Love Your Leftovers – Waldorf-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

chicken lettuce wraps

chicken lettuce wrapsThis is not strictly a paleo recipe, as I used commercial mayonnaise, which has all sorts of additives and stabilisers in it.  However, if I had made my own mayo, I think it would have been, if not strictly, then almost.  So as soon as we have finished our jar of generic supermarket mayo, I’ll be making my own. 

I wanted a quick lunch, using up bits and bobs I had in the fridge, and chicken lettuce wraps worked a treat.  It was essentially like a Waldorf salad (one of my favourites) but with chicken added – leftovers from the chicken I roasted yesterday.  They were filling, sweet, and savoury all in one delicious hit. 

To make these chicken lettuce wraps, you will need:

Leftover chicken – shredded.  Use as much or as little as you like, and use a mixture of dark and white meat if you can. 
1 sweet apple – diced.  No need to peel.
A handful of grapes – halved.
Walnuts, roughly chopped.
A rib of celery – finely sliced
Mayonnaise – I used 2 heaped teaspoons for me, but add this to your taste.  You can use yoghurt or creme fraiche instead if you like.  
2 leaves of romaine lettuce per person, each leaf cut in half widthways – the more curved the leaves, the better, as they act as a scoop for the filling.

Put all the ingredients into a bowl, add the mayonnaise and combine thoroughly.  

Spoon the mixture on to the lettuce leaves and serve.  

Eat with your hands.  Because, yeah. 

paleo and 52 chicken lettuce wraps

Love Your Leftovers – Red Pepper Pork Pasta

red pepper pork pasta

red pepper pork pastaWe came home from a weekend visiting friends in Devon with a bag of leftover hog roast.  A friend who packs you off home with a bag o’ pig is a friend indeed.  Well chuffed, I was.  

We ate it with a chopped salad and homemade chips last night, Ross took some for his lunch today, and tonight we had it with pasta in a creamy sauce with smoked paprika, and garlic bread on the side. 

I suppose it was a little like a stroganoff, and if pasta isn’t your thing, you could serve it over rice.  Or it could serve 2 as a stew with green vegetables.  Keep the garlic bread though.  Every meal is better with buttery garlic bread. 

Needless to say, we were happy hogs after tonight’s dinner.

To make Red Pepper Pork Pasta for 4, you will need: 

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Love Your Leftovers – Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

slow cooker pulled pork.jpg

slow cooker pulled pork.jpgI know! I can hardly believe it myself, but it’s true, we did indeed have some leftovers after our pulled pork dinner last night.  And we had lettuce (a humble round lettuce, nothing fancy required), avocado, creme fraiche and hot sauce, and taco shells. 

And so, pulled pork tacos were constructed, and devoured, in a matter of mere moments. 

I’ve blogged about pulled pork before (really, hasn’t everyone? It’s rife on Pinterest.  That’s not a topic I’m ever going to get high on Google rankings.) but this time I cooked it a little differently as I did it in my slow cooker instead of in the oven on low. 

So, here is how to make slow cooker pulled pork:

First things first, make up a fairly standard barbecue sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of tomato ketchup (I use cup measurements for condiments when I am using more than a tablespoon of the stuff.  Confusing? Moi?)
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar (packed or not, depending on how sweet you like it).  For a sweeter sauce, use light brown sugar, for a more treacly sauce, use dark brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder or granules, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce and mustard.

Then slice up a nice large onion and pop it into the slow cooker with a splash of water.  

On top of the onions goes a boneless pork shoulder joint.  Mine weighed just under 2lbs, so not a massive joint by anyone’s standards, but good enough for the four of us.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on this since you’ll be cooking it til it falls apart anyway (If I recall, the meat was only about a fiver from Sainsbury’s). 

Spread half the barbecue sauce over the meat, and cook on high (or auto) until you can easily shred it with a couple of forks.  This does take around 8 hours – there is no getting around that.  It’s ok, just go about your day and don’t peek at it too often.  By the time it’s ready to pull, the onions will be soft and the whole thing will be swimming in the barbecue sauce and the pork and onion juices. 

Discard the flabby fatty skin.  No one wants to eat that, and then fork that pork.

Thats what I said.  Fork it real good.  Make sure you keep it in the slow cooker pan whilst you get your shred on. 

Once pulled, mix in the rest of the barbecue sauce, and turn the heat down to low for an hour or so.  You don’t HAVE to do this, but it’s much much better if you do.  

We had ours in soft white rolls with coleslaw, lettuce and tomato.  Standard. 

slow cooker pulled pork

And here is how to make slow cooker pulled pork tacos with the leftovers:

You’ll need:

  • Taco shells, or soft tortillas.  I’d usually go for the soft tortillas, but Saino’s were all out, so taco shells it was. 
  • The leftover pulled pork
  • Lettuce, shredded.
  • A couple of avocados (why not make guacamole?)
  • Creme fraiche or soured cream and hot pepper sauce, if you like.  We like.  
  • Cheese, if you like. Again, we like. 

Tacos are really a do-as-you-like kind of meal.  I like to put the meat in first and then a little shredded lettuce, guacamole, a dollop of creme fraiche and hot sauce, and then a sprinkling of cheese.  The kids just pile it all on in whatever haphazard fashion they please, and Ross likes a lot of meat, a little salad, and liberal quantities of cheese.  Really, anything goes.  It’s just a tasty way of using up leftovers that everyone enjoys!

Best enjoyed with a nice cold beer.  

slow cooker pulled pork

Love Your Leftovers: Gammon, Mushroom and Pea Pie

gammon pie 1.jpg

gammon pie 1.jpgWe quite often have a nice smoked gammon for Sunday lunch.  I just boil it til it’s done, sometimes with some cloves and bay leaves in the water, and we eat it with butter slathered baked potatoes and vegetables.  On Boxing Day, or if I am feeling like I can be bothered, we eat it with braised red cabbage and onion sauce.

It’s a beautifully simple, and beautifully delicious meal. 

The leftovers are easy to get shot of, as well.  I make gammon pie with mine.

 

gammon pie 3.jpg

 

To make gammon pie, you’ll need:

 

  • Leftover gammon, diced into bite sized pieces. 
  • Around 200g mushrooms.  I tend to use chestnut mushrooms, but use what you like, in whatever quantity you fancy.  
  • Frozen peas or petit pois – a good handful at least.
  • 1 white onion – peeled, quartered and sliced, so you end up with little arcs of onion.
  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • Milk and water (or veg stock)
  • Seasoning (salt, pepper, nutmeg and a teaspoon or two of Dijon or wholegrain mustard)
  • Puff pastry, shop bought is fine.

 

  1. In a frying pan, gently fry the mushrooms in butter until they are cooked through, but not mushed down.  Add the gammon and warm through.  Decant to your pie dish and set aside. 
  2. Next, make the onion sauce.  In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter and add a splash of olive oil and gently fry the onions on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until softened but not coloured. 
  3. Add your flour to the onions in the pan.  You’ll find the whole lot bunches together, and this is okay.  Allow the flour to cook out for a few seconds, whilst all the time moving it around the pan.  You’ve just made a roux. 
  4. Slowly add milk, a splash at a time.  The first few splashes will absorb immediately, but slowly this will turn into a paste, and then a thick sauce.  It’s really important to keep stirring at this point or you risk the flour clumping together and you’ll end up with a lumpy sauce.  No one likes a lumpy sauce. 
  5. Keep adding milk and water until you have the quantity of sauce you’re happy with.  You can make a sauce using just milk, and that is fine, but I find it to be on the heavy side, so I use a rough ratio of 2:1 milk to water.  Season your sauce to your taste and pour over the gammon and mushrooms.
  6. Next, tip over the peas.  No need to thaw them – who needs the extra work of defrosting peas that are going to heat up in the oven? Mix everything together. 
  7. Cut your shop bought cheat’s pastry to size and lay over the mixture.  Crimp it like a boss to seal and brush over with milk or egg wash.  Poke a little hole in the top to let the steam out.
  8. Bake at 180c for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the sauce is bubbling. 
  9. Pat yourself on the back, you just made an epic gammon pie. 

 

gammon pie 4.jpg

 

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Love Your Leftovers – Turkey Ragu

turkey ragu

turkey ragu I have half a turkey sitting in my fridge, slowly getting picked at, put in sandwiches and dipped in leftover bread sauce or mayonnaise.  

This evening I had intended to make a turkey curry, and for us to eat it with rice and home made naan bread, but I couldn’t find a recipe I liked the look of, or that I had all the ingredients for.  You have probably realised I am not a stickler for following recipes and generally venture off piste on my own little culinary adventure, but I’m running low on the basics, and so turkey curry was swiftly abandoned for something a little more European. 

Instead I made a turkey ragu, which was made with all sorts of Christmassy leftovers, including braised red cabbage and cranberry sauce.

It was beautiful.  Sweet and savoury and rich and we ate it over spaghetti and covered it with Grana Padano cheese.  A really yummy way to use up Christmas leftovers. 

turkey ragu

Look at that!  How could you not want to eat that?  Here is the printable recipe. 

Turkey Ragu
Serves 4
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
356 calories
27 g
59 g
15 g
25 g
5 g
408 g
685 g
16 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
408g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356
Calories from Fat 131
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
22%
Saturated Fat 5g
24%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 59mg
20%
Sodium 685mg
29%
Total Carbohydrates 27g
9%
Dietary Fiber 6g
23%
Sugars 16g
Protein 25g
Vitamin A
52%
Vitamin C
216%
Calcium
13%
Iron
18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g cubetti di pancetta, or bacon
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped up small
  3. 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 courgette - grated
  5. leftover braised red cabbage (optional)
  6. 2-3 tbsp cranberry sauce
  7. 1 - 11/2 tbsp tomato puree
  8. 150g leftover turkey meat, shredded or sliced up. You can use white or dark meat for this.
  9. A good grating of nutmeg
  10. A glass of red wine - about 125mls.
  11. A splash of worcestershire sauce
  12. 1tsp vegetable bouillon
Instructions
  1. In a large frying pan (and preferably one with a lid) fry the pancetta (or bacon) and onion with the lid on for 3-5 minutes - until the onion begins to soften and the fat has begun to render from the meat.
  2. Then add the grated courgette, celery, red cabbage (if using) and nutmeg. Already this should be beginning to smell beautiful.
  3. Next, add the cranberry sauce, tomato purée, worcestershire sauce and wine and turn up the heat so it bubbles rapidly. Give it all a good stir, and then add a splash of water. Then, sprinkle over the vegetable bouillon and add in the chopped up turkey.
  4. Put the lid back on and reduce the heat. You should aim to let this bubble and reduce on a medium-low heat for at least 20-30 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked and soft, and the meat can be pulled apart. Test the flavours and seasoning sporadically, and adjust as you feel is necessary. You should end up with a nice rich sauce, which is slightly sweet and fruity.
  5. Serve over pasta cooked al dente (nothing more rank than overcooked pasta) - and whilst I know Italians wouldn't serve a sauce like this with spaghetti, it's my favourite pasta, so thats what we had it with.
  6. Buon appetito!
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calories
356
fat
15g
protein
25g
carbs
27g
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Boston Beans

boston beans recipe

boston beans recipeWe are trying to eek out the autumn evenings by sitting out in the garden at dusk (and later), bundled up in coats and scarves and thick socks inside our boots, around a fire.  

I always cook something warming and delicious so we can make the most of being outside.  Last week it was soup drunk from mugs and garlic bread, but this week we had sausages in baguettes with mustard and mayo and a big hearty bowl of boston beans on the side.  Real baked beans, in a smokey, sweet, tomatoey sauce, with big chunks of pork and onion.  Delicious.  Proper autumn fare.  And absolutely nothing like the beans that come out of a tin. 

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