Leftover rice bake is by far the most versatile dish on this blog, and it is a real cupboard cleaner.
Take the basic ingredients – rice, sauce and a crispy topping – and sculpt your own dish around whatever leftovers you have to hand. You are left with a wonderful one-pot dish that transforms a plethora of common leftovers into a dish that will feed two for supper and will work just as nicely re-heated for tomorrow’s lunch.
It is essentially three layers comprising of rice at the bottom, leftovers, a creamy sauce and crispy topping. As you can see below, the method is more important in this instance than the madness that is the ingredients.
From the fridge: Beef, Bacon, Milk, Cheese.
From the cupboard: Rice, Bread, Sweet Potatoes, Stale Bread, Crisps, Stale Crisps, Flour, Butter, Onion, Garlic.
Could add: Chicken, Lamb, Peppers, Carrots, Asparagus, Butternut Squash, Broad Beans, Peas, Sweetcorn.
Boil the rice in a pan, drain the starch and leave to one side.
Heat an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in a pan and add the leftover meat first before throwing in the remaining leftovers with seasoning.
In a small pan, heat the butter and gradually add flour to make a thick sauce. Then slowly add milk until the sauce is creamy in texture, seasoning with salt and pepper. Amend the sauce to the ingredients, using spices, cheese or mustard to amend accordingly.
Take a decent sized ovenproof dish and layer the rice on the bottom, followed by the leftover mix. Generously lather the sauce over the top and let it seep through.
For the topping, use stale bread or crunched-up crisps with a generous handful of cheese.
Bake until golden brown on top.