6 New Year (or any time) Resolutions to help you Love your Leftovers

6 ways to make the most of leftover food

I love leftovers, they inspire me, and every day I eat really well by using scraps, trimmings and remains creatively. 

As I  have said before, using leftovers tackles not only the waste of money and resources but also of good eating opportunities.

So, here are 6 rules you might like to adopt this year which are certain to help you make the best of whatever leftover food you have.

1.  Act Quickly with Leftovers

       Deal with leftovers before they have deteriorated – eat, cook and eat, cook and freeze or just freeze but don’t ignore them.

2.   Be a Leftovers Collector

       Group together similar scraps and leftovers in the freezer till you have enough to make something delicious.  Here are some of my freezer collections and what I do with them…

Bread Scraps 

These are great for bread pudding, French toast pancakes, stuffing, bread sauce, and lots of exciting things such as Curried Cashew Fritters.  

spicy roasted cashew fritter made with leftover bread
Loads more ideas where they came from!

Raw Meat Trimmings   

When there are enough I make stock, soup, add them to stir fries, risotto, pasta dishes etc.  Sometimes if the meat is all of good quality I make burgers, not necessary beef burgers, however.  Here is a great recipe using pork trimmings ...

BBQ Pork Burgers

2 rashers bacon – I like smoked
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dark brown sugar
½ tsp salt
500g good quality pork scraps – minced or fairly finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
BBQ sauce

~   Coarsely chop the bacon and cook, preferably in its own fat, till crisp.  Drain on kitchen roll.
~   Mix together the next 3 ingredients.
~   Form the chopped meat into two or three burgers.  People sometime ask me what I add to burgers to keep them together eg. egg or breadcrumbs but the answer is Nothing. Just munge it lovingly together and all should be well.
~   Rub the burgers with the sugar mix.
~   Brush with a little oil and grill or pan fry till crisp and golden and cooked through – it’s a bit risky under cooking pork.
~   Brush with a little BBQ sauce for the last minute of cooking.
~   Serve on buns drizzled with more BBQ sauce and a great addition is a spoonful of coleslaw on each burger.

Seafood Bits and Pieces - raw and/or cooked  

Fish pie is the obviousest thing to make once there are enough, topped with mashed potato or scraps from my pastry collection.  Less obvious but a really gorgeous use of varied fish scraps is my Seafood Chowder.

rich creamy seafood chowder made from trimmins and leftovers

sugary duck shaped cookie made from pasty scraps

Pastry scraps 

Here are lots of things to do with pastry scraps from crunchy pie topping to Napoleons, Tatins, Turnovers and more.

3.     Be Prepared for Cooking Spontaneously

        Keep a well-stocked store cupboard.  I don’t just mean flour, sugar, oil, salt, pepper and so on although they are crucial but also the flavourings, seasonings and accoutrements you most like to add to a dish. I always have chorizo, black garlic, panko crumbs, chilli pickle, balsamic glaze and one or two other oddments so that I can eat really well whenever I want to.

4.     Be Selfish!

          If your leftover is too small to share and unsuitable for freezing then have yourself a Cook’s Treat, it’s traditional!  There are loads of great ways to enjoy yourself with a little something from simply scraping the bowl to this idea if you have one or two livers just removed from a fresh chicken.

Luxurious Chicken Livers on Toast for the Cook

 ~   Season and sauté in butter till brown outside and pink in the middle.
~    Flame carefully with a touch of Brandy and add enough cream to make a sauce.
~    Mash all together and eat on toast as a lovely sudden lunch.

(Of course you could collect all your chicken livers in the freezer, so long as they are not from a frozen chicken, till there are enough to make a pâté.)

5.     Be Creative with Leftovers

          Leftovers are ideal for playing with as, in the unlikely event that you mess up, well - it was only a leftover so hasn't cost you much. The  more you know, however, the more confidently creative, and less wasteful, you can be so ...

6.      Keep Learning more about Cooking

            Learn about proper storage, learn about best before dates vs. use by dates, learn what goes with what so that if two or more complimentary scraps occur simultaneously you will know what to make.  Above all, however, Learn To Cook, it has one of the greatest boons my life.

Oh, and here's another good idea!  Allow me to present my book on leftovers ...

Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers

ultimate leftovers food handbook

In Other News ...

I should just like to make my annual joke! 

happy new year joke

1 comment:

Sue said...

Wishing you a 'Preposterous New Year too. ALl the very best.

Your tips AND your book are going to come in very handy for me over the year ahead with my new Challenge. Thank you for the inspiration.