The Twelve Days of Christmas (Ham Leftovers)… Cheesy Ham Potato Cakes

ham and cheese potato cakes
When I first set out on this little mission I thought I would have enough ham leftover for the twelve days of Christmas ham posts I intended to write about. But, as the ham stocks have dwindled away to a shadow of their former self already, I think you’re only going to see the good end of another few of these posts at best.

Oh well.

These little packages of cheesy, hammy, potatoey love were a revelation. When this idea popped into my head the heavens opened and the holy angels sang… and danced. They were fully rocking out to some old Marvin Gaye. Getting their groove on. I suspected that’s what would be going on up there…

My smart brain got down to business and nurtured the evolution from the timeless ham and cheese sandwich, working out the finer details of how said ham and cheese sandwich would reach my mouth in a crisp bread coated, soft potato centered, bronzed bodied form, and straight into the history books as a retro classic.

And then it was onto condiments. I have said previously that I am a lover of condiments and this was not a lie. Condiments are my real-life favourite, so you could understand my elation when my same smart brain realised that both piccalilli and mayo have a loving home on a ham and cheese sandy so we should possibly combine the two like some kind of mongrel tartare and serve it with our cheesy ham potato cakes. OH DEAR GOOD LORD. What a revelation this was!

Try it. That’s all I can say…

Put it all together in a big bowl and mixy mixy
Put it all together in a big bowl and mixy mixy
Once fried drain on absorbent paper and then get them into your belly
Once fried drain on absorbent paper and then get them into your belly

CHEESY HAM POTATO CAKES (serves 4-6. 4 is probably good because it’s pretty hard to stop eating them)

3 cups of mashed potato (I got that from 2 large potatoes)
2-3 cups diced Christmas ham
1 cup grated Wensleydale or good cheddar or something that looks like cheese
½ whatever onion, small dice
1 tablespoon of your favourite mustard
1 egg, plus another for crumbing
Salt and pepper
A crumbing station (flour, eggwash and breadcrumbs – bought or whack any leftover bread in the food processer to make your own)
Oil for frying
Piccallili mayo to serve (recipe below)

• Combine all ingredients except the crumbing station, and mix thoroughly
• Check seasoning
• Form mix into 15-16 potato cakes. You can press them into a small cookie cutter if you want them to be shmicko (you could make these half size for a cracking finger food type thing or bar snack while you watch whatever it is you watch on TV)
• Crumb the potato cakes by first dredging them through flour, then eggwash and then breadcrumbs
• Heat a good splash of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add potato cakes and fry for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown
• Serve with piccallili mayo and a nice little salad of things you found in your neighbours garden


½ cup good quality mayo or aioli
½ cup piccalilli, mustard pickles or cauliflower pickles… the yellow stuff

• Combine in a bowl and mix thoroughly
• You’re done
• Pat yourself on the back

Lamb & Preserved Lemon Filo Cigars…for your next Local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM

SAMSUNG CSCAs I stated in my last post, spring is here. And if, per chance, you missed that last post, maybe a kindly passing stranger informed you too. The new season brings warmer weather, pretty flowers, songful birds, pink unicorns, waterfalls made of lemonade… where was I? Oh yes, and clearly it brings a few acid flashbacks too. But it also brings the first of the most crackerjack of spring lamb… strangely enough, born in winter. Whatever, it is still damn tasty shit! This is the little sheepy that the infamous jolly swagman had stashed in his tucker-bag, and eventually gave up his life for rather than share his Sunday lamb roast with the troopers; 1, 2 and 3. If you have no idea what I am talking about that is fine by me. I’m not exactly welcoming you to a new experience there, am I?

Back to the filo cigars.

Just what you need for your next little swingers soiree or local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM. Get these suckers on the table with a few little green and red cocktail onions and maybe some French onion dip and jatz crackers, and you will need more space on your computer for all of the complimentary emails you’re going to receive.

This is a great way to use leftovers, and you all know I am a huge fan (not literally a rather large cooling device, I’d say an advocate in this case) of using up leftovers. But, if you need to cook some lamb for these I would suggest slow roasting a small shoulder, rubbed with the cumin and covered, for 4 hours at 170C or until it falls off the bone.

I have found that a lot of store bought filo pastry is still plenty flimsy and will rip and tear like the Christian who has been thrown to the lions. Do not despair though; I am not going to tell you to start making your own filo pastry. I cannot discern whether filo is of Greek or Turkish origin, but am certainly not Greek enough, and definitely not enough of a turkey to be making this from scratch. But this recipe is pretty forgiving; much like Jesus, and you can patch it up as go. Worst case scenario, you can use all of the scraps to top an awesome filo pie type thing.

Cook some crackerjack spring lamb shoulder
Cook some crackerjack spring lamb shoulder

Chop that lamb up and mix it with some rice and other delicious things
Chop that lamb up and mix it with some rice and other delicious things
Because this is how we roll
Because this is how we roll
Put on a lined tray before you bake them
Put on a lined tray before you bake them
Get some mint yoghurt on that shit and see if your face isn't happy to receive them
Get some mint yoghurt on that shit and see if your face isn’t happy to receive them

LAMB & PRESERVED LEMON FILO CIGARS (should yield about 30 cigars)

3-4 cups cooked lamb shoulder, chopped pretty fine
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 brown onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 quarters of preserved lemon, flesh removed and finely diced
A handful each of chopped parsley and mint
1 pack (15 or so sheets) filo pastry, defrosted if frozen
Melted butter to brush
Sumac to dust
Mint yoghurt and good company, to serve (don’t ask your good company to serve you or they will probably leave, just let them enjoy the lamby cigars with you)

• Sauté the onion in a little oil until soft. Add garlic and cumin and cook out for another minute or so
• Combine lamb, rice, onion mix, preserved lemon, herbs and a little seasoning and mix well. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Cut a filo sheet in half so you have two squares. Place an amount of lamb mix roughly the size of your little finger (if you don’t have weird hobbit-like digits) in the middle of the sheet parallel with the end closest to you
• Brush a little melted butter on the last 2cm of the filo sheet and then roll them up like you would roll a spring roll, or a cigarette or whatever it is you kids are rolling these days, folding the sides in half way through. If they tear a little at the start don’t worry too much as they will have their make-up and best looking keen-to-get-some-action boots on, and pull their sex appeal together by the end of the process. Put the seam on the bottom to keep them looking sexy
• Brush with melted butter and dust with a little sumac
• Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes until golden
• Serve with mint yoghurt, a heap of friends, booze and good times

I made a little too much of the lamb and rice mix so a “using left-overs of left-overs recipe will follow.

Have a nice day.

Left-over Rolls for the Kids

Cooking for kids.

Just a little FYI; cooking for kids is totally different to cooking four kids (I know the more astute amongst you may be raising your eyebrows right now at my barely copacetic use of the English language and this little jab at the less grammar inclined amongst use, but fuck, even I can sort out that kind of English so I’ll take that little jab at whom ever I want). While the former is widely accepted as an almost (oh yes I did mean to say almost. Wittysocialcommentaryisthebestshitever) daily occurrence for most parents out there, the later is, well, more a project that would be appropriate for a family gathering of cannibals or other like minded beings… possibly with a penchant for the human veal…

I shall end this short foray into the world of illiterate cannibals quickly though, as I have no desire to find myself under investigation by the AFP… again.

This is some damn easy using up your left-overs but still maintaining a sense of cessation from the original meal type cooking, and let’s face it; there’s not many things out there that don’t taste damn fine wrapped in puff pastry and baked in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until beautiful and golden. All you need is some frozen puff pastry sheets, some left over vegetables from last night’s dinner (like you would use for bubble and squeak or hash if you were in the US of A), some leftover roast meaty goodness or a bit of bacon, cheese, an egg and about 15 minutes to put it all together.


You’re welcome.

Roll them up just like this
Roll them up just like this

Cut into two or three sections per roll, egg wash and hit them with sesame seeds
Cut into two or three sections per roll, egg wash and hit them with sesame seeds
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until they look just like these
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until they look just like these

LEFT-OVER ROLLS FOR THE KIDS (and you too, if you’re keen)

4 cups cooked vegetables (preferably not just zucchini and brussels sprouts… potato is a good start… peas… corn, etc), roughly chopped
1-2 cups cooked meat, bacon or smoked sausage, shredded/chopped
1 cup grated cheddar or a cheese that your kids are into
1 egg, plus 1 egg extra for egg basting
A splash of milk
4 sheets frozen puff pastry
Sesame seeds, to top
Tomato relish or sauce (ketchup) to serve

• Preheat oven to 180C
• Take the pastry sheets out to defrost
• Combine meat, vegetables, cheese and egg, and give it a good mix with the fingers on the end of your hands. Mush it up a bit
• Divide the mix between the four sheets of pastry just like the pictures show you
• Roll into big sausage roll type things
• Transfer to a lined baking tray with the seem side down, and cut into 2-3 segments per roll
• Beat egg with a splash of milk
• Use egg wash to baste the rolls, sprinkle with sesame and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden, puffy and delicious smelling

Smoky Beef Brisket and Potato Hash with the left overs from that BBQ Jennee cooked yesterday


When you have a bit of brisket left over from your barbecue, and maybe a few of those coal roasted potatoes and the garlic butter that accompanied them, and possibly a bit of chopped onion, tomato and capsicum left from that salad, I feel there is but one thing a young man can do… and that one thing is not to make a weird sex film for the inter web super highway starring one man and his dinner. No, there are plenty of those about already. That one possible scenario I can take from this is to make brisket and potato hash!

What a breakfast!

This is certainly not going to be the kind of thing you will consume for breakfast if you routinely start your day with a cup o’ tea, shredded apple, muesli and co-yo (coconut yoghurt. If you haven’t heard of it you will… you will) and a skim read of the local newspaper, saving your real reading time for the supermarket pamphlets in the middle.

This will very seriously appeal to you though, if you spent the night previous drinking your body weight in alcoholic beverages and, on this morn, you are the proud owner of a sore gut, throbbing head and very low IQ. This food was born for hang overs… also, it would probably suit you if you were just down right keen on a meaty slap up breaky!


On with the cooking.

Mis en place? Check. Did that last night. Damn, I love left overs
Mis en place? Check. Did that last night. Damn, I love left overs
Time to sort this out
Time to sort this out


2-3 cups shredded brisket (or what ever meat you want to use/have lying about)
3 medium potatoes, cooked and cut into large chunks (I had a bit of sweet potato left over so that went in there too)
½ onion (I don’t care what colour it is), diced
1 tomato, diced
1 capsicum (bell pepper), diced
1 jalapeño chilli, sliced
Fried eggs, rocket or spinach, toast and HP sauce to serve
• Sauté brisket and potatoes in a little oil
• Once starting to get some colour add all other ingredients and season to taste
• Cook for another 2 minutes
• Serve with toast and eggs and sauce and shit
• Straight in your face hole!!

Pork knuckle, sauerkraut and bean stew with mustard dumplings a la Jamies Money Saving Meals

These left-overs tasted damn fine
These left-overs tasted damn fine

…and with the leftovers of last nights dinner I shall make pork knuckle, sauerkraut and bean stew with mustard dumplings a la “Jamie’s Money Saving Meals” and by Jeeves he would have been proud. That pork knuckle only costs $8. Read it again, eight bucks! So yes, the leftover pork and cabbage shall be our “mothership” as Jamie calls it. In this case the whole “mothership” theory may not be applicable to many of you as you sit there in a field of crop circles with your crazy space hat made out of alfoil and pipe cleaners waiting for your “mothership” to arrive. Take a good hard look at yourself my friend – my kids costume for his year two fancy dress party looked more authentic then that… and lay off the coffee for gods sake.

Anyhow Jamie did a chicken thing with dumplings and stuff (you can google that yourself if you’re keen) and I shall be basing this meal very loosely on that.

Enough about Jamie, this is my blog after all and I’m sure that lad gets enough of his name in the spot light all by his self.

Waiting for the dumplings
Waiting for the dumplings
On the plate... but you could probably see that for yourself
In the bowl… but you could probably see that for yourself
Nothing to say that won't insult your intelligence
Nothing to say that won’t insult your intelligence

Pork knuckle, sauerkraut and bean stew with mustard dumplings from the pork knuckle “mothership” we had for dinner last night
(the measurements are in handfuls because it’s a use up your leftovers kinda recipe and not real specific. PS. I have big hands)
1 handful of leftover pork
1 handful of leftover sauerkraut
1 handful of whatever vegetables you had left over
1 cup of leftover gravy if you have some
1 onion, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 handful of chopped kale
1 375ml bottle of dark beer, or stock, or water if that’s all you got
dumplings (recipe below)
• Sauté the onion in a little butter or oil
• Add potato and beer/stock/water
• Simmer until potato is just about cooked
• All in like the end of year pool party
• Bring back to a simmer
• Add dumplings, cover and get that bad boy into a your oven at 180C for 30 minutes. remove from oven, serve in bowls, eat in your face

Little balls... he  he he
Little balls… he he he

Mustard dumplings (gluten free)
1 cup quinoa flour (you can use self raising flour and omit the baking powder if your wife isn’t gluten intolerant)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
100g cold butter, grated
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
1 egg
1 large pinch of salt
• Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and mustard together well
• Add butter and rub together until mix looks bread crumb-y
• Add egg and combine until mix looks exactly like a dough
• Form into little balls or something similar

Left-overs are the last true frontier! Viva la Jamie!!!

What becomes of the broken bunnies?

After our effing fantastic flood relief rabbit cook up last night (or two nights ago now) there was still a bit of chicken and rabbit left. I always have fun with leftovers. I wait until everybody has left the house and then I sit back and have a glass of wine and I slowly… No. Not that much fun!

I know a lot of people who won’t do leftovers, but I like to think that I’ve had the forethought of mind to get my mis-en-place ready for a couple of meals tomorrow. The actual facts may state that I over catered, or maybe I don’t have as many friends as I thought I did, but I’ll stick to my original story…

smoked chicken, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise toastie for breakfast
smoked chicken, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise toastie for breakfast

The truth about the chicken is last night… I woke up at four o’clock and had an insane craving for a chicken, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise toasted sandwich…I don’t know if someone may have cheekily got me pregnant or intravenously gave me a big ol’ J, but I wanted that shit bad. If we had mayonnaise in the fridge it would’ve happened. I seriously contemplated making said mayonnaise but the thought of waking the wiffy with the sound of kitchen antics didn’t really appeal to me. I am a smart man. So anyway, I woke and the craving was still solidly there. So that’s what I did with the left over chicken.

The rabbit fell prey to my love of pâté and things of the like (charcuterie). Blitzed up with its stuffing and a knob of butter, that would be my dinner this evening. Served in awesome style with guindillas (Spanish pickled chillis. Try them, they’re magic), olives, pickled slaw and croutons. Great work me.

no through road alright
no through road alright
the same road... with road included
the same road… with road included


the broken bunny
the broken bunny

I took a heap of really nice photos of the rabbit pate but it seems that my camera is having some more personality issues and wants to go and join the circus and live the life of a travelling performer. So alas, it refuses to do the duties it was born to do, thus making itself redundant. Last time I checked there is no retirement/pension plan for cameras so I guess it will be joining the queue at the local soup kitchen. What can I say? It was fun while it lasted… at least the flood waters have subsided and the rains are now but a mere trickle (not unlike an old man at the urinal at the local RSL), so the walk into town with it’s hobo pack should be a little more comfortable. If you see a stray Cannon camera trekking on the highway maybe offer him a ride… and tell him he will always have a special spot in my heart, but I got no room for baggage around here.