Rein­vent the meal

Some would ar­gue that the leftovers from Christ­mas lunch are the very best bit. With a clever makeover, green veg, nuts and fruits can be turned into some­thing new and equally cel­e­bra­tory the next day, as these recipes will tes­tify ...

The Guardian - Cook - - The Modern Cook - Anna Jones

I want to do some­thing with the un­opened pack­ets I bought too many of, or the ob­scure veg­etable I fan­cied at the green­gro­cer

For me, the joy of a Christ­mas din­ner – or in­deed any roast – are the left­over roots and greens, that can be fried up un­til deeply golden and crisp, then served topped with a fried egg and a spoon­ful of a punchy chut­ney.

I love a Christ­mas-din­ner sand­wich, too: stuff­ing, greens, roasted squash and a slick of cran­berry sauce be­tween two slices of bread. It’s a once-a-year thing, tak­ing stodgi­ness to the next level, but it’s a mark of the sea­son, and I al­ways eat one or two with glee.

An­other favourite left­over is Christ­mas pud­ding. I find it too rich to eat on the day, so it’s some­thing I en­joy on the days af­ter, fried in a bit of but­ter in lit­tle por­tions un­til the fruit goes sticky, crum­bled on top of a batch of brown­ies, sprin­kled over ice-cream or torn into an ap­ple crum­ble.

How­ever, the leftovers that I re­ally want to put to use are the un­opened pack­ets of things I have bought one too many of – the more ob­scure veg­eta­bles I fan­cied at the green­gro­cer, or the sea­sonal in­gre­di­ent I picked up on a whim of fes­tive en­thu­si­asm, but which then sits around re­dun­dant.

In my house there are al­ways a few cooked chest­nuts left over from the stuff­ing recipe, some pack­ets of greens or brus­sels sprouts, bun­dles of herbs – pars­ley, thyme, sage, tar­ragon or rose­mary – and heav­ing bowls of citrus fruit that I have bought by the crateload.

So here are two recipes that use up a few of the things I al­ways seem to have in stock be­tween Christ­mas and the new year.

Greens and brus­sels sprout cae­sar slaw

This is a Box­ing Day salad to eat with cold cuts and cheeses. Any left­over cab­bage or greens would work well, but be sure to shred them quite thinly. You can also make good use of a few com­mon fes­tive kitchen leftovers: Christ­mas nuts (al­monds, wal­nuts, hazel­nuts and pecans all work well), cheese (any blue or hard cheese) and any soft herbs you have (a mix­ture of a cou­ple works best). This slaw is bet­ter af­ter sit­ting dressed for a cou­ple of hours, as the dress­ing soft­ens the greens a lit­tle, and when the flavours have come to­gether. Serves 6-8 For the dress­ing 50g sun­flower seeds 50g nuts (I used blanched al­monds) 1 gar­lic clove, peeled 1 tbsp di­jon mus­tard Juice of ½ a lemon For the slaw 350g raw brus­sels sprouts/cab­bage

About 400g greens (I used 2 heads of cavolo nero) About 150g left­over hard or blue cheese (op­tional) A small bunch of left­over soft herbs (pars­ley, tar­ragon, chives, dill, chervil)

1 First soak your seeds and nuts in cold wa­ter: 15 min­utes will do, but you could leave them as long as overnight – this will help the dress­ing be­come more creamy.

2 Once soaked, drain the seeds and nuts and add them to a blender with all the other dress­ing in­gre­di­ents, then blend un­til smooth. Add 200ml wa­ter and blend to a creamy dress­ing. Keep in the fridge un­til you are ready to dress the salad.

3 Peel and wash the sprouts, or destem and wash the greens. Slice as finely as you can, then put them into a big bowl. Roughly chop the herbs and add these to the bowl, then pour over the dress­ing and mix well. I do this with clean hands to make sure that the dress­ing coats each lit­tle bit of green. When you are ready to serve, crum­ble over some left­over cheese.

Chest­nut and ri­cotta pan­cakes with quick clemen­tine jam

If your house is any­thing like mine, the fruit bowl heaves with clemen­tines. I can’t get enough of them. This quick com­pote is a good way to use any lin­ger­ers. I add a pinch of saf­fron for its sun­shine colour and warm­ing flavour, but a cou­ple of car­damom pods or a pinch of cin­na­mon would work as well. This is half com­pote, half mar­malade and is won­der­ful served along­side some roughly chopped nuts – or even chest­nuts, if you have any left – atop the golden ri­cotta pan­cakes. Serves 4 (makes about 8 pan­cakes) For the citrus com­pote About 300g of any left­over citrus (about 6 clemen­tines, 1 large grape­fruit or 3 small or­anges) 2 tbsp honey A pinch of saf­fron (op­tional) For the pan­cakes 250g ri­cotta cheese 125g flour 1 tbsp bak­ing pow­der A good pinch of salt 2 eggs, sep­a­rated 2 tbsp golden caster sugar 200ml milk (I use al­mond milk) 100g cooked chest­nuts, roughly chopped Grated zest of 2 lemons Grated zest of ½ an or­ange or 1 clemen­tine But­ter or co­conut oil, for fry­ing

1 Put the ri­cotta into a sieve and leave it over a bowl for 10 min­utes or so, to al­low the ex­cess liq­uid to drain off.

2 Mean­while, make the citrus com­pote by peel­ing the fruits and re­mov­ing any large pieces of pith.

3 Put the flesh into a pan with the honey and the saf­fron, if you are us­ing it. Cook slowly for about 10 min­utes un­til you have a loose, jammy con­sis­tency.

4 Mix the flour, bak­ing pow­der and salt in a large bowl.

5 Whisk the egg yolks with the milk in a jug. Add to the flour mix­ture a lit­tle at a time and gen­tly beat un­til smooth. Fold in the chest­nuts then the lemon and or­ange zest.

6 In an­other bowl, whisk the egg whites un­til frothy, then add the sugar and whisk un­til you have stiff meringue-like peaks.

7 Us­ing a spat­ula or metal spoon, gen­tly fold half the egg whites into the flour and egg mix­ture. Now fold in the ri­cotta, then the rest of the egg whites. You should have a light and fluffy bat­ter.

8 Put a large non­stick fry­ing pan on a low heat and add a tiny bit of but­ter or co­conut oil. Work­ing in batches, add about half a ladle­ful of the bat­ter to the pan for each pan­cake. Cook the bat­ter un­til the bot­tom is golden and the edges are cooked. Once bub­bles have risen to the top of the pan­cake, flip it and cook on the other side for a minute. Once each one is done, keep your pan­cakes in a warm oven while you cook the rest.

Stack the pan­cakes high on your plate and serve with the clemen­tine mar­malade spooned over the top.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.