Turn old food into great new dishes on Stop Food Waste Day
Our new titles Breakfast: The Cookbook and Tu Casa Mi Casa have some wonderful uses for ordinary leftovers
Breakfast might be the first meal of the day, but often the ingredients were cooked the night before. “In Korea, leftover protein is turned into a soup or stew, while day-old rice is fried to perfection and enjoyed with banchan, or side dishes, such as Cabbage Kimchi,” writes Emily Elyse Miller in Breakfast: The Cookbook. “In Colombia, stale bread is revived in a milk soup called changua. In America, Scrapple is a cornmeal and meat loaf made from less desirable cuts of pork, then sliced, fried, and served with eggs and toast. Even a cold slice of pizza from the night before can be considered breakfast."
You hardly need a recipe for leftover pizza, but something like Leblebi, a Tunisian breakfast stew of chickpeas and stale bread (above), takes a little more explaining.
That dish requires one cup of dried chickpeas, soaked for at least four hours and drained, as well as one chopped onion, two cups of stale, torn bread, three cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of cumin, a tablespoon of harissa, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
You boil the chickpeas for an hour. Then you fry the onion, stir in the garlic and cumin, season with salt and pepper, add a little of the chickpea water, and put this all to the chickpea pan. Stir in the harissa and add the lemon juice. Lastly put the bread in a bowl, and then divide the bread into two bowls and pour chickpea mixture on top.
And that’s not the only use of yesterday’s ingredients among our new books. In Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook, Enrique Olvera explains that stale tortillas are actually better for frying than fresh tortillas, particularly when creating crispy potato and quesillo flautas.
“Flautas, or flutes, which are named after their shape, are a perfect leftover dish,” he writes. “Whenever you have stale tortillas and some chicken, cheese, or mashed potatoes, this is a great solution to breathe new life into them.”
To make the dish you need two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes; one pound of quesillo or Oaxaca string cheese); half a cup of crema or crème fraîche; 12–16 tortillas, and some vegetable oil. You bake the potatoes at 375°F (190°C/Gas Mark 5) for about 30 minutes, mash them with the quesillo, crema, and a little salt. Then you put two tablespoons of the mixture it the tortillas, roll them up tightly, using a cocktail stick to keep them in place, and fry them for about three minutes. Then serve them with a little salsa.