Thursday, 20 December 2012

Use it up!

Just time to squeeze in a quick blog before Christmas.

Talking of squeezing things in, I imagine most people are making room in their fridges and freezers for the Big Shop this weekend.

Time to use up all those little bits and bobs that I have been encouraging you to keep throughout the last few months: vegetables, breadcrumbs, leftover casserole, ends of cheese etc

I've given over quite a bit of blog space to soups and stews so far this winter- and so won't spend time on that now except to say, you can't beat a good vegetable soup or curry to use up the contents of your vegetable drawer or freezer basket.

Bronze Vegetable Curry

However, a leftover classic - Bubble and Squeak- comes a close second if you have veg awaiting sentence in your fridge.

Cold mashed potato is pretty much essential for this dish, but sweet potato works well too. Take what leftover cooked veg you have in the fridge: potato( of course) , broccoli , onion or leek, swede, etc. Blitz the greens and mash everything together with the potato, season well and shape into patties. Dust with flour and fry in hot oil until golden on both sides. Serve hot with a poached egg on top.

Bubble and Squeak
Good enough to dress up for a restaurant meal.
Posh Bubble and Squeak

If you have a few pieces left from a garlic loaf, blitz these up and use them as a gratin topping for vegetable bakes, pasta bakes or fish. Or make cheesy breadcrumbs with the little ends of cheese I've been exhorting you to save in the freezer and use in the same way.

Blitz that garlic bread
Grilled Plaice with Crunchy Topping

Grated cheese- especially if it is a mixture of different cheeses- can be used up as a topping for pizzas, with any leftover ham,vegetables, olives now.

Frying Pan Pizza

Leftover casserole can be made to go for another meal: make individual pies with shortcrust pastry and fill with a spoonful each of meat or top with puff pastry for a pot pie.

Pot Pie
Meat Pies

Finally, don't forget to use up any leftover pastry ( and cheese ) in cheese straws or twists for canap├ęs,  leftover tortillas baked in the oven with seasoning for dipping chips and leftover pitta or naan bread for nibbles.

Has that made some room? I'll be back with many a post- Christmas blog- so don't even think about throwing away leftover Christmas dinner until you check here first!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my readers!

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