Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Musings on Leftovers

So, you have some leftovers, and you don't feel like simply rewarming them and eating them again?

You are in luck!

There are many things you can do with leftovers. Here are a few ideas. Some of them may work better for some kinds of leftovers than for others.
  • Dice or shred your leftovers and heat them up in a skillet, perhaps with some lard or oil; put them in a warm corn tortilla; top it all with some chopped onion, cilantro, and maybe some salsa, cheese, shredded lettuce, crème fraiche, and hot sauce. Taco!

  • Dice or shred your leftovers. Heat a tortilla in a skillet over medium heat with some lard or oil. Top it with shredded cheese. Put your shredded leftovers on top. Once the cheese is melted, but while the tortilla is still pliable, fold it in half, and top it with fun stuff. (Don't neglect that avocado you've been holding on to.) Quesadilla!

  • Make some rice; dice or shred your leftovers and heat them up in a skillet with some lard or oil and some garlic, ginger, scallions, and perhaps a crushed dried hot pepper; scramble an egg or two, a bit underdone; mix the rice in with the egg and continue to fry for a few minutes; finally, mix in the leftovers. Season with sesame oil, hot oil, and/or a little soy sauce. Fried rice!

  • Put your leftovers on bread with some mayonnaise, lettuce, sauerkraut or other pickles or chutney, cheese, hummus, or whatever else is handy. If you're feeling a little wild, toast the whole thing in the oven, on the stove top, or in a sandwich press (a George Foreman grill works great). Sandwich!

  • Especially if your leftovers are meat, and include bones: Pull the meat off the bones, chop the meat into bite-sized pieces, whack the bones with a cleaver if they are large, and throw both the meat and the bones in a stockpot with some rough-cut carrots, celery, onions, a bay leaf, some parsley stems, some thyme, a shot of wine (red or white), some other root vegetables (light on the parsnips), some cabbage, some mushrooms (but not too many), and whatever else. Dried shiitake mushrooms are great (but not too many). Just barely cover the contents of the pot with cold water. Bring it to a vigorous boil, lower it to a simmer, and let it cook for a long time (many hours if your bones are big). Pull out the bones and the bay leaf (if you can find it). When you serve it, add some cooked rice or cooked pasta to each bowl. Season with salt, pepper, fish sauce, and whatever else. Soup! (Or stew.)

No comments: