“Often, there’s not enough left of any one ingredient after a roast dinner to pull together a whole new meal – you’ve just got scraps of meat and vegetables,” says Sue Quinn, author of Second Helpings.

“These enchiladas are the perfect carrier for whatever’s left – gently spicy, filling and comforting. Use whatever jumble of cheeses you have in the fridge, too.”

Roast dinner enchiladas

Turn your roast dinner into something completely new with this recipe

(Facundo Bustamante/PA)

Serves: 4-6


500-600g leftover cooked meat and/or vegetables, chopped

200g grated hard cheese, such as Cheddar, Parmesan, Gruyère, Lancashire or a mix

4 large tortilla wraps

For the tomato sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp chilli powder

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes


1. For the sauce, warm the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion until soft and golden, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the spices, oregano, sugar and salt and cook gently, stirring, for a further minute.

2. Add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring now and again, until you have a rich, thick, deep-red sauce. Taste, add more salt if needed, then take the pan off the heat.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4 and brush a baking dish measuring about 20-centimetre square with olive oil.

4. Distribute the leftovers and half the cheese equally between the wraps and roll them up. Arrange in the prepared baking dish – they should fit snugly. Spoon the tomato sauce between and over the wraps. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve hot with salad on the side.

Crispy chilli rice with fried egg and greens

Use up leftover rice with this tasty recipe

(Facundo Bustamante/PA)

“Fried rice is delicious, but crispy rice is an even better way to deploy cold leftovers,” says Quinn.

“It’s made by scorching rice in a hot pan until the grains turn crunchy and deeply tasty. In many cuisines, crispy rice is treasured; it features in the Persian dish tahdig, for example, and Spanish paella (where the prized crispy bits at the bottom of the pan command their own name – socarrat).

“Here, I’ve spiked cold rice with chilli sauce and tomato purée, and then seared it in a thin layer. The recipe serves two, but for more than this, fry the rice in batches. If there is too much in the pan it will steam rather than crisp up.”

Serves: 2


260g cold cooked rice

3-4 tbsp sriracha sauce or chilli crisp oil (depending on how spicy you want your rice)

1½ tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying

1 spring onion, finely sliced

Fried eggs, to serve

Steamed greens, such as pak choi, to serve


1. Mix together in a bowl all the rice ingredients except the vegetable oil and spring onion. Make sure all the rice grains are well coated.

2. Heat a large heavy frying pan, non-stick ideally, until very hot. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to cover the base.

3. Add the rice, spread it out over the base of the pan in a thin layer and flatten with a spatula. Fry over a medium-high heat for two minutes without disturbing. Drizzle a little sesame oil over the rice and flip chunks of it over – it should be burnished and crisp in parts. Fry for another two minutes, pressing down again with the spatula.

4. Flip the rice again. It should be a mixture of crisp and not so crisp grains. If this hasn’t happened yet, keep frying, flipping and pressing but be careful not to overcook the rice – you don’t want it dry and hard. Serve the rice hot, with a fried egg, greens and spring onion sprinkled on top.

Sticky ginger cake

You’ll never throw leftover porridge out again

(Facundo Bustamante/PA)

“It’s easy to make too much porridge and easier still to chuck out what you don’t eat – but that would be wrong,” says Quinn.

“There are lots of lovely ways to use up leftover porridge but the best, in my opinion, is this divine sticky ginger cake. Of course, you don’t have to make this as soon as you’ve finished breakfast.

“Leftover porridge will last in the fridge for a couple of days, and it freezes well – just defrost when you feel a sticky ginger cake urge coming on.”

Serves: 2


Vegetable oil, for brushing

175g plain (all-purpose) flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1½ tsp ground ginger

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of fine sea salt

80g unsalted butter

130g golden syrup

130g black treacle

140g cold porridge

1 large egg

25g chopped crystallised ginger, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4. Line a 20-centimetre square baking dish with baking paper so it comes up and over the sides: lightly brushing the dish with oil first keeps the paper in place.

2. Put the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a mixing bowl and combine with a fork.

3. Melt the butter in a medium pan then remove from the heat. Stir in the syrup and treacle. Loosen the porridge (oatmeal) by stirring it well, then add to the buttery syrup along with the egg. Beat with a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine and break up larger bits of porridge.

4. Stir the mixture into the flour and spices, until everything is fully combined. Pour into the prepared dish, making sure the batter fills the corners. Smooth the top and stud with chopped ginger.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave in the dish for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to cool using the overhanging baking paper as handles.

‘Second Helpings’ by Sue Quinn (Quadrille, £18.99).


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