My friend Jane and I jokingly call ourselves the Leftover Queens because we specialise in magicking up meals from leftovers. Being British, our speciality is Bubble & Squeak, of course.
Why is it that leftovers taste nicer than the original? My fondest memory (and favourite food) is my father’s leftover turkey soup that we would eat for days after Christmas. I don’t know what’s the secret ingredients, but it is simply out of the world. When I asked him for the recipe (which I do almost every year, deviously sometimes), he won’t tell me. “You have to come back to my house for my soup,” he would say with a twinkle in his eye. “That’s my insurance.”
Nothing I make could ever taste as good as that.
Though I love my leftover cuisine. Not only does it save money, it saves a lot of time, too: whenever I am cooking something, I would put the ‘inedible’ bits in a container, to be boiled up into a soup by either adding some beef bones or chicken carcass. Sometimes, I would just boil up the vegetables for a clear consommé. These were the end bits that our rabbits used to eat in the days we had eleven rabbits, but now, it ended up in a healthy soup (the veggies, not the rabbits):
From this humble bits, you could make either a simple rice and grain porridge or a healthy alternative to instant noodles. The recipe for the instant noodles is here.
So when you are preparing food next, don’t throw bits away – either bag them up for future use (freeze it) or chuck them into the pot to boil up.
One of the best kitchen tips I give folks is always have home-made stocks handy in the fridge. Because they are soooo easy to make, and they are the foundation of such delicious, simple, healthy dishes. Look differently at a carrot stub the next time round.