Make ahead Side Dishes and Smart Leftovers

This past weekend we had some of our friends over for a Christmas dinner.  That day our friends were coming over at 2pm and we had an antenatal class that wrapped up at 12:30.  That didn’t give us much time to get ready before our friends arrived.  In order to try and be as relaxed and organised as possible, I tried to prepare as much as possible the day before.

I found this recipe again, in the Waitrose Christmas magazine.  It involves preparing and parboiling the vegetables ahead of time, then finishing them off the day of.  I was really impressed by how well this recipe worked.  I thought the vegetables would end up soggy – not the case!

This recipe also makes an excellent contribution to bubble and squeak.  Bubble and Squeak is an English dish using leftover Christmas vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, and onions.  It’s a hearty leftover and with the flavours involved in the recipe below, offers a bit of variety to a hot turkey sandwich.

Medley of Green Vegetables – adapted from the Waitrose Christmas Magazine

250 g brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 leeks, washed and cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2 cm slices
150 g green beens, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
70 g diced pancetta

Bring a large sauce pan of water to the boil.  Add the vegetables to the boiling water, return to the boil and boil for 1 minute.  Drain the vegetables and rinse with cold running water.  Drain again and dry well on paper towels.  Chill until required.

When you’re ready to serve the vegetables, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, add the pancetta and cook until just brown.  Add the vegetables and toss gently in the oil to heat through.  Serve immediately.

Bubble and Squeak – Adapted from the Waitrose Christmas Magazine

1 tbsp olive oil
15 g unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
270 g cooked medley of vegetables (from above, plus any other leftover vegetables such as carrots)
400 g cooked mashed potato
chopped coriander (optional)

Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan or cast iron pan.  Add the onion and saute over a medium heat until golden.  Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the green vegetables and let them colour slightly, coating them in the spices.

Add the potato and coriander and mix together.  Season with salt and pepper and spread the mixture out to cover the base of the pan.  Cook over a medium heat allowing the mixture to colour on the bottom.  Break the mixture up, flipping bits over to allow other bits to brown on the bottom of the pan.  Eventually you should end up with a nicely browned cake.  Serve from the pan, cutting it into wedges.

Serve on its own (or with a turkey sandwich), or with chutney, cucumber raita or wedges of lime.


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