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Posted by Maxine Cleminson - - 5 comments

I hate wasting food.  I think this probably explains the battles I have with my waistline, but it goes against the grain to throw out perfectly edible food. It is doubly soul destroying to do so when said food has been lovingly prepared, only for my delightful sprogs to turn their noses up at it.  Grrrr!

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what the twins will or won't eat.  In fact, I'm sure their whims must coincide with something random like sunspot activity as I can't seem to identify any pattern.  The only way I can be fairly confident they will eat something (unless it's a bowl of Cheerios) is to coat it in breadcrumbs!  Thankfully, homemade chicken or fish goujons are a bit of a speciality of mine, but man cannot live by nuggets alone and variety is the so-called spice of life.

That is why I love my Mum's rissoles!  Apparently, my Grandmother used to make them and she passed the recipe on.  I was introduced to the recipe last December when Mum was helping me sort out the Turkey & stuffing glut following our Christmas blowout!

These rissoles tick lots of boxes:

  • they use up leftovers, reducing food waste.
  • they are covered in breadcrumbs so can be called 'nuggets' for the benefit of finicky 3-year olds!
  • they are virtually a complete meal in themselves, containing meat or fish, vegetables, potatoes, eggs & bread!
  • they are delicious, and can be eaten hot or cold... they are even good for lunchboxes (particularly if served with a little pot of tomato ketchup to dip them in!).

You will need...
  • Leftovers from a 'traditional meat & two veg' type of dinner.  A Sunday roast is perfect.  In the ones I made to illustrate this post I used leftover roasted Chicken, roast potatoes & parsnips, steamed broccoli and carrots. It isn't important to have exact quantities, but go easy on the potatoes (or omit altogether if you prefer) or they may end up too starchy & sticky
  • a few tablespoons of flour (I prefer wholewheat)
  • 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
  • a few cups of breadcrumbs, either shop bought or you can make your own by processing stale (or lightly toasted bread).  I prefer the Panko style Japanese breadcrumbs as they are lovely and crispy!

Firstly, chop the meat (or fish) in a food processor until finely ground.  Then add the cooked vegetables and potatoes and pulse the processor until chopped and mixed evenly (you may need to do this in batches if you have a lot).  You are definitely not aiming for a puree texture, so don't overdo it!  At this point, you should try to bring the mixture together into a ball.  If it's too dry to stick together, you can add a little beaten egg to bind it.  Then you need to shape into little sausage or nugget shapes in your hands, and dip in the flour before placing on a plate.

The next bit requires a bit of a production line and it helps to get set up first.  At one end you should have your rolled and floured nuggets.  Next to this place a shallow bowl with your beaten egg.  Then a shallow dish or plate with breadcrumbs, and finally an empty plate.  Now, for an important tip from my Mum... keep your hands assigned to specific bowls when breadcrumbing or you will end up in a right sticky mess and with fingers resembling the infamous Turkey Twizzlers from Jamie's School Dinners!

With your LEFT hand, pick up a nugget and dip and coat it in the beaten egg.  Then drop it in the breadcrumbs (still with your left hand) without touching them.  Then, using your RIGHT hand only, cover the nugget with breadcrumbs ensuring an even coverage before lifting it out (still with your right hand) and place it on the waiting plate at the end.  Trust me, it's simpler than it sounds... just don't muddle up your hands!

At this point, you can freeze the rissoles for use at a later date.  The easiest way to do this is to line a baking sheet with grease proof paper and evenly space the rissoles apart.  Freeze until solid and then put them in a labelled zip lock freezer bag.  You can then just take out as many as you need at any given time.  As the main ingredients are already fully cooked, they don't need to be defrosted before following the instructions below!

Once the rissoles are prepared, heat some oil in a large frying pan.  Fry them over a moderate heat, turning occasionally until nicely golden.  Drain on kitchen paper, et voila!  Alternatively, you can spray or brush each one with a little oil and oven bake for 20 minutes at 375'F (190'C).

Almost too good for the kids!

5 Responses so far.

  1. Anne says:

    THis is something I never think of doing with leftovers - great idea!

  2. Mama Max says:

    Thanks, Anne! They are particularly good with leftover ham!

  3. melissa h says:

    This does look tasty =^)

  4. Mama Max says:

    Thanks, Melissa! Really appreciate you taking the time to comment! I actually spoke to my Mum yesterday who ticked me off for missing out a key ingredient ... stuffing! Leftover stuffing makes all the difference apparently! And she also said you needn't add potatoes! Who am I to argue with my Mama!?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Love the separate hands for separate bowls thing. Could apply it to loads of recipes. I’ve been there with the sticky mess over both hands, and every thing else I’ve touched. Sue D

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