Hokan Bowls | Rarebit bubble & squeak hash browns
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Rarebit bubble & squeak hash browns

Rarebit bubble & squeak hash browns

What I have found is that there are always good base ingredients such as rice & potatoes that provide excellent foundation blocks for new meals.

I’ve been never a great cook, not even a good cook, but I am a cook who uses everything up; saving leftover food that can be eaten on another day rather than throwing it away. This has made me try all sorts of combinations of leftovers and made me interested to see what kind of new meals I can make from old ones. What I have found is that there are always good base ingredients such as rice, potatoes that provide excellent foundation blocks for new meals. Leftover rice will last for several days in the fridge and can be used to make the simplest of meals such as egg fried rice or rice and beans or tucked into a delicious burrito. But it can also be the basis for making arranci or rice pudding. Potatoes can be made into gratins, used cold in salads or refried for an indulgent weekend breakfast. The yolks of eggs need never be thrown away when not needed in baking can be saved for mayonnaise or custard either in the fridge or freezer. A half used tin of baked beans can be thrown into a casserole or used in your own Baked Bean Burgers.

The use of leftovers is not a new phenomenon and we can go back into recent history where in times of hardship such as the second world war nothing was ever wasted and in cultures all around the world some of the most revered classic dishes are based on this very principle; minestrone, broths, frittatas, bruschetta. In fact the luxurious almond croissant comes from the re-using of the humble plain croissant leftover from the day before, reheated with an almond paste inside, et voila!

This week the boys and I decided to have chips form our local chip shop, bought so many that not even we could finish them off and so we saved them as leftovers and were on the look-out for a recipe that could use them. We found it in the Mildreds Cookbook, which although called for potatoes, I supplemented the left-over chips and it was delicious, and no one would ever know, except I would never not be able to tell everyone. I would also use those chips fried up with my eggs and sausages and mushrooms and tomatoes for a Saturday morning English breakfast. Leftover potatoes, mashed or roast, make a new dish a couple of days later.

Don't you love a bit of kitchen kit that does so many different things for just one price?

In fact it doesn’t even have to be food it could be for instance leftover drinks/coffee such as a recipe which i made up which uses a half cup of coffee, oats, banana, peanut butter and with the leftover coffee added to it and left to soak overnight so it can be left in the fridge and cooked in the oven / microwave in the morning for a deliciously protein and caffeine rich start to the day.

What leftover recipes do you swear by? And do you have any handed down through the family?