Turning leftovers into a new meal or dish is logical … even thoughtful.

Put simply, leftovers are also Food with Thought!

A rolled pork shoulder from Bronwyn and Michael Cowan at Gypsy Pig in Gippsland, Victoria was a delicious dinner. Roasted with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, we ate it with bowls of salads – tomato with balsamic dressing, spinach leaves with a sprinkling of shaved pecorino cheese and new potatoes, boiled and dolloped with lemon mayonnaise.

With most of the salads eaten, the leftovers were all about the pork. Over the next couple of days, I whipped up a couple of choices that the family (and visitors) continued to enjoy:

PORK w CHILLI & BASIL DRESSING

The amount of pork you use obviously depends on how much you have leftover. Here, the chopped up pork is the equivalent of two metric cups.

Roughly chop the pork – almost dicing it – into pieces about 2cm in length. Pieces this size give the pork a wonderful texture when biting into it and stand up to the dressing too.

Chilli & Basil Dressing

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 small red chillies, finely chopped (more if you like a lot of heat)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 large basil leaves, ripped into little pieces (chopping the leaves on a board leaves alot of the flavour on the board)

crushed sea salt, to taste

ground black pepper, to taste

To Garnish:

Chopped garlic chives and parsley (about 2 tablespoons of each).

Put all the ingredients in a glass jar, close the lid on the jar and shake vigorously. Check for flavour – if it’s a little too oily for your taste, add 1/2 tsp more vinegar. If it’s too sharp on your palate, add a teaspoon more olive oil.

Place the chopped pork in a bowl, sprinkle with the garlic chives and parsley and then follow with the dressing.

Pour a little at a time to get the coating you are looking for and the desired flavour.

Accompany:

If you have any bread leftover from a party or dinner, slice it and rub it with a cut garlic clove.

Pour a little olive oil over the sliced bread and place it under a hot grill until it is slightly tan with

a toasty crisp edge.

SHREDDED PORK SANDWICHES

Pull the cooked pork meat apart with your hands into shreds OR take a knife and cut along the grain of the meat, slicing it into very fine shreds.

Place this meat in a bowl and mix with some good mayonaisse, lemon juice, 2 finely chopped anchovy fillets, 2 tablespoon of capers, 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seed, 1 crushed clove garlic, chopped parsley, salt and black pepper. Taste the mixture and make sure it’s balanced to your taste. A little more lemon juice will liven it up if it’s tasting too creamy and heavy; if it’s all spice and lemon, add a teaspoon more of mayo.

This will combine into a thick unctous mess of sweet meat and creamy textured dressing that will sit neatly in a sliced sourdough roll on top of some rocket leaves.

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Thanks to all of you who listened to my chat with Myf Warhurst today on ABC local radio. We talked about leftovers and sustainable fish – it was alot of fun.

I’m here to write down some leftover recipes for ham and turkey, when it comes to waste,the best thing we can do is share ideas on what to do with leftovers to prevent the enormous amount of waste each year that comes along at Christmas time with the presents, the indulgence and the difficult relatives.

If you love leftovers, seek out http://foodwise.com.au, this is a wonderful idea and great cause!

Ham

 – quesadillas or flat bread filled with thinly sliced ham, jalapeno peppers and Mahon or Manchego cheese and grill or cook in a sandwich toaster.

– heat oven to 180C; dice fontina cheese and mix with diced ham, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Spoon onto a square of puff pastry and fold over, brush with melted butter and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

– make a dip of cannellini beans (it’s ok to use tinned) and mixed with lemon zest, garlic, chopped basil and tarragon, salt and pepper and shredded ham. Serve as a dip with toasted pita bread or smear over good quality bread and finish with beetroot, lettuce, tomato and sprouts for a great sandwich.

– baked eggs – heat oven to 180C. Line a ramekin or another small dish with thin slices of ham. Sautee some chopped cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and put in the ramekin. Crack an egg in and place the filled ramekin in the oven for 8 minutes, cook for longer is you like a hard yolk, just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t dry out too badly – say, no longer than 13 minutes.

Turkey

– a play on a Waldorf salad. Chop up turkey flesh and mix with finely sliced celery,some pinenuts, chopped green apple, chopped parsley and garlic chives and bind together with mayonnaise( if you can make your own its worth it and a great way of using up leftover eggs). Just before serving squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top of the salad and give it one more stir through. A touch of salt and pepper now will do the trick for seasoning.

– a summer salad of turkey, sliced mango, coriander leaves, red onion, avocado, lime juice, chilli, ginger, sesame oil (just a small touch) and the same of soy sauce.

– a retro quiche – heat oven to 180C  line a greased cake or quiche tin with puff pastry then brush the base of the pastry with leftover cranberry sauce. Combine 6 eggs, salt, pepper, one cup of cream, half a cup of grated cheddar and half a cup of grated parmesan with chopped turkey meat, chopped coriander, basil and parsley. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and cook for 40 minutes but give it a check after 25 minutes just to make sure it’s cooking evenly and well.

Let me know if you’d like to read some more leftover recipes – I have plenty!

email me at hilary@foodwiththought.com.au

I look forward to hearing from you,

Hilary