Getting the most out of leftovers

The leftovers waiting to be transformed

Some people are quite squeamish about leftovers. They either chuck them out, or leave them festering in the fridge and then chuck them out!

My approach is to portion them off and either freeze for another day, or send them to work with Matthew for a handy packed lunch.

But I recently had the pleasure of meeting the amazing cook Lucy Cufflin, who sees them more as ready to use ingredients for making other things with.

Lucy knocks up a quick scone-based pizza topped with leftovers

For example, a portion of chilli could be spread on a pizza base, sprinkled with cheese, folded over and baked in the oven. Chilli con Calzone anyone?!

Lucy is an accomplished chef who trained at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school, worked as a chef to the British Ambassador in Sweden, then worked as head chef at a large hotel in the French Alps. Years later she set up her own business with fellow Cordon Bleu chef Lucy Lee-Tirell catering for huge functions and has also worked with Skiworld to create their entire menus for the chalet hosts. If anyone knows about cooking it’s Lucy!

I went along to a leftover masterclass at Lucy’s huge Chiswick family kitchen and was treated to an array of dishes that she’d whipped up out of uneaten meals.

The good old Christmas dinner is notorious for providing a fridge heaving with leftovers. Lucy showed us how to make Brussel sprout and stilton soup, samosas with spiced roast dinner inside and even chocolate brownies with a very surprise ingredient – good old Christmas Pudding!

If you’re ever going to have leftovers, it’s going to be Christmas pud, and let me tell you, i’m not a big fan of this stuff but the brownies were incredible.

Some other top tips I gleaned:

  • Mix a bit of greek yoghurt with mint sauce out of a jar – makes delicious Raita
  • Crushed cornflakes mixed with spices make a cracking coating for meat or fish goujons
  • Brinjal pickle mixed with mayonaise makes the perfect base for coronation chicken

Having a bit of a serious hummus addiction, I was particularly impressed with Lucy’s version that uses leftover carrots. The addition of peanut butter, was a masterstroke and made it very moreish indeed.

Here’s her recipe – you can find more brilliant ideas on her blog Lucy Loves Leftovers

Lucy Cufflin’s Carrot hummus

150g leftover cooked carrots
200g tinned chickpeas
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated finely
fresh coriander
1 tbsp peanut butter

Blitz the lot in a blender and adjust seasoning accordingly.


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
This entry was posted in Cookery courses, Days out, leftovers, Party food, Storecupboard cooking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Getting the most out of leftovers

  1. I love leftovers! And as I have a habit of cooking far too much then we usually have a lot. Rich doesn’t really like eating the same thing twice so I have to be inventive with turning them into something ‘different’. The masterclass you went to sounds like it was really useful! I’ll be giving the hummus a go, another hummus addict here πŸ™‚

  2. Carolina J. says:

    I never throw anything away! But I did throw away Cornflakes yesterday! If only I knew such a tip! What is peanut butter used for in hummus? We don’t buy it, can it be swapped for normal butter?

  3. Carolina J. says:

    Right, thank you. I ‘ll have to try it then!

  4. Laura Scott says:

    Lucy sounds like my kind of cook! I visited her site and said hello, thanks for this post πŸ™‚

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