Lux­ury left-overs

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It’s Jan­uary – so here’s an amaz­ing pud made from left-overs!

“Dick­en­sian poverty tends to oc­cur af­ter Christ­mas in Jan­uary. For it is then, with pock­ets empty, di­ary dec­i­mated and larder bare, that the gen­eral pop­u­lace sinks into a col­lec­tive pau­per’s hi­ber­na­tion un­til Valen­tine’s Day.”

Ste­wart Stafford

Ah yes, Jan­uary is upon us. For those of us in the restau­rant trade, De­cem­ber pretty much dis­ap­pears be­neath turkey af­ter turkey, cracker af­ter cracker, from the first fes­tive party in late No­vem­ber to that strange of­fice party, with wilted mistle­toe, on the last day of the year.

So Jan­uary brings wel­come relief, time to think and a time to rest and re­cover, and time to re­mind your friends and fam­ily that you still ex­ist. But I to­tally un­der­stand the sen­ti­ments of the quote, though it might as well read larder empty, bare and dec­i­mated! It’s a time to pull the horns in, maybe com­bine sav­ing pen­nies with a health kick and com­mit to Ve­gan­uary, or search in the back of the cup­board for that tinned York ham, pink salmon and a bot­tle of sherry from some decades back.

How­ever, de­spite the dark nights and dis­mal weather, it’s is not a time to deny your­self in­dul­gence, so, to kick off the New Year, I give you this sen­sa­tional pud­ding. Not only is it a show­stop­per, it’s es­sen­tially what’s left from the pre­vi­ous month’s glut­tony. Yes, it’s a dish of left-overs.

The shops are of­ten selling off their panet­tone stock un­til mid-month and just lace this con­fec­tion with what­ever dried fruit, nuts and al­co­hol you have left. It’s ba­si­cally a very posh ver­sion of one of my favourite ‘af­ters’ – the bread and but­ter pud­ding

I think left-overs of­ten taste bet­ter than the orig­i­nal. Think shep­herd’s pie, roast chicken and coleslaw sand­wiches, my mum’s ba­nanas and cold cus­tard.

I’ll fin­ish as I started, with one of my favourite quotes from the New York food writer and hu­mourist Calvin Trillin; “The most re­mark­able thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the fam­ily noth­ing but left-overs. The orig­i­nal meal has never been found.’’

Happy New Year to you all.

Photo: Steve Adams

ABOVE: Richard Hughes’ lux­ury panet­tone pud­ding

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