For some, the Christmas leftovers are enjoyed just as they are. Those days of raiding the fridge to create meals from the cold cuts of meat, leftover vegetables, sauces, cheeses and puddings is one of the great joys of cooking a big festive feast. But there are also times for being a bit more creative, particularly with leftover vegetables – to make something new and fresh out of the fridge forages, or simply to create a hot meal from the cold bounty.
We have this bubble and squeak every year on Boxing Day, made of the previous day’s leftovers and served hot out of the pan with cold cuts of turkey, ham or pheasant and some Piccalilli on the side. If you still have Christmas vegetables to use up, it’s a really simple but easy way to make use of them.
Chestnut bubble and squeak
125g swede, peeled and cut into chunks
750g cold leftover mashed potatoes, or crushed boiled potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
180g chestnuts (either fresh, cooked and peeled, or vacuum-packed), chopped
250–275g leftover cooked green veg (broccoli/cabbage/Brussels sprouts in any combination), chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Put the swede into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until just soft. Drain well and then mash with the potatoes. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until softened but not coloured, about 5 minutes.
Put the mashed potato and swede into a large bowl and add the onion and garlic, chopped chestnuts leftover green vegetables and parsley; season well with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture evenly into eight and shape into ‘cakes’ approximately 125g each (you can also make one large cake).
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
Spread the polenta out on a plate and dust the cakes with it, pressing them gently into the polenta to form a crust. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and pan-fry the cakes over a medium heat for about 4–5 minutes each side, or until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and transfer to a baking tray. Bake in the oven until hot all the way through, about 30 minutes.