Love your leftovers!


Sausage and Spud Chilli


Lent is here – so something fishy will be going on tonight – last few days have been about decluttering cupboards and fridges – trying to use up left overs in all ways possible. I love making meals from odds and sods – this one almost made itself.

I had 4 sausages left – so skinned them, pan fried them lightly in  little olive oil, crumbling them as they went, with the one red chilli I had lingering in the larder, plus a little cumin and a dash of sea salt and black pepper. I had a bowl of boiled new potatoes left over from a day or two before so they all got diced and thrown in, along with the last of the shallots finely chopped and a small bunch of coriander, chopped, that had been hiding on the window sill.

A good stir – I left it for 15 minutes on a medium heat stirring now and then – then I added 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, a little smidgen of tomato sauce and stirred it once more. I then left it on a low heat for about 30 minutes. 

I had a baguette left over from the day before, so that got sliced – I put a splash of olive oil in a frying pan with some crushed garlic and pan fried the slices until golden – drained them on kitchen paper – served the chilli in bowls with the croutons on top.

Simple, cheap, tremendously tasty….and no more leftovers!

Start the week with Bubble and Squeak!


Start the week with Bubble and Squeak!

I have come across many books that actually give you a recipe for this wonderful leftover concoction. How odd! No recipe needed – just good left overs from your Sunday lunch or from frankly any day! We had a delectable rib of beef yesterday and accompanied it with steamed pointy cabbage – I am sure no doubt it has a proper name – but pointy cabbage does the business for me – it is cabbage – and it is long, thin and…pointy! I also made a smooth, delicious marsala gravy – and of course stunning home made Yorkshire puds. So…home alone at lunch today, out came the left over cabbage and baby new potatoes – I am saving the left over beef for tomorrow.

I chopped it up and then popped a knob of unsalted butter and a gurgle of olive oil into a pan and when it was hot I added a slice of Ayrshire smoked bacon cut into strips. When it was just cooked I added the cabbage and the potatoes. I left it on a medium heat until it became all nice and sticky and  just  a  little crisp.

This is an old dish, named after the sound it makes in the pan when cooking – though mine, I have to say, produced little in the way of squeaking, more of a low purr really – and was first mentioned in a cook book as far back as 1806 by a Maria Rundell in her marvellously entitled tome:

‘A New System of Domestic Cookery: Formed Upon Principles of Economy; and Adapted to the Use of Private Families.’

Not quite as catchy as ‘The Naked Chef’ or ‘Kitchen Diaries’ but hey….

Well, whatever, it is a winner in my book – it is buttery and warming and despite its simplicity, humbleness and lack of pedigree or finesse it is absolutely delicious. And it made me feel good.

There are times for haute cuisine… and lots of times for Bubble and Squeak!