Continuing the theme of leftovers this week - poor family, they have been fed a smorgasbord of leftovers this week - old grotty ham from the fridge in quiches, soft squidgy tomatoes in yet more quiches, frozen chilli con carne leftovers in pasties, and limp hot dogs and out of date ready roll flaky pastry for sausage rolls.
But tonight I am going one better, the whole dinner is made up of random leftovers I found when making space in the freezer in the barn, so here goes:
Take a couple of handfulls of frozen cherry tomatoes
About 1 large chopped leek
A bowlful of frozen french beans
and 8 random chestnuts
Unfortunately I did not peel the chestnuts before freezing them, therefore first things first, boil the chestnuts for a couple of minutes then while still hot, peel the bitter skin off, although this does scald your fingers, it is much easier to do while the chestnuts are hot. Once peeled, roughly chop the chestnuts.
In a large pan, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil, then the chopped chestnuts, a couple of grinds of black peppercorns, and 2 cloves of garlic just smashed up with the blade of your knife. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add a teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon of paprika, and a teaspoon of dried chillies.
Add the leek to the pan (no need to defrost), fry until the leek is soft, then add the cherry tomatoes, and continue frying until the tomatoes are soft too.
Add a litre of chicken stock, the beans and leave to cook for about 8 minutes, until the beans are cooked through.
To finish, a big pinch of dried oregano, stir through and serve as a side to whatever meat you have knocking around, we had ours alongside some beef steaks I bought reduced a while ago. Mop up the juices with a couple of doorstep wedges of homemade multi grain bread.
I find my family can manage to stomach leftovers if served alongside some good thick portions of quality meat, pork chops, roast chicken legs and beef steaks.