When the first signs of summer appear, many of us are tempted to fire up the barbecue, invite around some friends and have a garden party. And why not? With many supermarkets offering deals on barbecue meat packs, and friends usually happy to chip in, a barbecue can be a great – and affordable – social event.
But what happens next? Even the most careful of cooks will have a few leftovers. But don’t throw them away! There are loads of ways to reinvent them, save money and give your taste-buds a treat.
Waste not, want not
While it’s great to have a plan for your leftovers, it’s still a good idea to make sure you aren’t left with too much come the end of the party. “People put out a huge bowl of salad, a huge bowl of coleslaw and often it wilts in the heat and isn’t reusable,” explains blogger Kelly Eroglu, from www.reducedgrub.com. “A really good tip is to put out a small bit of salad out at a time, adding to it when needed. This way your leftover salad will remain fresh and ready to use.”
In addition, it’s worth preparing some food in advance to avoid barbecue mishaps: “People often cook meat and sausages from scratch, they get burnt and end up in the bin, so if you can precook them and then just finish them on the barbecue it’s definitely a good idea,” explains Kelly.
Chicken pieces are a really versatile barbecue leftover, which can be enjoyed hot or cold. “BBQ chicken drumsticks are fantastic for lunchboxes the next day, or for cold salads,” states Kelly.
Alternatively, if you fancy something hot, try making a casserole with your leftover chicken. “Cook up vegetables and stock in a casserole dish, then add the chicken towards the end and heat through,” explains Kelly.
And for an easy, healthy alternative, try tearing up your chicken, cooking up a bit of pasta and recreate this delicious Honey and Mustard Chicken recipe from BBC Good Food.
Finally, if you’d like to spice up your drumsticks, foodie Laure Moyle of www.thepuddingfairy.co.uk suggests creating a spicy rice dish. “Mix chopped chicken with cooked rice, toasted almonds, mango chutney, curry powder, lemon juice and parsley to create a delicious coronation-style chicken,” she suggests.
Spicing it up
Cold burgers aren’t the most appetising of leftovers, but with a little imagination you can make those burgers into a tasty treat for tomorrow’s tea! “Try chopping up burgers, mixing with red onions and tomatoes and adding the mixture to egg and milk to create a really nice omelette,” suggests Kelly.
Bangers and cash
Sausages work well both hot and cold, so rather than waste these lovely leftovers, why not save some cash by creating a nutritious salad? “Try adding cold, sliced sausages to new potatoes, boiled eggs, peppers in olive oil, capers and mayo for a great salad,” suggests Laure.
For a heartier meal, check out this recipe for sausage and butterbean casserole at www.myfussyeater.com – with a few simple, cheap additions, you could make a healthy and filling meal that the family will love.
If you’ve got some leftover barbecue pulled pork going to waste, why not try to create a whole new dish? “Mixing pulled pork with some vegetables and tossing it in a wok or frying pan can create a delicious stir-fry,” says Kelly. If you’d rather follow a specific and easy recipe, check out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for pulled pork noodles.
Tesco also have this recipe for a delicious barbeque pulled pork pizza for a completely different taste sensation.
Got a range of different leftover meats and no idea what to do? This great recipe for pull-apart barbecue bread from M&S could be just the thing. With few additional ingredients and using your leftover meats, you can create a tasty snack for the whole family.
The summer barbecue season just got a whole lot better!