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making one dish out of another

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

We had minestrone soup for lunch today...Seemed like a soup day...-4c

Spaghetti Bolognese was on the menu for dinner

 

Anyway, there were about 4 cups of soup leftover and I knew if it went in the fridge it would be flushed down the loo a few days later(My lot are no good at eating leftovers.)

So, I substituted soup for tinned tomatoes. Added some of my homemade red wine reduction and a couple of beef stock cubes and was praised for the best spag bol ever.

The pasta in the soup (I dont use much ) disintigrated nicely...So Score!

 

I was racking my brains to think of other ways to use one meals leftovers. :-

 

Beef or venison stew makes great pasties. Just strain some of the gravy off first.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

 

 

 

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #2 of 17

Ya know, for the longest time I wondered about people who didn't use leftovers. I've a good friend, for instance, and nobody in his family eats leftovers. Couldn't understand that, cuz they devour anything I cook.

 

Turns out we don't all use that word the same. To me, leftovers are an ingredient that gets used to make something else. To them (and this sounds like your lot), left overs means eating the same thing two or three or however many times it takes to use it up.

 

Virtually anything you have left over can be recycled into something else.

 

Mashed potatoes? Ideal as an addition to bread dough. Or add an egg, some appropriate herbs and spices, form into patties, and pan fry. Or bread them and deep fry. This applies to almost anything you can serve as a mash. Leftover carrots? Mash 'em up and proceed from there.

 

Big hunk of roast not eaten? Where do you think hash came from originally? Or turn it into a country pie.

 

Leftover fowl? There isn't enough room to begin listing the possibilities, from croquettes, to al la king, to pot pie, to pasties, to......well, you name it. One of my most popular dishes is the chicken-stuffed won tons I make as a snack and/or party food. You don't really think I start with a raw chicken, do you?

 

Indeed, now that I think about it, leftovers as the filling for something else are probably the most second most common technique I use them for (first would, I believe, be turning them into soup).

 

I'll often plan dishes around having left over something. For instance, if we're planning on a salmon dish, I'll make enough so there's left-over fish, which gets cycled into something like Kedgaree Covington. Nor does it have to be salmon. Just as you used soup as the base for the spat. bol., any flaky fish would work in the Kedgaree. Or for fish cakes. Or........

 

 

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 17

I have a real strong aversion for throwing good food away, originating from my youth. People of my age, born directly after WWII, were many times remembered to the war period by our parents, where they had almost nothing to eat. Also, there are so many people on this planet who don't have enough to eat, I always end up with an enormous bad feeling when throwing away any food, even when it's "off". 

Why shouldn't we prepare a little less to start with and re-use left-overs when possible?

 

I often make this with left-overs, mixed with freshly bought stuff. It's a round sheet of puff pastry filled with a base of ricotta and an egg. In the ricotta goes left-over prepared(!) veggies, ham.. all cut finely. Just put it on the pastry but leave the outer 5-8cm blank. Now fold this over the pie, paint with a little beaten egg and put in the oven. Always a treat.

 

LeftOversPie.jpg

post #4 of 17

Oh man, you should see how many iterations my pot roast went through.

 

1)  Pot roast

2)  Shredded beef for BBQ sandwiches

2a)  Spaghetti sauce

3)  Shredded beef w/ sofrito
4)  Ravioli

post #5 of 17
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post

I have a real strong aversion for throwing good food away, originating from my youth.

 

Me too.  I've come full circle.  It's not just food, it's everything.  My MIL still washes and resuses all her ziploc bags.   I totally understand why now.

post #6 of 17

One of the tricks involved in being a good chef and keeping food cost down is the proper use of leftovers. Most can be hidden and used as a component in something else without substituting quality.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 17

KYH puts it very nicely. For a long time I was very bad about eating leftovers, in large measure because to me the term has indeed always meant "eating yesterday's food reheated." Only in the last few years have I begun to learn how to treat everything left over (note space!) as an ingredient.

 

I have two big standbys on this: soup/stew and curry, in that order. Basically dinner on Monday becomes most of the solids in soup/stew on Tuesday, the liquid being broth usually made from the trimmings from preparing Monday dinner. On Wednesday the leftover Tuesday soup-stew is strained and added to some newly cut and sweated vegetables, the strained solids are added just to reheat, and then to this mixture I add broken-up curry roux. (I don't know if that's a familiar ingredient to most people, but you can't turn around in large portions of East Asia without bumping into this stuff. It looks more or less like chocolate, is basically spices and pre-cooked roux, and you dissolve it in very hot liquid to produce brown curry glop that is utterly unlike anything I have ever heard of in relation to South or Southeast Asia but is enormously popular in East Asia. My kids love it.) The curry is served over rice, and if there is anything left that actually does reheat extremely well in the microwave for lunch on Thursday. Last night was curry rice, and included the very last of the smidgen of dry overcooked turkey breast my mother gave us as leftovers. It wasn't dry this time, perhaps because it's been cooked in liquids every night for three days!

 

Another good one if your leftovers include really excellent broth of any kind is risotto. Start with a little freshly-sweated vegetables, use the hot broth to infuse the risotto in the usual manner, and as you near the end add the solids floating in your broth. Obviously not every kind of soup will work for this, but you'd be surprised at how good a hearty minestrone risotto can be.

 

Conversely, if you don't have small children to worry about, you can always smother things, Cajun-style. I love this, and so does my wife, but I can only do it once in a blue moon because my kids won't eat things with more than a dab of black pepper, to say nothing of full-on Cajun cooking. Basically you need four things: fresh vegetables, leftovers, broth of some kind, and dark roux. Cook the vegetables over high heat in a little oil, covered, stirring fairly often, until they're getting deeply brown and you can't unstick them from the bottom --- about 10 minutes. Add a little broth, deglaze, and add your leftovers. Continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and it's all sticking again. Add all the rest of the broth and water if necessary to cover the ingredients by maybe an inch, and bring to a boil. Stir in the roux in generous spoonfuls, stirring until dissolved, until it is reasonably thick. Reduce heat and simmer for half an hour or so, stirring occasionally. When it's done, it will be quite thick, brown, and gloppy looking. The spices, by the way, should be added in stages: basically every time you add some new ingredient, add more spices. The spice mixture is a matter of contention and opinion, but I tend to stick by the recipes given in Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen, which are complex and wonderful. Another great thing about smothered leftovers is that, like curry, it reheats amazingly well, in the microwave or on the stovetop, so it's one kind of leftover I for one don't mind eating as a leftover. In fact, like gumbo, this stuff generally gets better after sitting overnight in the fridge!

post #8 of 17

My fiance's family has an interesting tradition. Whenever the fridge gets too full of leftovers, they have fallout. Whatever falls out of the fridge when you open it is what's for dinner.

 

Chris, gumbo is usually the recipient of many left over items. Just throw everything in the pot and see what happens. I have even used left over hamburger patties in gumbo.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Chris, your leftover tart looks and sounds lovely.

 

Ther'es a saying here, that real men dont eat quiche...I reckon you've invented the butch quiche... It's just what's needed to turn Brit guys around.

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #10 of 17

This reminds me: apparently Jacques Pepin does weekly pizza night. He makes a bunch of fresh pizza dough, rolls it out, and then puts everything that seems remotely plausible on the pizzas in various ways. I was going to take this up, but then my 5 year-old son suddenly decided he doesn't like pizza in any form, so I never gave it a go.

post #11 of 17

Ther'es a saying here, that real men dont eat quiche

 

I've always wondered about that saying (and the book on which it's based).

 

The fact is, real men eat whatever they damn well please.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 17

Mince & macaroni goes into puff pastry for a nice snack.  Same with tuna mornay, chicken fricasee etc.

Stew gets blitzed in food processor, sieved, then frozen and used as a base for your next stew or pasta dish. Or a minestrone.

Leftover tossed salad, pick out the red onion, cut tomatoes and olives etc, anything you can use for a stir fry.  Bin the lettuce :)  (uy=b v=--Best if it hasn't been dressed.)

Leftover coleslaw - make some baked potatoes and stuff them with coleslaw, grated cheese and sour cream/ greek yoghurt.

Bread that's going over the edge - breadcrumbs in the food processor, then freeze.

 

So many ways to recycle food - the list is endless.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #13 of 17

off the topic:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

 

The fact is, real men eat whatever they damn well please.

 


Can't wait to show this to my wife after I order couple pounds of fresh Italian white truffle.smile.gif

post #14 of 17

Left over rice -> Nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice).

All you need is some meat (leftovers) and a bit of veg, chili etc.

Top with a fried egg and you have one of my favourite dishes!

 

Almost any other left over can (and will be) turned into stew or soup.

 

On top of that I got 4 dogs running around here, so quite often they eat all left-overs!

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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post #15 of 17

Left over beef roast usually ends up in a pie or soup. It'll sometimes make it into a sandwich, as with roasted chicken. Left over pasta, I usually enjoy an egg with it the next day.

 

When I have Chinese takeout leftovers, I've been turning some dishes into sandwiches. Salt and pepper chicken wing/pork chops make great sandwiches! I take the bones off, pile them on toasted bread and add some hot sauce, sweet chili sauce and/or mayo. It's quite good. I do that with leftover fish fillets (usually baked) as well as I don't like to reheat fish.

post #16 of 17

One day last week, I was scrambling to think of something to do with:  half an orange-garlic roasted chicken, 1/2 pan of scalloped potatoes, serving of vegetable casserole, serving of sauteed yellow squash with onions, and about 1-1 1/2 servings of steamed broccoli.  I ended up simmering the chicken and taking the meat off the bones, then reducing a bit more.  Then I added all of the above ingredients and pureed it all with the immersion blender.  To thicken it up a bit more because I overestimated on the broth to ingredients ratio, I added some grated parmesan and sharp cheddar cheeses.  My son will not eat the vegetable casserole, squash, or broccoli, yet, he loved this soup.  He ate 3 soup mugs of it the first night.  Then he wanted it again the second night.  He said he would take it to school for lunch, have it as an after-school snack and then eat it for diner, if I wanted. lol  I was amazed and the sad part is I will probably never be able to recreate this soup again.  It was just like eating a smooth potato soup.


I really enjoy getting creative to use the leftovers.  It's been a while since I had to toss anything out of the fridge.

post #17 of 17

In a lot of cases leftovers can be made into a new dish or a component part, and then that can sometimes be turned into a third dish. We used to make our own hot Hors D O (puff pastry pre made) we would saute onions or shallots,some garlic,some spice ,left over cooked meat of any kind, a bit of bread crumb , and a raw egg, grind it up all together and wrap in puff pastry like a long cigar ,cut in bite size pieces and serve. We called them Meat Pastels. Same mix can be egg dipped and breaded  deep fried like a mini croquette. I can't think of any product that can't be recycled.  Even lettuce can be shredded and added to egg roll mix. Same thing can be done with left over seafood.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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