Flavour Guy: Filling up my tiffin with tasty leftover treats

Looks good. Tastes good. We’ll have some more. That seems to be our mantra in restaurants.

I can no longer eat like a 20-year-old but I have the same desires. We now regularly eschew the main course for a selection of appetizers and maybe we share a dessert.

It is no longer unusual to be in a party of four where one decadent
tiramisu works for the table.

Back to the appetizers. Looks  good. Tastes good. I’ll have more. Maybe it will be an extra curry dish at the Indian restaurant or a fresh tomato and burrata salad at the Italian place. This is on top of the three or four dishes we’ve already ordered.

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But they are all appetizers. Small is good, no? Nu? And of course we can’t finish everything, especially since one of us ordered the soup of the day, which also sounded tasty.

Fortunately, we have brought tiffin boxes, our new acquisition. They are small stackable metal containers, common in India. A tiff is British slang for a drink or something tasty. The word is part of the Raj’s legacy.

In Mumbai and other Indian cities at lunch time, armies of tiffin wallahs deliver hot lunches in these containers to office workers.

In Montreal, tiffin boxes have started to appear in gift shops and hardware stores, although Indian groceries have had them for years.

They are aluminum or stainless steel containers, about eight inches across, stacked three or four high. They interlock and the top lid has a handle. We keep ours in a cloth bag and when we are in a restaurant, we hang them up with our coats.

We’ve done away with the stack of non-recyclable styrofoam containers. Now it’s tiffins to the rescue. They are perfect for leftovers and go right into the fridge.

So far they have worked well. Now if we could only get a triangular one for pizza.

A recipe fit for a tiffin — if you have any left over Jerusalem artichokes

They don’t come from Jerusalem and they aren’t artichokes; they are a delicious root vegetable originating in North America. I like them best cooked at a low temperature for several hours.

For two people, wash and peel a half dozen or so and cut them into thirds or quarters.

Turn the oven to 225F.

In a frying pan, put in enough olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables, add a little vinegar or lemon juice (or just use leftover vinaigrette salad dressing). Add a sprinkle of dried herbes de province (or just thyme, rosemary, or oregano), salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

Lightly brown the artichokes on a low heat so that the herbs don’t burn, turning them as necessary. Transfer the pan to the oven for two or three hours, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are very soft.


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