Christmas has left a borderline-harrowing trail of leftovers in its wake. Opening the fridge this morning was an object lesson in facing up to the consequences of my actions. Getting through it all may require a small amount of creative cooking, if only to find even passingly healthy ways to use all the cheese. But for lunch today, I just mixed a bunch of stuff together and fried it.
All these are is a few spoonfuls of stuffing, beaten together with a couple of leftover potatoes, a little goose from the carcass, and a bit of salt. They’re shaped into small patties and carefully fried. More potato or some breadcrumbs on the outside might have made them a bit less fragile, but the result is tasty enough. What makes them is the stuffing.
I don’t get on with most conventional stuffing recipes. They’re far too heavy. A big-flavoured bird like a duck or a goose can take it, but that doesn’t always mean that it should. I’d omit stuffing entirely were I not a little worried about dryness. When roasting a chicken, I just jam a lemon up it and hope for the best.
This stuffing comes – perhaps unsurprisingly – from Silver Spoon; from page 884 in the old white edition, in fact. It’s designed to go with duck in turnip sauce, and it’s fantastic with one small exception. In the original, you fry in the bird’s liver, fine-chopped. For goose, that’s just a bit too strong. It’s fine with the main meal, but it really doesn’t reheat very nicely. So I skip the giblets.
You fry off some pancetta cubes with a little diced onion and garlic, grate a couple of carrots, fine slice a couple of leeks, and mix it all together with ricotta, nutmeg, pepper, an egg, and a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs.
Actually, there’s never quite enough to fill the cavity, so you might want three each of the carrots and leeks.
It’s fresh, quite light, a little unusual, and serves splendidly as leftovers. In this case it made rosti, but you can just warm it through as a side dish. Thinking about it, you could stuff cannelloni with it if you were feeling brave and probably mixed in a little more cheese.
The rosti were decent enough. Savoury and not too heavy, the pancetta in the stuffing works with the few shreds of duck. The olives weren’t the best pairing, but they’re tasty enough on their own, and I’d only have been picking at them across the afternoon anyway.