Friday, November 7, 2008

LEFTOVERS


Last night saw me gazing wistfully into the fridge looking for supper. My husband was out of town so I wanted something quick, easy but tasty. I needed inspiration. There was a dish of left over rice from the night before and some cooked chicken so I did what people all over the world do with leftovers I put together a fried rice dish. With the help of some shrimp from the freezer a handful of frozen peas and a tablespoonful of a NASI GORENG paste which I keep in the pantry I knew before long I would have a delicious warming supper dish.
I put some oil in a wok fried off the paste then added the chicken, shrimp, rice & peas. On the side I fried an egg and warmed some naan bread in the microwave, in less than 10 mins I was tucking into supper.
This made me think of all the dishes from across the world which use basically the same ingredients. Nasi Goreng, which is Indonesian, paella, Spanish,fried rice, from China, jambalaya and rice & beans from the south, and even the Italians have their risotto, although this a bit more refined than the others. In UK we have a dish called KEDGEREE, which is rice, smoked fish flavours with curry powder. This is I'm sure a dish carried over from our days in India. Usually it is served for brunch. I am sure there are many more.
Today these dishes are all trendy and can be found in all good restaurants but in their simplest and earliest forms these were dishes concocted to use up leftovers from the weekend meals, cooked at a time, unlike today, when food was not wasted or thrown out. Also lack of refrigeration meant it had to be used quickly before it went off. Today I often despair at the food I see wasted especially when so many people in the world are starving. Why do we do this? Has food become so cheap that we don't care anymore? Why not look in your fridge and see what you can come up with using what is there, I'm sure you will be surprised. After all bread pudding was invented to use up stale bread, sour milk and eggs gone bad hence the heavy cinnamon seasoning! I don't advocate going this far but give it a go. Amaze yourself.

2 comments:

Coby said...

I always feel self-satisfied when leftovers taste especially good. There is nothing like an egg to perfect things either is there? We had soup tonight (Spring Minestrone), it too was leftovers, and I poached an egg for us each and topped the soup. Made it a meal. Your meal, made just for yourself would tempt me as much as any fancy meal at a restaurant Jacqui.

Jacqui said...

Coby, I was smiling when I read this as I had made a winter minestrone only a few days before with fidge leftovers. Seems we have much in common.