Monday, 22 June 2009

Living off leftovers

As time goes on I'm more and more convinced of the virtues of shopping as and when you need it rather than doing a big weekly shop.

We're still living off the leftovers of the supper I cooked for friends on Friday night - admittedly with a couple of food gifts: a carton of lettuce and pea soup (made to use up leftover leaves) from Stephen Markwick of Culinaria who I dropped in to see on Saturday and a highly original gift of gulls eggs and n'duja, a very spicy Calabrian sausage from one of our guests, fellow food writer Xanthe Clay. Our lunch today must be the least conventional fry-up ever: gulls eggs, bacon and n'dula on toast!

The meal itself was a slow roast joint of pork with fennel, a roast butternut squash and red pepper couscous salad, a lentil, lemon and grilled artichoke salad and a cooked tomato, sugar snap pea and green bean salad with pinenuts. We had the leftover salads with half the leftover pork on Saturday and the remaining pork heated up with some fantastic pan juices and a watercress, spinach and rocket salad I'd forgotten to serve up on Friday, last night.

There was also quite a bit of leftover cheese which made a great companion for the pea and lettuce soup.

If I'd shopped for the weekend on Friday I would almost certainly have overestimated how much we we would eat and bought far more food than we needed. As it is I reckon I can eke out another meal from bits and pieces in the fridge before going to the shops tomorrow. There's half a carton of cream that needs using up for a start . . .

What have you got leftover from the weekend and what are you planning to do with it?

13 comments:

verity said...

We've got half a tub of cream, leftover from smoked salmon pasta on Saturday night, and half a punnet of strawberries, leftover from strawberry torte. Strawberry icecream I think :)

I agree with shopping a little bit as and when - I quite enjoy trying to think up things to use up leftovers and it always seems to impress my boyfriend!

Beth said...

I agree with you entirely - it's just difficult with a young family and both of us working full time. Roll on my maternity leave in November - I can go as often as I like then - well, if the baby is well behaved!! We have bacon, mushrooms and cherry toms left over and I've just put in the oven an oven-baked risotto in.

Fiona Beckett said...

I admit it's easier when you live in a town but (and I've banged on about this before) I think we all tend to be prone to irrational stockpiling 'just in case' we might need various ingredients. Whereas often you don't.

Great use of leftovers both of you!

Nora said...

I'm so glad you said that! I thought I was being unfrugal by buying things as and when, rather then being superorganised, writing a menu and doing one big shop. But I hadn't taken into account the inevitable buying too much, 'just in case'.
I have some pasta, cream and bacon left over in my kitchen, so it's got to be spaghetti carbonara tonight. Yummy!

Fiona Beckett said...

Oh, I love spaghetti carbonara. Always a favourite - especially on Mondays!

maggiedon said...

I love leftovers almost more than the original dish itself! I had roasted a half leg of lamb on Sunday, which had been rubbed in loads of garlic, fresh oregano, chopped anchovies and olive oil. Delicious. As there are only two of us, I had leftovers, so last night (Monday) I sliced the remaining meat (well, hacked most of it off the bone really!) and baked it with some tomato sauce made with more oregano and garlic. As it had quite a Greek vibe to it, I roasted some potatoes with lemon and olive oil next to it (cut into small chinks, lemon and all), and dished up some remaining spinach from our trip to the pick-your-own. Now got a good quantity of tomato sauce left over which will go onto a home-made pizza tonight with some odds and sods of cheese and the remains of a jar of roasted red pepper.

yahny said...

I'm normally a one big shop kinda girl. We get a vegie delivery on Tuesday and do our meat, cheese and general top-up on the Saturday (and for the odd bits and pieces once or twice a week). Usually Saturday morning I work out our menu based on what is in the fridge and what is in the veg bag. Every few weeks we skip a veg bag and use up any leftovers or extras we might have had. I'll often freeze extra veg that I can't use or failing that, take it in my lunch.

ramtops said...

We get a veg box most weeks and that pretty much does us with pulses and odd bits of meat from the freezer. I hate supermarkets, and would much rather buy what I need as I need it from our village Co-Op (who are very good), the farm shop, and my husband goes out on his bike at weekends to get anything else from the organic shop.

Last night we used up some runner beans in pasta (see Reactive Cooking, and for lunch today, I turned all the old carrots and the last of the coriander into soup.

Tomorrow's lunch is the remainder of the black-eyed peas and tomato we cooked up to accompany our (home made) chicken dansak at the weekend!

Slice of life said...

gawd how I wish I could do this. But cant just go into a shop and buy 1 thing.

I have to have a list else it all goes wrong ang I end up with the ingredients for nothing, but a lovely new whisk!

I couldnt stick to my budget. Left overs are always taken for lunch.

Fiona Beckett said...

Thanks all - what a great list of improvised meals. I love the thought of your Greek lamb, Maggiedon and your runner bean pasta, ramtops. I love runner beans.

Using leftovers can be so creative and a real pleasure - often resulting in dishes that become regular favourites

Maisie said...

I have a veg box once a week on a Wed and the milkman brings milk, cream, butter and fruit juice in glass bottles. I also get eggs and potatoes from a farm gate approx 5 miles away.

Add into this a monthly shop at either the butchers farm shop or butchers depending on who has what on special, and a 3 monthly trip to Grimsby docks for fish, we are pretty well set.

Obviously as I have 2 boys 1 teen 1 pre-teen there isn't alot of leftovers from anything but if there is I freeze as individual portions and then either DH takes it for a lunch or when we have enough we have a buffet style "leftovers night" where everyone hepls themselves to bits and pieces of whatever.

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

I don't think we ever throw anything away! Leftovers are used up in one form or another (the husband likes to make rice cakes) and as a child, my mother would churn out leftover dishes religiously. Every grain of rice had to be eaten up too. And with so many salad leaves and vegetables in the garden, there's even less chance of anything going off in the fridge...

Lauren said...

I made mince for a home-made mince round on Saturday night, the left over mince is just about to go in the oven as shepherds pie. It might not be the most inventive use of left overs - but I know it'll go down just great here!

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