Book Reviews

Secrets of Great Second Meals

As a family we hate food waste. We’ll happily tuck into leftovers rather than toss them in the bin.

However, we have never taken ‘left over’ cooking to the heights achieved by Sara Dickerman. Our left overs are more by accident than design or planning.

Choose interesting ingredients

But what a great idea to choose ingredients that you know will make a delicious meal for one day and also have in the back of your mind that with a few tweaks and ingredients a completely different dish can be created from them without too much effort.

In other words Sara suggests choosing fresh good quality ingredients that have interesting flavours and textures for the first meal and improvise with a few other ingredients for a completely different and exciting dish the next day, so it is not just the same old reheated casserole.

Some of the chefs at one on my favourite London restaurants are past masters at giving ingredients a twist for other delicious meal. It just needs a bit of thinking ahead and planning.

Lots of useful advice

However, Sara sets out some sensible rules about knowing when some ingredients are not only past their prime but could be dangerous – for example fish and seafood should be left no longer than one day, sauces or dairy products should be thrown out if they have mould. She also gives useful advice on how to store food and reheat it safely.

Some inspirational recipes

The book has some great inspirational recipes – some 40 of them – using meat, fish, eggs and vegetables. These are accompanied with lots of suggestions for turning their leftovers into delicious second meals, such as curries, soups, sandwiches, breakfasts, salads, soufflés.

Sara’s suggestions for meatballs, pork shoulder, and salmon sound great to us as do the vegetarian options – roasted squash and eggplant salad for one. And she hasn’t forgotten the all-important ‘something sweet’ recipes either.

Luckily, bearing in mind that Sara hales from America, there is a handy conversion table at the back of the book. The tasty looking photographs are by Sarah Flotard.

Secrets of Great Second Meals. Sara Dickerman. ISBN: 978-0-06-267297-1.
UK £25. US $30. CAN $37. Harper360.