What To Do With Leftovers

My dad is extremely thrifty with food, and he’s also an excellent cook. He is the only person I know who makes a beeline for the reduced section in Makro. It’s a wholesaler for god’s sake, do you really need to try and get it cheaper? But get it cheaper he does and inevitably we end up with a huge amount of food to cook. This means leftovers!

Another favourite saying of my dad is “waste not, want not” which still rings in my ears 10 years after leaving home. And so, through some bizarre genetic and nurtured glitch in my system, I can’t bear to waste food. I also can’t bear to be overweight which presents with a dilemma… You can’t clear your plate at every meal, leaving nothing for the bin, without stuffing yourself silly unless you invest heavily in the idea of left overs.

We have a system in our house whereby we roast a chicken on the Sunday for the usual Sunday roast. There is only 2 of us which presents with a fair amount of left over food.

“I can’t bear to waste food”

In terms of the trimmings, I like to make pasties out of them, a trick I learned off my favourite TV chef that I love to hate, Nigel Slater. Nige’s over exuberant description of all of his meals makes my eyes roll so far into my head that I fear I’ll go blind, though thankfully they always return to the front of my face in order to make another pass up and over again 5 minutes later. 

Nige once made a pasty out of some left over fish chowder by using the simple shop bought Jus Roll puff pastry. I now keep a block in the freezer at all times for this very purpose. 

Roast dinner pasties always present an opportunity of caramelised roasted vegetables (at the risk of sounding like Nige) that have softened overnight, chicken and stuffing all lathered with gravy and baked in the oven. 

It’s this simple:

  1. Thaw your pastry (overnight in the fridge wrapped in cling film) if frozen and then leave to warm to room temperature on the side
  2. Get your left overs and chop into smaller chunks
  3. Dollop thickened and chilled gravy over the top (I always make too much gravy)
  4. Cover a fingers width of the end of the pastry with egg ( I don’t always do this but it helps to seal it), fold the pasty over and squeeze to seal
  5. Put in the oven until it looks cooked (this is how I cook every meal and we’ve had a fair few disasters)

You can put whatever you like in these things really… Left over casserole or anything.

My hatred of wasting food has now extended to the inclusion of a compost bin in the garden. Greatest invention ever, thank you Mother Nature. You can put any and all food waste excluding meat for reasons to hideous to elaborate on in a food post. It takes the guilt right out of food waste because it shall feed the vegetable patch next year and I can feel all smug and organic just like Nige.

One burst because I didn’t use egg, but still yummy 



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