One of the things most every person who cooks has to deal with is leftovers. Sometimes you know from the very beginning there will be leftovers, sometimes, you just prepare way too much. Sometimes a lot of leftovers, sometimes just a bit.
What do you do?
Sometimes, it depends on the time of year. For example, I published (and re-published) this diary for Hot Browns as a way to use up the leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey in a fresh fashion. Vegetable soup is a good way to use up the remnants of a holiday veggie tray. While I didn’t state it specifically, the leftovers from a roast chicken carcass would be good for this Chicken Corn Chowder recipe. Chicken salad is also a good re-purposing for the leftover chicken.
My father would often make quantities that assured there would be leftovers. For example, we would often have fresh grits for dinner. He would make roughly twice as much as we needed. The leftovers would be poured into a pan, covered with plastic wrap and into the refrigerator. The next night, he would take slice the grits leftovers into rectangles, roll them in seasoned flour and fry them up. If I remember correctly, he called this “fried mush.” If it was supper time, we might have cream gravy to cover. I will still do this sometimes and have this as a breakfast side with maple syrup and country ham.
Pot roast and vegetables would go through a couple of iterations in our house. The pot roast with standard potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions might be Sunday dinner. Monday would be re-heating everything but Tuesday would be hash over toast.
One of the things that drives me crazy sometimes is trying to purchase loose potatoes at the grocery store. A five pound bag of potatoes is often just too much for me but the loose potatoes are h-u-g-e! One thing I will do is take one of these huge potatoes, cut it in half length-wise, score the open face halves in a checkerboard style, a little butter or olive oil then bake it at 350. I will eat one half for my dinner then the other half is saved, chopped up the next morning and with a little onion and/or green bell pepper added and heated as home fries for breakfast.
What are your go-to dishes for re-purposing your leftovers? How do you spice up that mundane dish from the night before?
Photo from liz west licensed under Creative Commons