“Use up your Christmas leftovers” Pizza

If you are looking for ideas of how to use up your leftovers over the next few days, this might help! You can really customise this recipe in any way you want with whatever leftovers you have left. You can make it a meat feast (think turkey + ham + stuffing) or vegetarian supreme (think roasties, sprouts, veggies), or of course – mix and match. You can make your own pizza dough if you have time or use ready-made pizza base like suggested below. This turned out to be very tasty, it has quickly become my favourite way to use up Christmas leftovers!

“Use up your Christmas leftovers” Pizza

Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 15 mins
Easy

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You’ll need

  • 2 ready-made pizza bases;
  • 8 tbsp tomato passata;
  • 1 tbsp oregano;
  • 1 tsp garlic powder;
  • 125g mozzarella, cubed;
  • leftover meats and/or veggies, chopped to bite-sized pieces (see tips below for suggestions).

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan. To make a simple sugo, mix the passata with the oregano and garlic powder. Season well.

Spread the sugo over each pizza base. Top with your choice of meats and vegetables (see below for toppings suggestions), and finally add the mozzarella. Put the pizzas in a tray or pizza stone and bake for about 15 minutes.

As you can see from the photos, we opted for making our own dough and shaping it to a rectangle (sorry Italian friends!) it worked perfectly for us. If you are making your own dough you can still follow the recipe above.

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Topping suggestions:

Food Notes special: Leftover roast meat (we used goose), sliced red onion, sliced fresh tomato, green olives.

Meat feast: Top your pizzas with equal amounts of chopped turkey, chopped ham and chopped stuffing. Add some sliced red onions and black olives for extra flavour if desired.

Vegetarian feast: Top your pizzas with equal amounts of chopped roast potato, brussels sprouts and other roast veggies. Swap the mozzarella for chopped taleggio for a different taste.

Vegan supreme: Use any combination of your leftover veggies and to your pizzas with cubed or shredded vegan cheese.

Christmas dinner: Top your pizzas with some leftover roast meat, roast potatoes, stuffing and sprouts, for the ultimate Christmas dinner pizza.


Hope you enjoy these ideas! Do share your favourite combinations in the comments and keep sharing the inspiration. I hope you all enjoyed the festive period.

~Em

Potato and aubergine curry

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of aubergines. I associate them with a unappealing mushy texture and bitter flavour. However, this summer I’ve been pushing myself to rediscover ingredients that I have thought for a long time that I don’t like. I’ve opened up to asparagus, broccoli and this recipe has definitely helped me appreciate an aubergine a lot more. I still can’t say I love them, but I know that cooked in the right way and paired with the right ingredients, they can be fantastic. So this recipe isn’t just for those of you who love a veggie curry anyway, it’s also for any others around here who don’t really like aubergines. I promise you, this curry might just change your mind about them. Take this from someone who has actively avoided aubergines for a fair few years.

Potato and aubergine curry

Serves 4 | Prep 20 minutes | Cook 40 minutes  | Vegan, Gluten-free | Easy

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Tip: If you want to save a little time, you can use 3 tbsp ready made Tikka curry paste instead of making your own.

You’ll need:
For the Tikka Curry Paste (makes roughly 3 tbsp):
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled;
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled;
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded if you prefer less spice);
  • 1 tsp ground cumin;
  • 2 tsp ground coriander;
  • 1 tsp paprika.
For the curry:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil;
  • 1 red onion, sliced;
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;
  • 10 curry leaves;
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes;
  • 500 ml vegetable stock;
  • 500g new potatoes, sliced into thick disks (no need to peel);
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 2 cm dice;
  • 400g can coconut milk;
  • Chopped coriander (to serve).

First, make the curry paste. Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix on a medium speed until you have a paste. Set aside.

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Tikka curry paste: all the ingredients required

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or casserole dish. Fry the onion, garlic and curry leaves for 10 minutes on low heat, until the onion has softened. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, potatoes and aubergine. Bring to a simmer, add a little seasoning, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, removing the lid for the final 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Season.

Serve the curry scattered with coriander and with rice or naan bread.

Original recipe for the Potato and Aubergine Curry is from BBC Good Food magazine, issue June 2012, not available online.

Original recipe for the curry paste from Kenwood World, available here.

 

Tagliatelle with roast nduja and tomato sauce

Nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from Calabria, Italy.  In flavour, it is similar to chorizo and it can be indeed quite spicy as it’s made from pork and chilly. It’s fantastic spread over crusty bread and can liven up a simple tomato sauce. It usually comes in a jar and you should be able to find it in most Italian delis. I got mine from Carluccios where you can also get good quality Pappardelle or Tagliatelle to go with this pasta sauce. The original recipe from Delicious magazine uses Pappardelle, but I used Tagliatelle as it’s easier to find and it’s available in most supermarkets. I do recommend sticking to using long, flat pasta as the sauce clings beautifully to it.

The below recipe is from Delicious magazine and I adapted it slightly to make use of veggies that needed using up. This is a spicy sauce so if you prefer to tone the spice down, I would suggest putting a little less nduja paste. If you want to make it spicier, just add a chopped fresh chilly or two to the veggies when you roast them.

Tagliatelle with roast Nduja and tomato sauce

Serves 4 | Prep time 15 mins | Cooking time 25 mins |Easy
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You’ll need:
  • 2 peppers (red, yellow or orange), deseeded and thinly sliced;
  • 500g mixed baby heirloom tomatoes;
  • 2 courgettes, thinly sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler;
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves;
  • 60ml olive oil;
  • 90g Nduja;
  • 400g tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta;
  • Parmesan, shaved, to serve;
  • Fresh basil leaves, shredded, to serve.

First, prepare the veggies. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Put the peppers, tomatoes, courgettes and garlic cloves in a large roasting tin. Mix well with the olive oil. Add the Nduja and some seasoning and toss until the Nduja has mixed well with the vegetables. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to collapse.

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Meanwhile, cook the pasta following the pack instructions. Drain and reserve 60ml of the cooking water. Remove the vegetables from the oven, squeeze the garlic out of the skin (take care, though, it will be hot!) and stir back with the vegetables. Add the pasta and reserved cooking water and mix well.

Serve in pasta bowls, topped with the fresh basil and Parmesan.

Original Recipe, Delicious Magazine, available here.

Courgettes with crisp cheese crumbs

These courgettes make for a nice side with a difference. They will go well with most main courses and are a nice change from potatoes or boiled veggies. Didn’t manage to grab a photo of them, but they were really tasty so I wanted to post them anyway.

Courgettes with crips cheese crumbs

Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 30 mins | Easy | Vegetarian

 

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Courgette with crisp cheese crumbs on the right served with chicken and veg.

 

You’ll need:
  • 6 courgettes, trimmed and cut into chunky batons;
  • pinch dried chilli flakes;
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil;
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;
  • 85g dried or stale breadcrumbs;
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan (or a vegetarian alternative);
  • 4 tbsp ready-made tomato pasta sauce or passata.

Heat oven to 200C/ 180C fan / gas 6. Place the courgettes in a baking dish or roasting tin and toss with the chilli, thyme, 1 tbsp olive oil and seasoning. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the remaining oil in a bowl. Stir in the garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and a little seasoning.

Stir the tomato sauce through the soft courgettes, then sprinkle with the crumbs and bake for a further 10-15 mins until crisp.

Original recipe from BBC Good Food magazine, issue May 2010, available here.

Simple roast pepper & tomato salad

A roast pepper salad is often found on the Bulgarian table, and you know this is a Bulgarian recipe because of the amount of garlic in it! However, don’t let that put you off as I can assure you that this is one of the best side salads you can have! Simple and usually only including a couple of ingredients, it makes a great side to almost anything. It smells so appetising (freshly cut garlic and herbs) and no matter how full I am, I always have a bit more space to finish this particular salad. Typically it would only include roast peppers, parsley, garlic and a dressing of sunflower oil & vinegar, however, this variation adds a few other ingredients which make it even tastier!

Simple roast pepper & tomato salad

You can make this salad in advance. In fact, the longer you let it sit, the tastier it will be!

Serves: 4 (as a side) | Takes: 10 minutes, no cooking | Vegan | Easy

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Ingredients:

  • 500g jar roast peppers, drained and sliced;
  • 3-4 tomatoes, roughly chopped;
  • A handful each basil and parsley, chopped;
  • 2-3tbsp sunflower oil;
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar;
  • 4-5 tbsp red wine vinegar;
  • 1 tbsp sea salt;
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped.

Method:

  1. Make the dressing. In a small bowl all of the ingredients apart from the peppers and tomatoes and mix well.
  2. Mix the tomatoes and peppers in a medium bowl. Add the dressing and leave for about 15 minutes before serving, though you can let it sit and prepare in advance. The longer you let it sit the more flavour it will pack.

I hope you enjoy making this and trying some more Bulgarian food!

~Em.