Sunday, 12 June 2011

How a Michelin-starred restaurant uses leftovers

I've just spent the past week on a work trip in Alsace (I know, I know, alright for some ... ) and stopped the night on the way back at a hotel we've often stayed in - the Hotel d'Angleterre in Chalons-en-Champagne. It's not as cheap as it used to be but we like it so much we occasionally treat ourselves.

What's particularly interesting about the place (and the relevance to this blog) is the fact that the bistro Les Temps Changent (times change) clearly uses the leftovers from the Michelin-starred restaurant alongside which enables them to keep the price of their set menu down to a very reasonable 21 euros*.

There were three dishes on the menu where you could spot this. A really delicious 'salad' of lightly cooked green beans (above) lined up over a finely chopped salad of cold roast beef, shallots and carrots dressed with a good gutsy dressing and topped with a sprinkling of garlic chips.

A fish terrine - almost certainly made from different kinds of leftover fish, some blitzed smooth, others left in bigger pieces. (More delicious than it sounds or looks!)

And a guineafowl breast stuffed with a boudin like stuffing that I suspect was made from leftover chicken. (I like the use of in season fresh cherries too.)

Of course I'm not suggesting that you slave away for hours to create similar dishes although the green bean salad is perfectly easy to achieve but simply want to make the point how well the French still do this sort of thing and what you can get away with if you present leftovers cleverly.

I still think there's a bit of a stigma though in serving up leftovers to your friends (shepherds pie apart though I always think that's better made with fresh mince). Personally I wouldn't hesitate but how about you? And what are your favourite leftover dishes?

* Bear in mind that price (English equivalent £18.55) includes service.


Sarah said...

I don't often have people over to eat. My kitchen is tiny and it's a nightmare preparing stuff, so when I do go to the effort, I make more of an effort than serving up leftovers.

On the other hand, there's usually leftovers from the meal which we then eat happily for the next day or two in various forms.

Come to think of it, I would have no compunction about serving up a yummy chicken risotto from the end of a roast.

Fiona Beckett said...

We went to a chef friend for lunch today who served up the most amazing chicken risotto with spring veg - I'm sure made from leftovers. One of the best risottos I've ever tasted

Robert said...

My favourite leftover meal at the moment is bubble 'n squeak or a hash made from fried leftover boiled potatoes, cold meat and any leftover cooked vegetables. Usually topped with a fried egg. In fact I often deliberately cook extra so I have something quick to eat the following day.

Fiona Beckett said...

and I honestly don't see why you shouldn't serve that to friends, do you Robert? It's all about presentation isn't it? If it looks great people expect it to taste good

mrs green @ myzerowaste said...

Great story Fiona, thanks for sharing. I shared it with my readers in last week's roundup of recycling stories. Food waste is one of my passions and most of our 'favourite meals' are created with leftovers. I'd like to see a time where we banish the word 'leftovers' and use the word 'ingredients' instead ;)

Fiona Beckett said...

It does have a downbeat ring doesn't it? The French call them 'les restes' which doesn't sound quite so dreary