Food Pairing ~ 3 Sudden Dinners

~  Menu  ~

Bread & Dripping!

Recently, having cooked roast beef and made gravy, I found I had a little beefy juice left and nearly threw it away!  Me! A moment of utter madness.  

Luckily I caught myself just in time and put it in the fridge in a little pot.  I thought I might stir it into the next beef stew or soup or something but then I remembered bread and dripping.  So today, whilst preparing a simple lunch of bread and cheese I tried my beefy goo to see if it was as good as I remember from when I was little.  It is quite good actually, especially with a little sea salt.


I have had three spontaneous dinners in a row. Often I plan and cook the manly meals of the day and then at the last minute I think, plaintively, “Hmm, what about me?”

Usually, of course, I come up with something just fine.  So here are the last three evening meals I have eaten which demonstrate pretty well, I feel, how scraps and leftovers can be combined to make something really worth eating. Which is why I wrote this book!!

1.   Lamb & Quinoa Pilaf

Whilst looking in the freezer for something sausagey with which to make Toad in the Hole I found a little frozen quinoa and a sandwich bag of frozen chickpeas which gave me An Idea.  

Having cooked 4 lamb shanks the night before, when there are only 3 of us, I stripped the meat from the leftover shank and kept it together with most of its lush winey gravy.  For my dinner I heated up the quinoa and chickpeas in the leftover gravy but, sadly, it was a little blah.  I stirred in a spoonful of Spicy Red Onion Marmalade by The Cherry Tree (which you can read about here) and Geronimo-ish, I just needed to add crunchy sea salt and black pepper to achieve yum!   I don’t think I need give a recipe and I didn’t even take a picture!

2.   Chilli con a bit of Carne

When making Mince & Dumplings for the men I had a little too much meat, even for them!   This I transferred to a clean pan I added …

~   Some cumin, black pepper, garlic paste and cooked together for a few minutes before adding …
~   A few kidney beans that I’d been wondering what to do with,
~   A good dollop of Tesco’s Finest Whole Cherry Tomato & Chilli Pasta Sauce which I always keep in the fridge.
~   A little squirt of Sweet Chilli Sauce.  I use this in lots of dishes to slightly sweeten in the way that I once used a gastrique for flavouring soups, stews, sauces, etc.

I simmered it all together for 10 minutes or so and ate it with a little (leftover) basmati rice.  I haven’t had Chilli con Carne for years and it made a great change.

3.   Haddock baked with Fridge Gleanings

Last night we were going to get fish ‘n’ chips but after a long day at Trago  couldn’t be bothered.  I scoured the freezer and came up with enough bits and pieces to do a rather fine mixed grill for my men involving fillet steak, black pudding, free range sausages (what a sight they must be roaming wild!) and smoky bacon and, for me, some frozen haddock.  So I did have fish and chips after all but my fish was lightly fried in seasoned flour and finished by baking for few minutes on a bed of fridge gleanings; cherry tomatoes, red onion, medium hot sliced fresh chilli and crumbled chorizo which I cooked together a little before I added the fish.   A good dollop of roasted garlic mayonnaise completed my meal and I am so glad I can cook!


Food Pairing

I occurs to me, and I’m not surprised because I knew it anyway, that the reason I can whip up such yummy meals with no planning is that I know what goes with what; for instance lamb and chickpeas, chorizo and cod (and haddock!) etc.   

In my book Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers, not only do I give every recipe, good idea, cook's treat and handy hint i can think of for 450 potential leftovers I also give advice on food pairing aka what goes with what. Read more here.

very useful leftovers cookbook

1 comment:

debs said...

i was reared on bread and dripping!we were all poor upt north y know!