, pouring over a little cream, sprinkling with parmesan (particularly if it’s a cheese omelette!) and reheating at 400ºF/200ºC/180C fan/gas 6  for 15-20 minutes.  I am sure the soufflé won’t be as airily stunning as at first serving but it should still be tasty and entirely edible!

2.  If the soufflé has sunken and solidified I would also be tempted to slice it and fry in butter!

Ask me a Question about Leftovers ... 

If you have any leftover food you don’t know what to do with.  Follow me on Twitter @SuddenLunch and tweet me or join my Facebook group, Sudden Lunch -  – and ask the group. 

Happy New Year!

Sudden Christmas Leftovers!

Well, that’s over!  Phew – I’m stuffed!

My real man, whilst not an adventurous eater, is certainly an enthusiastic one and has made sure that we are stocked to the eaves with food.  This means there are leftovers but, luckily, I know what to do with them – here, with the exception of turkey!!!, are some ideas ….


~   Spread into turkey sandwiches.

~   Use to sauce pasta together with shreds of turkey and sprinkle with crisply fried stuffing crumbs.

~   Use to enrich soup.

~   Add a spoonful to mushrooms on toast.

~   Heat and serve as a sophisticated “dipping gravy” for chunks of bread.


~   Form into patties and fry till crisp – served topped with poached eggs!
~   Crumble and fry till crisp then sprinkle onto turkey soup.
~   Add to bubbly ‘n’ squeaky type stuff.
~   Add to turkey sarnies, of course.
~   Use as a filling in vegetables – eg. baked squash, onions, etc.


~   Mix into softened ice cream together with a little (and I do mean a little otherwise the ice cream will be too soft) brandy and refreeze.  Actually you can use crushed mince pies with this, the pastry adds texture.
~   Add to apples and make a Christmas Crumble.
~   Spread onto pastry, roll up Swiss roll fashion, slice and bake for Mincemeat Palmiers,

Cranberry Sauce

~   Swirl through cake, pancake or muffin batter.
~   Serve in a bacon and/or turkey and Brie sandwich.
~   Stir into yogurt.
~   Warm with a little orange zest and juice for a great pancake or ice cream syrup.
~   Add to fruit pies and crumbles.

Christmas Pud

~   Fry slices in butter and serve with clotted cream (or cream or ice cream).
~   Crumble and heat with some or all of the following: brandy/rum, butter, orange juice, ginger syrup, brown sugar etc. for a delicious ice cream sauce.  OR
~   Make easy no-churn Christmas Pudding Ice Cream with the above sauce.

  Christmas Pud Muffins ...

1 tbsp brandy
100g leftover pud
125g fl
1 tsp BP
50g light brown sugar
40g softened butter

~   Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC/160°C fan/gas 4.
~   Mix all the ingredient to a lumpy batter.
~   Divide between 8 muffin cups.
~   Bake for 10-15 minutes till ready.

Brandy Butter

~   Spread on hot toast, crumpets etc.


~   Toss in seasoned oil and roast till crunchy.  Cool completely, store airtightly and serve with salads and as nibble etc.

Marzipan Leftovers & Not Very Cornish Pasties

~  Menu  ~

Duck Confit & Butternut Squash Pasties
Glass of Secret Red
Marzipan scraps

The church in our village has only one bell so every Sunday it rings a very fast toll – a “bring out your dead and make it snappy” kind of noise!  It woke us this morning which was useful; lots to do.  In fact I’ve had lots to do for a while so haven’t blogged much but don’t worry I have been eating.

~   Yesterday I made roasted butternut squash and chorizo but cooked too much squash. 
~   Two days ago I made a chicken and leek pie and had some leftover puff pastry scraps – see here on how to store leftover puff pastry and other delicious ideas for pastry scraps.
~   Last week I confitted myself some duck legs and ate all but the last one, I don’t know about you but I never eat the last one first!

So this is what I came up with next ….
pasties made from duck and squash leftovers

Two duck and butternut squash turnovers plus a rough pasty like thing, the shapes were dictated by the pastry scraps.  Fabulous lunch even if I say so myself.

Having marzipanned my cake (spell check is of the opinion that “marzipanned” isn’t a word but surely it is!) I ate a few of the scraps and trimmings. I also made ...

Chewy Marzipan Cookies

This recipe is not for leftovers but I thought I’d mention it just in case, like me, you find a pack of marzipan you hadn’t realised you had bought! Caster sugar works well too. 

2 egg whites 
70g-90g icings sugar - sifted 
pinch salt 
500g marzipan – finely chopped or grated 
a little more icing sugar 

~ Preheat oven to 160ºC/325°F/140ºC fan/gas 3
~ Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof or baking parchment and grease lightly.
~ Whisk the egg whites till pretty damn frothy but not so that you have a meringue situation.
~ Slowly whisk in the sugar, salt and marzipan speed up and whisk to a soft sticky dough which is as smooth as poss. You may need to add more sugar or, if too firm, perhaps a splash of rum; the texture of bought in marzipans seems to vary quite a lot.
~ Scoop into small balls, roll in icing sugar to coat and place well spaced (1½” or so apart) on the baking trays, they will spread during cooking.
~ Bake for 20-25 minutes till golden round the edge and cracking on the top.

marzipan cookie ice cream sandwich
Here, however, are some ideas for genuine marzipan scraps, trimmings and leftovers.

~ Eat them.
~ Roll into little balls and then in cinnamon sugar or cocoa and sugar and then eat them.
~ Roll into little balls, dip in melted chocolate and set aside to harden.
~ Bake or toast for a few minutes till crisp, crumble and sprinkle over ice cream, trifle, etc.
~ Add coarsely chopped marzipan to cakes, cookies, pancakes, muffins etc.
~ Sprinkle a layer of chopped marzipan over a pastry base then top with fruit (peaches or cherries are great, apples or pears are good too) and bake for a delicious frangipane tart thingy.
~ Make marzipan fruits, animals, stars or whatever to decorate cakes and desserts.

2 unrelated points …

1.      About a week ago I saw daffodils fully in flower beside the road.  Poor things.
2.      I also spotted a lovely typo the other day:

Dark Chocolate Mousse marbled with Cream & Brandy

Today is my real man’s 50th birthday and I didn’t make him a cake!  No wait – I had my reasons.  

The thing is for many years our friend Carol has been in charge of providing him with cake and his birthday is no exception.  As I fully expected she did make him a cake but, here’s the rub, it has a note attached saying 

"Needs a few days maturing (like you)” 

so it couldn’t actually be eaten on The Day.


I didn’t panic; I just calmly made his favourite chocolate mousse.  This is a recipe I have been using pretty well since time began and it has always been popular with punters and friends alike. What took it to new heights, however, in the selling department was my adding a description to the menu …


... the reason I said "inexplicable" is because I have no idea why they happen.  Every time I make this mousse I wonder if they'll be there and they always are!

Dark Chocolate Mouse marbled with Cream & Brandy (as it happens) ~ with inexplicable etc. etc. etc.

This makes quite a lot – enough for 6-8 I would have thought.

Handy hint – to break chocolate I usually throw it onto the floor, still wrapped of course.

285g dark chocolate – broken
85g butter
5 egg whites
5 egg yolks (convenient!)
50g caster sugar – divided into 2 x 25g
480ml double cream
tot of brandy, rum or whatever

~   Melt the chocolate together with the butter in accordance with the instructions here (where there are also lots of delicious chocolate recipes!)
~   Whisk together the egg whites and 25g of caster sugar till stiff.
~   In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar till creamy.
~   In yet another bowl whisk the cream and brandy together till thick.
~   Fold together the yolks and whites then fold in the chocolate.  Folding is essential here, not stirring, as you need to keep all the air that has been whipped in earlier.
~   Fold in the cream – I do it partially for a marbled effect.
~   Put into a pretty bowl and chill till needed.  This keeps for several days if you don’t test it too much – see below.

Here is the mousse hiding in the fridge (I couldn't find the R!), I tried to take one with the candles alight but I was useless!


*** At one time, when I ran a very busy restaurant kitchen, I made what felt like gallons of the stuff every day.  Having always been a stickler for quality control, especially where chocky is concerned, I used to assiduously check the mousse every time I went into the cold room (several times an hour) till I developed borderline high cholesterol and decided it was probably keeping OK on its own!

This afternoon we went to Charlestown and wandered around looking at the old boats, and the sea in the winter sun and we also partook of a couple of pints.  My real man is pretty low key when it comes to celebrating but we really enjoyed it – just the two of us with nothing to do but please ourselves, something I don’t think we’ve done since April!

Whilst moseying about we came upon a friendly chap running a mobile farm shop from an old electric milk float.  Seems to extend a warm welcome to everyone!


I nicked that picture off their site!

He had some tempting local fruit and veg for sale, homemade breads, plus my favourite Spicy Red Onion Marmalade, Raw Chocolate and all sorts of goodies.  Might have to pop down to Charlestown for another pint next week.

Delia's Christmas Cake and Leftover Brandy!

~  Menu  ~

Sautéed Smoked Haddock & New Potatoes sautéed in 
Black Pepper & Brandy Butter
Glass of Chardonnay
Some Ecuadorean Chocky

I have done a strange thing, for me – cooked from a recipe!

My real man is very keen on homemade Christmas cake, especially at Christmas, and I had intended to make one on Stir Up Sunday, the last Sunday in November (not, as my lovely neighbour thought, last Monday!!)  My computer having committed suicide a couple of months ago, however, I was unable to find my normal recipe so I did what any self respecting Briton would do – turned to Delia.  See here for details.  

Christmas cake ready for the oven

The only alteration I made was I used Clementine zest instead of orange because that’s what I had available.  We bought 20 for 18p the other day! 


The cake took over 5 hours to cook during which time the kitchen was warm and smelt gorgeous.  The cooked cake looks a bit dark in a good way and smells delicious and the bowl scrapings were lovely.  I shall feed this cake’s bottom with brandy every few days and report back at Christmas.

Leftover Brandy!

The cake recipe called for 5 tablespoons of brandy after which, in my old bottle (I have another, don't worry), was a wincy “leftover”.  You will be proud of me – I didn’t swig in down!  No, what I did was made Black Pepper & Brandy Butter (you know; coarsely ground black pepper and a little sea salt worked into soft butter with a little brandy ~ see here for lots of flavoured butter ideas and information).  What a surprise!  And then, even more surprising, I sautéed some leftover potatoes in it and added some smoked haddock!  That was my yummy lunch – but I didn’t take a picture because it was too dark and I’m no good (yet) at photos in artificial light.

I did, however, take a photo of my lunch pudding …

A few squares of the item to the left which has that almost alcoholic taste peculiar to good dark chocolate.  I bought it in Lidl; they sell a whole gamut of plantation chocolates by J.D. Gross – see here for their site, which is in German but can be translated - and if this is the quality of their products I intend trying the lot.  They range from Noumea chocolate from Papua New Guinea at 35% cocoa to an 80% cocoa bar from Tembadoro, Trinidad.   Get yourselves to Lidl's, or Germany! 

For what to do with leftover port see here and for lots of ideas for leftover wine see here!

I am very keen on using up leftover food and drink - see lots more of my ideas on my Pinterest board ...

Leftover Food ~ Delicious Ideas