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Delicious recipes from ROSIE SYKES give inspired ideas for leftovers


Caerphilly, leek and mustard on toast

This is a sort of less cheesy, more substantial Welsh rarebit. Leeks go splendidly with most cheeses but are a particularly good match for the more citrussy flavours of something like caerphilly. For those steering clear of bread, this would be super on cooked cauliflower or potatoes.

For 1

  • 1 leek, about 200g
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50g coarsely grated caerphilly
  • 1 or 2 slices of bread of your choice
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  •  Chutney or tomato ketchup

1 Trim the leek, keeping as much of the green top as possible, then wash well and cut into 2cm rounds. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid over a medium heat. Add the leek, thyme and water, stirring well to coat the leek with the oily water. 

2 Season with a pinch of salt and a little pepper, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the leek is very tender. Shake or stir the pan occasionally to stop it sticking, and add a little more water if the pan seems to be getting too dry before the leek has softened.

3 Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Once the leek is soft and sweet, check it isn’t sitting in too much liquid – it should glisten and be just coated. If there’s too much liquid, simmer with the lid off and reduce for a minute or so before stirring in the mustard and cheese.

4 Toast the bread lightly on both sides, then rub one side of the toast with the cut side of the garlic clove. Lift out the thyme sprigs from the leek, then check the seasoning – plenty of black pepper is good. Pile the cheesy leek mixture on to the toast and grill until the cheese is melting, bubbling and starting to brown.

5 Serve with some chutney or ketchup and eat straight away.

LEFTOVERS

 Any cheese will work for this dish. I grate all my cheese ends, weigh them and bung them together in the freezer in a little bag or box. When I have enough, this is a great, fast dish to use them in.

Bacon and egg pie

Bacon and egg pie is an absolute New Zealand staple – and, as my mum was a Kiwi, this featured heavily in my youth. It always came with us on picnics. 

For 3-4

  • butter, for greasing
  • 200g ready-made puff pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 back bacon rashers, rind removed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • chutney or ketchup (optional)
  • buttered peas or a salad (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 230C/ 210C fan/gas 8. Heat a baking tray at the same time – you want a hot tray so the bottom of the pie starts crisping immediately. Grease a 24cm pie plate or cake tin with butter.

2 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 3mm and cut out two circles, one for the bottom, about 24cm, and one a bit smaller for the top. Line the greased plate with the larger circle of pastry, pressing it well into the base and draping any excess over the sides.

3 Crack the eggs into the pie (hold back a bit of the white of the last egg if it seems too much – you don’t want it overflowing! Use the tip of a sharp knife to pierce each yolk, then season the eggs well with salt and pepper.

4 Lay the bacon on top. Brush the rim of the pie, either using the egg white you held back or by dipping your pastry brush into the filling. Brush the top of the other circle of pastry, then cut a cross in its centre. Carefully lay this on top of the pie, brushed-side up, and press the edges together well. Trim off the excess pastry, then go round the pie rim pressing with the tines of a fork, or crimp between your finger and thumb.

5 Put the pie on the hot tray and reduce the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½.

6 Cook for 25 minutes – the eggs should be set and the bacon cooked. Remove from the oven and slide the pie on to a wire rack, so the crisp bottom doesn’t steam and go soggy. Serve hot or warm with chutney or ketchup, buttered peas or a salad.

LEFTOVERS 

Little snippets of pastry can be pressed together and rolled out into cheese straws – a great way to use up cheese ends, too. Roll the pastry into a rectangle, brush half with Marmite, mustard, tomato chutney or tapenade and shower with grated cheese, then fold the other half over and roll again to the same size rectangle. 

Brush with milk and scatter with seeds – say, cumin, poppy, sesame or fennel. Cut into fingers and bake in an oven preheated to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½ for about 12 minutes or until puffy and golden.

Rice chilli tacos

This recipe came from a glut of leftover wild rice. It turned out to be a good meat replacement for chilli to go with tacos. It’s very easy to get all sorts of ready-cooked rice in little pouches these days.

For 4

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 large onions, halved and finely sliced 
  • 1 red or orange pepper, cut in half, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 green jalapeños or other green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 400g cooked wild or wholegrain rice or a mix of the two (or any other combination of cooked rice and grains you like)
  • 198g tin sweetcorn or 180g frozen sweetcorn
  • generous handful of coriander, chopped, stalks and all
  • sea salt

To serve

  • 8-12 flour or soft corn tortillas, depending on size
  • 120g soured cream or greek-style yogurt
  • 100g grated strong cheese of choice
  • juice of 1 lime, or to taste
  • pickled or fresh chillies or chilli sauce

1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onions, pepper and chillies with a good pinch of salt for 10 minutes, or until soft, stirring frequently.

2 Turn down the heat and add a splash of water if they’re sticking or getting too brown, but a bit of colour is good. Add the garlic, oregano and spices, turn up the heat and cook for about 1½ minutes. Add the vinegar, which will evaporate immediately, then the stock and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Add the rice and sweetcorn, stir well and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thick.

3 Heat the tortillas according to the packet instructions.

4 Stir most of the coriander through the chilli and season to taste with salt. Serve the chilli with the tortillas, soured cream, cheese, lime juice, remaining coriander and chillies of choice, and let people build their own.

LEFTOVERS

If you find fresh chillies on offer or reduced, snap them up to make a simple chilli sauce. 

Season the chillies, toss them in some light olive oil and roast them whole (when the oven is on for something else) until just soft and a little bit brown, then throw them in a blender or use a stick blender to whiz to a paste with some garlic, cumin, vinegar, more oil and perhaps a touch of sugar or honey. Store in a very clean jar or bottle in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Braised pork with fennel and tomatoes

These days, when meat costs are high, it is worth eating better quality, less often. Intensively reared pork will not have the sweetness and rich, firm texture you get with a lovely bit of happy outdoor-reared variety. I have suggested belly here as it is a cheaper cut. You can buy the belly with or without bones.

I think having the bones keeps the meat from getting dry, and because the end product is soft and yielding, the meat should come away very easily.

For 4-6

  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked, or 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • few sprigs of basil, leaves picked, stalks very finely chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon; peel one long ribbon of zest using a vegetable peeler and grate the rest
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
  • 800g pork belly, skin scored
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus an extra splash
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 red onions, cut into sixths
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut into sixths lengthways
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 480g waxy small potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 bay leaf  splash of Pernod if you have it (very much optional)
  • 200ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 120ml white wine, cider or apple juice (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9 and heat a roasting pan at the same time. Toss the thyme, finely chopped basil stalks, grated lemon zest, fennel seeds, salt and a generous grind of pepper together.

2 Season the underside of the pork belly thoroughly, then flip it over and make sure the skin is very dry. Rub the pork well with the vegetable oil followed by the thyme mixture, pressing this on to the skin well and letting it get into the scored bits. I usually add a little more salt at this stage – it will take more than you imagine.

3 Take the hot roasting pan out of the oven, add a splash of oil, then add the pork belly. Return to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until it’s nice and brown.

4 In the meantime, toss together all the vegetables, except the potatoes, in a large bowl with a good dose of seasoning, the ribbon of lemon zest, the bay leaf, lemon juice and Pernod, if using.

5 Bring the stock and wine, if using, to the boil in a large saucepan and keep it hot.

6 When the pork belly is browned, turn the oven temperature down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Take the roasting pan out of the oven, carefully lift out the meat and set aside, then pour off all the fat.

7 Pour the hot stock into the roasting pan and, using a whisk, have a good go at lifting up all the flavours on the bottom of the pan. 

Add 1 tbsp of the pork fat to the bowl of vegetables, mix well, then add them to the roasting pan with the stock, making an even layer for the pork to sit on.

Return the pork to the pan and cover with kitchen foil. Cook for 1 hour. At this stage, you can add the potatoes, put the foil back on and cook for a further 45 minutes. The pork should be meltingly tender and you should be able to put a fork through it. If not, return to the oven for a further 30 minutes and check again.

8 Lift the pork out of the roasting pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. If you want crispy skin, preheat the grill to its highest setting.

9 Using a slotted spoon, lift the vegetables out of the cooking liquor and if there is a lot of liquid pour it into a saucepan and let it reduce down a little on the hob.

10 Once the pork has rested, put it under the grill until the skin is crisp,if you like, then rest again while you bring everything together.

11 Tear the basil leaves into the vegetable mix and spoon this on to warmed plates. Slice the meltingly soft pork and place on top of the vegetables with sauce over it. Serve extra sauce in a warm jug.

LEFTOVERS

Pork belly will produce a goodly amount of fat. This will keep incredibly well in a sealed jar in your fridge and is fantastic for frying. It also makes miraculous roast potatoes.

Rhubarb and ginger pudding

When rhubarb is around, the go-to is a crumble. This pud has the bonus of being a use-up-leftover-bread solution. 

For 4

  • 100g butter
  • 200g soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 heaped tsp ground ginger
  • 500g rhubarb, cut into
  • 3cm lengths
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 100g unrefined caster sugar
  • 60g stem ginger in syrup,plus 2 tbsp of the syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

To serve

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the butter in an ovenproof bowl and melt in the warming oven. Once completely melted, stir in the breadcrumbs and ground ginger until the crumbs are well coated with butter.

2 Scatter a third of the crumb mixture over the bottom of a 20cm x 20cm oven dish.

3 In a bowl, mix together the rhubarb, orange zest and sugar. Coarsely grate over the stem ginger and toss through the fruit. Put half of the rhubarb mixture on top of the crumbs and follow with another third of the crumbs, then repeat with the rest of the fruit and crumbs.

4 Mix together the orange and lemon juice with the ginger syrup and boiling water. Spoon all over the pudding, then bake for 30-45 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and the crumbs crisp and golden. Serve with lashings of cream or custard.

LEFTOVERS

The syrup in a jar of stem ginger is a wonderful gift. I have been known to put it on my porridge instead of honey for a super-warming feeling. It’s also good with lemon and hot water if you are feeling under the weather.

Now buy the book 

These are edited recipes taken from Every Last Bite by Rosie Sykes, with photographs by Patricia Niven (Quadrille, £18.99). To order a copy for £16.14 until 10 March go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25



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