Monday is the perfect day to use up the past weekend’s tasty leftovers. I also find it a perfect day for chores and, once they are harnessed, the remainder of the week excitedly beckons.

Today’s ready-cooked treats included a steaming bowlful of Carrot, Leek and Celery soup for lunch and further boosted my veggie intake with a slab of Turkish Spinach and Yogurt Bake. With its peppery crunch, Spinach is a vastly under-rated vegetable – I love to use tender baby spinach in salads and shred the bigger, tougher leaves in lasagne’s and pies, adding colour and flavor, not to mention important nutrients too. For the Bake, I chopped and softened onion in olive oil, added shredded spinach leaves, a touch of allspice, chilli flakes and seasoning. The mixture simmered for about ¼ hour, adding a splash of dry sherry and water to make a rich filling. Place in an ovenproof dish, top with thick natural yogurt and a sprinkle of paprika then bake at 180C for about 20 minutes until piping hot and the yogurt has set. This was a delicious accompaniment to yesterday’s Spatchcocked and Roasted Chicken Dinner, which also provided the creamily tender leftover meat to use today.

For leftovers to be appealing they really ought not to appear to be that – provide them with a new lease of life where they may or may not be the prime ingredient, depending on the quantity. Reaping about 200g of trimmed chicken meat I added a shallot, mushrooms, lardons and brick pastry, making …

Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Pies with Feuille de Brick

serves 4

  • 200g lardons
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 250ml stock
  • 5 good tbsp. crème fraiche
  • 200g chicken meat, cooked and diced
  • Handful parsley, finely chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1pkt (8 leaves) Feuille de Brick – or substitute filo, flaky or shortcrust pastry
  • Good knob of butter, melted
  • Coarse sea salt and crushed red pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C

1. Tip the lardons into a large frying and cook at a high temperature for 3 or 4 minutes until they are nicely browned. Turn down to a medium heat and add the shallot and mushrooms – cook, stirring for a few more minutes or until soft.

2. Add the stock, a little at a time then the crème fraiche, allowing the mixture to bubble into a thick sauce. Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients and gently combine together. Divide between 2 oven-proof pie dishes.

3. With a pastry brush, butter 1 side of the brick pastry, scrunch with the buttered side outwards and cover half the pie dish. Continue, using 2 pieces for each. Sprinkle with sea salt and pink pepper then bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

*Feuille de Brick resembles Filo – it is a Tunisian pastry and can be baked or fried. You decide to use either flaky or shortcrust pastry, Just top with a circle cut the same size as the dish.