Friday, 28 December 2012

Love your leftovers!

When you like to cook, it can sometimes seem like the fridge is permanently full of leftovers.  Come christmas, and everyone is in the same boat.  I have a few favourite leftover recipes, and after facing the fridge still half full of leftovers this morning, I decided to share some on my blog. I've included easy recipes for nasi goreng, Cornish style pasties with leftovers, leftover Christmas cheese pie and biryani rice with leftover curry.

First up, it has to be nasi goreng (or maybe mee goreng if you're more noodle inclined).  I love this dish for lots of reasons.  It's the first street food dish in Indonesia I fell in love with.  I think it takes the universally popular egg fried rice and gives it kick and substance, turning it into a proper supper.  It can be served with egg scrambled through the rice, or an omelette (you can make fancy strips and layer them on the top), but the favourite in our house (and most traditional) is a perfectly cooked gooey fried egg.  You can pretty much use any leftovers, veg or otherwise, just chop them up into bite sized pieces.  The key to great nasi is left over rice that has been cooked and fully cooled, preferably after a night in the fridge

One of my favourite Christmas leftover recipes is leftover cheese pie.  We always have excessive amounts of cheese over the festive season, and we end up with odds and ends of all kinds of cheese from different places.  One year I made a pie from the leftovers, and so the tradition was born, leftover cheese pie.  This year, inspired by Cornish blue and yarg from my new Cornish brother in law, I also made some Cornish style pasties.  The recipe below uses a traditional dough recipe for Cornish pasties, with the requisite knob of butter and black pepper seasoning.  But the rest of the filling is a hotch potch of what was kicking around the fridge.  I made them with leek & potato dauphinoise (WINNER!), rocket mash & stilton (kind of ended up a bit hollow, but scored big on the taste board), and leftover xmas veg with carrot & swede mash, roast potatoes, red cabbage and veggie roast (which was really yummy with cranberry compote).  I'm making the leftover cheese pie for NYE, so recipe below reflects this years particular cheese fest, but you could use pretty much any cheese I reckon.

The last recipe is just a few tips on making biryani rice from leftover curry.  Again, this is totally adaptable to whatever curry you've been cooking and have leftover, whether vegetable, meat, seafood or chickpeas (I make this with Sunil's dal and it's delicious).  You could also use any leftover vegetables or whatever you have, and knock up a masala sauce to layer with the leftovers and rice.

Nasi Goreng


Ingredients - serves 2-3
2 cups of basmati (or long grain) rice, steamed or boiled, al dente
4 free range eggs
Leftover veg, such as carrots, peas, onions, green beans, I've even used roast potatoes before
2 tbsp garlic paste
3 tbsp finely chopped onions or shallots
1 large red chilli
1-2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp of chilli sambal (I use sriracha)
1 tbsp of fish free worcester sauce (or fish sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce
sesame oil for frying
sliced spring onions, fresh coriander and few red chilli slices to garnish (all optional)


1. If making omelette, beat eggs together with little salt, and ¼ of the mixture in small pan to make thin omelette. Repeat until have 4.  Them roll up together and slices into long strips. Set aside.
2. If having fried eggs, start cooking them at step 5.
3. Mix together sugar, soy, chilli sauce and set aside.
4. Heat sesame oil in wok, add onions and soften, then add garlic and vegetables. Cook for 2 mins then add chilli and cook for further minute.
5. Add cooked rice, mix well and cook until fully heated.
6. Turn off heat and add sauce mixture.  Mix well.  Mix through half egg strips, if using.
7. Serve portions with remaining egg strips or fried eggs over top of rice, and scatter with fresh spring onions, coriander and fresh chillies (if using).


 Cornish Style Pasties with Leftovers

Ingredients - makes 4 large or 6 medium sized pasties
Dough: 500g strong plain flour
120g vegetable suet
25g butter or margarine
1/2 tsp salt
175ml cold water

Fillings:
Leftovers 
Butter & black pepper for seasoning
Free range egg & 1 tsp salt, for glazing
Veg oil for frying

1. Mix all dough ingredients together, except water, to make a breadcrumb texture.  Then add water and knead well until dough is soft and pliable. Leave to rest in fridge for at least an hour.
2. Chop any leftovers into 1-2cm pieces.
3. Divide dough into 4 or 6 equal sized pieces, on floured surface roll out into circle. Egg wash edges.
4. Fill half of the circle with filling, add a knob of butter & pinch of black pepper over top, then fold over dough. Then crimp edges (you can check out the technique here, step 11. It takes a bit of practice).
5. Brush generously with salted egg wash.
6. Bake at 170 for 30-40 mins until golden brown.

Leftover Christmas Cheese Pie


Ingredients - serves 6
Pastry:
225g plain flour
100g butter
salt
1 free range egg
80g pecans, crushed (optional)

Filling:
400g assorted cheese ( I'll be using odds & sods of cornish blue, stilton, red leicester, mature cheddar, wensleydale, lancashire & brie)
400g potatoes, cut into slices and boiled until just soft
1 red onion, chopped
salt & black pepper
1 free range egg, beaten, for glazing

1. Heat oven to 190C
2. Place all ingredients for pastry in food processor, pulse until combined. Wrap in cling film and chill in fridge for at least an hour.
3. Roughly chop up the leftover cheeses, and mix together with red onion.
4. Grease pie dish with butter, and layer with sliced potatoes and cheese mixture, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.  Pour a little milk or cream over top of filling to ensure it stays moist, especially if not using any soft cheeses in the mixture.
5. Roll out pastry on floured surface, to cover top of pie dish with nice thick pastry top.
6. Brush pastry top with egg wash & bake pie in oven for 30-40 mins until pastry is golden brown and crisp.
7. Serve with fresh green salad leaves and a heap of cranberry compote of pickles.


Biryani Rice with Leftover Curry


Ingredients - serves 4
3 cups leftover curry
3-4 cups of cooked basmati rice (al dente)
1 large onions sliced
Fresh coriander & saffron (optional)
Toasted cashews, chopped

1. Grease the bottom of deep ovenproof dish, preferably with a lid, but you could use foil.
2. Place a good pinch of saffron in jug of hot water. Leave to soak for 5 mins.
3. Fry onion with a little salt and butter, until well caramelised and brown (not burnt). Set aside.
4. Cover bottom of dish with layer of leftover curry (or masala sauce and leftovers). then cover with approx 4-5cm of cooked rice. Scatter 1/3 onion mixture across top and drizzle with saffron water.  Repeat at least one more time. Finish with layer of rice, onions and remaining saffron.
5. Cover dish and bake at 190 for 40-50 mins.
6. Scatter with fresh coriander and chopped cashews before serving.


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