Last night’s tea was completely inspired by Nancy over at Good Food Matters. She made the most delicious Tomato and Mozzarella Strata, all bubbling and pillowy. Well, last night I had the remains of a cooked chicken in the fridge and half a loaf of bread on the side. So I adapted Nancy’s Strata by adding the chicken chopped small as the first layer, cooking chorizo in with the tomato sauce and used feta instead of mozzarella. A very fine dish indeed. Pop over to Nancy’s to find out how to make your own savoury bread pudding.
This was the dish before it was baked in the oven for forty minutes.
A bit unusual for us this, but this morning I found myself with about half of the Fruit Loaf left. Now, I made this three days ago, so whilst I was happy to have one more slice toasted I feared that the rest might end up as chicken food.
My youngest loves bread pudding, so it seemed the obvious way of getting the rest of the loaf consumed. Sorry chickens!
Actually this is the perfect way to use up this loaf, my normal bread pudding recipe requires dried fruit, mixed spice and the zest of an orange. Well, all of this is already in there, with the marmalade taking the place of the orange zest. So this was easy peasy to put together and tastes really lovely. I did add a little extra mixed spice and some nutmeg because I love aromatic bread pudding.
750 – 800 g (10-12 oz) leftover fruit loaf
50g (2oz) melted butter
300ml (½ pint) milk
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
75g (3 oz) dark brown muscovado sugar
Break the bread into a large bowl. Traditionally you are supposed to remove the crusts but it would be a shame to remove the crust of this loaf as it is so tasty so I didn’t. I just made sure the crusty bits were broken up quite small. Combine the melted butter and the milk and pour over the bread. Give the mixture a good stir and then set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
Beat the egg and add to the bready mixture, along with the spices and sugar and stir well to combine.
Butter a shallow dish, I used my ceramic flan dish with measures 23 cm. Pour the mixture in and level the top. Place in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the Baking Oven of the Aga for about 1 hour. It may take a little longer, depending on your oven. It should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool a little. It’s good warm or cold.
I haven’t shared a dinner with you for quite a while and there has been a very good reason for this. A few weeks ago Chele at The Chocolate Teapot said she had lost her baking mojo (only temporarily, she soon found it again), well I seemed to have lost my making dinner mojo. I burned quite a few things, some things I undercooked, some I just didn’t season right. Poor old Mr OC, he has had to suffer some disappointing meals.
This is why I was so pleased when this dinner made from Sunday’s leftover lamb was so tasty. I do hope my making dinner mojo is back for good! (And so does Mr OC).
For the Lamb paprika:
Cooked lamb (however much you have left from a roast, or put another way, enough for two greedy people)
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5-6 fresh tomatoes or 1 tin of plum tomatoes
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp sugar (if you are using fresh English tomatoes)
salt and pepper
If you are using fresh tomatoes, place them in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, allow to cool and then peel off the skin. Dice the tomatoes, keeping the juice.
Fry the onion and pepper in a little olive oil over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and the pepper is softened. Add the cooked lamb and the paprika and cumin and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the while so that the spices don’t burn. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice or the tin of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the sugar if using fresh tomatoes. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down and the juices have reduced to a pulpy sauce. Whilst this is happening cook the spiced rice.
For the spiced rice: (generously serves 2)
200ml basmati rice
1 scant tsp salt
1-2 tsp cumin seed
5-6 cardamom pods
generous handful of raisins
Measure the rice in a measuring jug and rinse several times with water and then leave to soak in a jugful of water for 30 minutes if you have time.
Melt the butter in a heavy based pan and add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods and cook for a minute, stirring all the time. Drain the rice and add to the buttery spices, stirring carefully until coated with butter. Add 300ml of fresh water and the raisins and salt. Stir once gently, cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the heat, take off the lid and cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand for five minutes. All of the water should have been absorbed and the rice will be perfectly cooked.
Serve the rice and the lamb and tuck in. A spoonful or two of yoghurt wouldn’t go amiss.
I had some roast wild duck left over just before Christmas and so I came up with this terrine as a tasty way of using it up. My mum gave me some mushrooms as she had picked up a bargain box from the market so the middle layer is the mushroom mixture I use for Beef Wellington with a dash of double cream and roasted chestnuts added. The whole thing was a winning combination with a good mix of texture and taste.
You could use leftover chicken, pheasant or indeed any fowl to make this terrine.
200g duck (already cooked and stripped off the bones)
6 rashers middle bacon
150g mushrooms, wiped and chopped chunkily
100g roasted chestnuts ( I used the vacuum packed variety), chopped chunkily
1 onion, chopped finely
3 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp Marsala or Madeira wine
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Line a loaf tin with the rashers of bacon, overlapping them and leaving a good overhang so that they will stretch over the top of the terrine at the end. I alternated using the back part of bacon with the rasher part which helped fill the gaps better.
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion and fry until golden, remove to a plate. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook until golden, add the onions back to the pan and add the chestnuts. Add the Marsala and reduce by a half and then stir in the cream and bubble for a moment and then take this off the heat. Add the chopped parsley and stir to combine.
Take the skin off the sausages.
Place the duck meat into a food processor with half the sausage meat (i.e. the meat from 3 of the sausages) and pulse until fairly smooth and combined.
Place half the duck mixture into the bottom of the terrine and spread out evenly. Next add the mushroom mixture and spread evenly. On top of this layer the remaining sausage meat and then the final layer of duck mixture. Wrap the overhanging bacon rashers over the top of the terrine until it is completely covered. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c (gas mark 4 or the baking oven of the Aga) for 1 hour or possibly up to 1½ hours. You will know when it is cooked as it begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Leave the terrine in the tin to settle and then turn out when completely cold. This is good made the day before you want to eat it to allow the flavours to develop. Serve in slices.
We had a roast rib of beef for Sunday lunch this week, if I had not been so eager to eat it I might have remembered to take a photograph of it and a post all about it would already have been on the site. I will try not to be so eager next time…
With the left over beef I made a cottage pie for tea tonight and I have simmered the bones with an onion, carrot and bouquet garni in enough water to cover the bones for about three hours to make a beef stock for the freezer.
A cottage pie (or a shepherd’s pie if made in the same way using left over lamb) is pure comfort food. It can even be eaten with a spoon if you feel you really need some comforting.
It’s hard to be precise about quantities as you need to adapt according to the amount of meat you have left. I had 8 oz (225g) of beef so I added one onion, one carrot and about 4 oz (110g) of frozen peas. I then topped with half a medium swede boiled with 2 medium sized potatoes. But it will depend on what you have available in the cupboard. The glory of something that is made out of leftovers is that it is adaptable to what you have left over. It may be that you have some leftover mash (carrot, swede, parsnip or potato) from the meal when you enjoyed the roast beef, which would make a brilliant topping.
What I tend to do is whizz the onion and carrot together in the food processor until finely chopped and whilst they are sweating I do the same with the beef in the processor. It makes it into a consistency that is very comforting to eat.
Serves 2 generously
1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
8 oz (225g) roast beef, finely chopped
4 oz (110g) frozen peas
½ pint (275ml) beef stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
For the topping:
½ medium swede, peeled and cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bigger cubes than the swede
½ oz (10g) butter
Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a gentle heat and add the onion and carrot and sweat for about five minutes. Add the beef and stir and then add the stock and the bay leaf. Cook for 1 hour at a gentle heat. Add the frozen peas. Season to taste. Turn the mixture into a deep oven proof dish.
Whilst the beef mixture is cooking you can cook the potato and swede topping. Swede takes longer to cook than potatoes so I always give them a five minute head start by placing them in a saucepan and adding enough water to cover. Add a little salt (½tsp) to the water and bring to the boil, when they have been boiling for five minutes add the potatoes and cook until both the swede and the potatoes are tender (this will depend on how big you made the cubes, you can test with the point of a knife). Drain in a colander, return to the pan and add the butter. When the butter has melted mash them with a potato masher.
Cover the beef mixture with the potato mixture so that it is completely and evenly covered. Place in a preheated oven at 180°c (350°f, gas mark 4) for about 30-45 minutes until the top is crispy and browned.
I love to cook. I spend a lot of my time baking and cooking, or thinking about baking and cooking. I use this little corner of the internet to share my recipes. I hope that they inspire you to cook one or two of them. I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or visit my Contact Page to drop me an email. Kath
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