Jump to content

Creative Leftovers


zoramargolis
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yes, some things are so much better the next day, that you don't even eat them on the day they're cooked, as many have noted in the braising beef thread. That notwithstanding, there are a lot of creative cooks who post here, and I thought it would be fun to explore the ways that y'all have come up with to transform what remains of yesterday's dish into something entirely different--something other than the obvious turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving, that is.

What got me thinking about this was something I came up with tonight, instead of just re-heating the leftover mashed potatoes I'd made last night to accompany the brisket I'd made on Sunday. I mixed the mash with grated reggiano, roasted garlic and an egg, portioned it into balls and rolled the balls in Panko crumbs and fried them. Basically a croquette without any meat in it. Very tasty--crusty outside and creamy inside. We ate them with the last of the stuffed breast of veal I made last week.

I'm sure I will eventually think of others, but one thing came immediately to mind. There is a traditional dish in my husband's Pennsylvania Dutch family called "Yachskotl" (that's an approximation of the spelling--this is oral tradition, after all) which is made with the tiny scraps of ham left when there is no longer enough to make sandwiches, and is the step just prior to using the ham bone to make soup. Yachskotl--yes it sounds like you're just about to hock a loogie--is basically scalloped potatoes with ham. Thinly sliced potatoes and chopped onions are layered with scraps and bits of ham, chopped parsley, butter and milk, and baked until the potatoes are tender. It tastes a lot better than the name sounds.

So here goes-- chime in. New ideas are always welcome!

Edited by zoramargolis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I repurposed some roast pork shoulder recently by shredding it and improvising a barbecue sauce with ketchup, balsamic, hot sauce, and molasses, then served the mess over polenta. Worked like a charm. Was thinking about pozole but didn't have everything in the house I needed for that.

Shredded chicken into soup is a classic. Did a spin on that when I had a chicken with some curry powder in the rub, made a "samosa soup" with chicken, peas, and potatoes, and just a little more spice (curry, cinnamon, fennel) to round it out.

Here's a leftover question: can you make meatballs out of cooked meat?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be either stuffing ravioli or topping homemade pappardelle with shredded leftover lamb shanks that I braised using a new (to me) recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook for lamb shanks stifado. Cool things about that recipe? You start by caramelizing sugar, add vinegar, wine & cinnamon & tomatos then braise. Verrry tasty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm fond of taking leftover meat (from roasts, usually) and turning it into filling for burritos.  Guess that isn't terribly creative, though.

I made a stew that had Mexican spices and things in it. I shredded the leftovers and made enchiladas out of them.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a leftover question: can you make meatballs out of cooked meat?

No, but you can make croquettes. Any cooked meat, fish or poultry can be pulsed in the Cuisinart until it's finely ground, then mixed with mashed potatoes or a panade of some sort --bread, breadcrumbs or cracker meal moistened with liquid (milk, stock, wine, tomato juice) until it becomes a paste-- and raw egg and whatever combination of flavoring elements you fancy: onion, shallot, garlic, hot spice, fresh herbs, salt & pepper. Mix well or pulse in food processor, form into balls or patties, roll in dry crumbs and saute in shallow oil until crispy on the outside. I think if they were cooked in a soupy sauce, they would dissolve and fall apart, but they could be served with sauce poured over them. I like the cruchy crust, so I tend to serve croquettes with some kind of dipping sauce-- tartar or remoulade for salmon, chicken, ham or veal croquettes, and spicy ketchup for beef. That's another aspect that you can get creative with, though.

Edited by zoramargolis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was growing up, my mom used to take leftover turkey or roasted chicken and shred it very finely by hand. She'd then cook it with lots of chopped garlic, some salt and sugar, and a bit of vegetable oil in a wok over low heat. After quite a bit, maybe 20-30 minutes of constantly moving everything around, you end up with a fluffy dry hash that's delicious mixed in with white rice. It's similar to the dry fried pork hash you see in Asian grocery stores in the small rubber tubs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My main leftover recipients are quesadillas and soup.

I am all about soup these days. Rancho Gordo has me inspired in a Mexican direction, so turkey and chicken get cooked with chiles (fresh or dried), corn, lime, beans, tortillas, whatever--even salsa gets thrown into the pot.

I am very happy about this. I am even using

lime olive oil for sautéeing red onions, etcetera. It's been really fun to diverge from the comfortable Italian food mode I was in for years (my defaults then: lemon, basil, tomatoes, herbs, pasta).

Edited by tanabutler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I'd resurrect this thread. Leftovers are where culinary creative really shines. Anyone can make something from scratch, it takes some hard lateral thinking to make someone else's "from scratch" into your own!

Friday night I kicked off my bachelor party weekend with a house special from Ray's the Steaks. Sunday night I ended my bachelor party weekend with my leftovers (there was some stuff in between that would be inappropriate for such a family-friendly forum).

The spinach and mashed potatoes I sculpted into balls, covered them in flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs, then fried them to make:

Ray's the Steaks Side Suppli*

The steak au poivre I sliced very thinly and seared for a few seconds on each side. I mean literally a few seconds - enough to warm them, not enough to dry them out.

In a separate saucier I mixed the blue cheese from the steak with some melted butter, then I deglazed the pan the steaks were in with some sangria my fiancee made for her girls' night and reduced. I mixed the reduction and blue cheese butter to make:

Sliced NY Strip with Sangria Blue Cheese Sauce

The sauce was delicious. Sweet and fruity, but at the same time sharp and creamy. I think the pepper from the au poivre that fell into the mix really combined the two elements. Also, there was a hint of cranberry, despite no cranberries actually being used.

I think the suppli would make a great bar menu item at Ray's the Classics. :)

*Suppli is a traditional Italian leftover made by frying risotto. Mine of course included no risotto... I only chose the name because it's a leftover and the preparation and cooking is the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably bibim bob (rice mixed with vegetable and chilli sauce) is one of the best leftover Korean food. The major vegetables are three blanched bean sprout, brown ferns, spinach seasoned with sesame oil, salt pepper, garlic. Those are used for annual ancestor's memorial ceremony. After the ceremony they are mixed with rice, marinated beef, Korean chilli paste, sunny side-up egg and more sesame oil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an experiment, I smoked some brisket this weekend (more on that in the Grilling 101 Bullet Smoker thread later). Given that it was just the wife and I eating it, there's a hell of alot of brisket kicking around the fridge.

I already made a brisket "hash" yesterday for breakfast and am going to make a beef and barley soup using the brisket later this week. Any other (more creative) ideas for leftover smoked brisket??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a ton of leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge.

What should I do with them?

I'd prefer a main dish, but I'm open to side ideas. Sideas, if you will.

Shepherd's pie/cottage pie; fried potato patties; mashed potato casserole with cheese/bacon/whatever (like twice baked potatoes but baked in a casserole or foil pan--they used to sell baked potato sized foil shells for doing this, but I haven't noticed them in a long time)

ETA: look what EZ foil baked potato shells gets you on google:

http://www.kitchendance.com/poshfortwbap.html

My mom used to use these a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went with the shepherd's pie idea. Cooked up some beef (ok, it was cottage/cowboy pie) and veggies and herbs with some crispy prosciutto chunks in a pot with some Guinness and frozen braising liquid from my balsamic-barolo-braised-beef short ribs. Reduced until most of the liquid evaporated. Thinned out the mashed potatoes with some olive oil and milk, layered it on the meat, then topped the whole affair with a mixture of Parmigiano-Reggiano and paprika.

Mmm-mmm good.

Definitely the perfect meal for my protest against summer! Thanks for the tip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really left-overs, but I wanted a side to my filet mignon done on the grill last night. So, lacking bacon, I cooked some corn in beef broth. I dumped that in a pan of sauteed onions (olive oil and a bit of lard (just a 1/2 tsp!)) and squeezed the last dregs of a tube of sun dried tomato paste in with it. Added salt, pepper, garlic powder and a dash of chervil for color. Dumped the filet juices that accumulated while the steaks were resting in too. It turned out great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got a ton of leftover polenta from making polenta cakes with pine nut mascarpone gremolata last night.

What should I do with it?

The polenta, not the gremolata, which I didn't make nearly enough of.

Slice it thick, and cook slowly in butter 'til each side is brown, then drizzle with maple syrup. Favorite childhood breakfast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's firm (like the polenta that can be bought in the polenta-sausage-tube-pack), I like to slice it, toss in olive oil, salt & pepper, and bake for about an hour until I have polenta chips. Cut it thin and you'll have a more potato chip; sometimes I cut them to the size of thick cut french fries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another question - how long will the cooked polenta last in the fridge???

Depends. What's the temperature in the fridge? How frequently do you open the door and thereby raise the temperature inside? How well is it wrapped, and what is it wrapped in? All of the above can affect the speed at which it spoils. Figure no more than a couple of days, and you will be right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends. What's the temperature in the fridge? How frequently do you open the door and thereby raise the temperature inside? How well is it wrapped, and what is it wrapped in? All of the above can affect the speed at which it spoils. Figure no more than a couple of days, and you will be right.

You could also slice it up, wrap it up tight, and put it in the freezer so that it lasts much longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's almost lunchtime and I have about 1/2 cup of fresh, shucked clams I don't want to make into pasta sauce. Not enough milk for chowder. Manhattan-style? Not interested in anything w tomato at the moment.

Only thing that comes to mind is clam strips. Out of pickles for sauce, but I do have lemon and capers.

Alternatives?

Bonus point if suggestions involve about the same amount of cooked cracked wheat and farro that I didn't add to soup this weekend.

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's almost lunchtime and I have about 1/2 cup of fresh, shucked clams I don't want to make into pasta sauce. Not enough milk for chowder. Manhattan-style? Not interested in anything w tomato at the moment.

Only thing that comes to mind is clam strips. Out of pickles for sauce, but I do have lemon and capers.

Alternatives?

Bonus point if suggestions involve about the same amount of cooked cracked wheat and farro that I didn't add to soup this weekend.

Thanks!

How about a seafood salad, like a seafood tabbouleh? Bread the clams and fry, then mix together with the grains, lemon and capers and some olive oil. Add parsley if you have some.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pat, that just might work! Thanks :rolleyes: I even could throw in some oven-roasted tomatoes and artichoke hearts in the freezer.

I am trying hard not to waste food. Bought way too many fragile salad-greens this week, so that will be the next challenge. Before they turn into mush, I just may have to make some of the arugula into a soup with potatoes. Escarole is pretty hearty, but it's great cooked, too, of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pat, that just might work! Thanks :rolleyes: I even could throw in some oven-roasted tomatoes and artichoke hearts in the freezer.

I am trying hard not to waste food. Bought way too many fragile salad-greens this week, so that will be the next challenge. Before they turn into mush, I just may have to make some of the arugula into a soup with potatoes. Escarole is pretty hearty, but it's great cooked, too, of course.

I hate wasting food, too. This is a good recipe using arugula, depending on what other ingredients you have:

Spaghetti with lime and rocket

[from Marie Claire magazine, Australia]

450g (14oz) spaghetti

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon shredded lime rind

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed

8 slices prosciutto, chopped

150g (5 oz) rocket (arugula), shredded

3 tablespoons lime juice

150g (5 oz) soft marinated feta in oil

Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan until al-dente and drain.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large frypan over a

medium heat. Add the lime rind, garlic, chilli and capers and cook for

1 minute or until fragrant.

Add the proscuitto and cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until the

proscuitto is crisp.

Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat and heat through.

To serve, toss the rocket and lime juice through the pasta and pile

into serving bowls. Top with marinated feta, a little of its oil and

cracked black pepper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...