If you’re the cook in your house, you know how likely it is that you’ll end up with leftovers. Whether it’s a case of Conor not liking his chili con carne, Ali refusing to eat fish or your partner having to work late, you’re left with two options: chuck the leftovers in the bin or tuck them away in the freezer or fridge. Or sometimes (in fact, most of the time!) cooking enough food for the rest of the week and freezing it is the easiest way to get dinner out of the way. So you don’t get bored with eating the exact same thing four days in a row, here are some tips for dealing with leftovers.
Be safe and store and thaw leftovers properly
Before you tackle leftovers, make sure you know what you’re doing when it comes to prep and storage.
Store your leftovers safely by covering and freezing or refrigerating everything once the cooked food has cooled.
If you’re putting food in the freezer, label and date each item. Don’t forget you can freeze vegetables you didn’t cook. Pop them in boiling water for two or three minutes, drain and freeze in bags. If you plan on keeping leftovers in your fridge, here are some times you’ll need to remember.
- Beef, lamb, or pork will stay good for 3-4 days, refrigerated properly.
- Bacon is good for a week.
- Slices of ham are generally good for 3-5 days.
- Poultry casseroles are good for 3-4 days. Chicken pieces like nuggets are usually good for 1-2 days, while cooked pieces e.g. fillets will last for 3-4 days.
- Fish and shellfish is safe for 3-4 days.
- Soups and stews are also good for 3-4 days.
If you’re not sure if something is safe, give it a quick whiff. If it’s got a pong about it, throw it out.