Stuff & Nonsense: leftovers


Showing posts with label leftovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leftovers. Show all posts

26 November 2016

Gobble-Gobble In My Pot

We'd pretty much picked the turkey carcass clean of white meat by Saturday so I decided to go ahead and make soup right away rather than chucking the carcass in the freezer and making it Someday. Also, the freezer is kind-of full right now and I'm not sure it would have fit ... someone needs to do a no-shopping challenge, again.


Each time I make turkey or chicken soup it comes out differently because I don't have a set recipe -- I always start the same way, but what goes in at the end varies as I tend to simply round up whatever open bags of frozen vegetables I can find and dump them in the pot with whatever slightly wrinkly potatoes or rice/barley/noodle bag ends I find in the pantry. Seasoning depends strongly on taste and mood -- sometimes, I make a spicy turkey soup but more often it is just very garlicky and redolent with thyme.

How I made this turkey soup:
  1. Removed all bits of skin/fat from the turkey carcass and then crushed it down a bit to fit in my big French/Dutch oven.
  2. Surrounded the carcass with carrots, onion, celery, bay, and fresh thyme.
  3. Topped the whole thing off with cold water and let it simmer for about three hours (I took an unplanned nap at this point).
  4. Drained pot contents through a cheesecloth lined colander into a big basin.
  5. Picked vegetable bits out and set aside.
  6. Separated edible turkey bits from inedible.
  7. Used my OXO Good Grips (a Thanksgiving gift to myself and well worth it) fat separator to remove the fat from the broth.
  8. Poured most of the broth back into the pot (reserving four cups for another soup)
  9. Broke the veggies up a bit and put them back in the pot. Ditto the turkey, odds-and-ends of bagged frozen corn and peas, and a half cup of pastina.
  10. Let everything cook for about thirty minutes, then taste-tested and added parsley, salt, and black pepper as whim took me.

And the leftover dark meat? I turned most of that into easy turkey enchiladas using kitchen staples like corn tortillas and salsa verde. They weren't fancy (or in any way authentic), but they tasted good.

Also, the cats got some turkey, because it's Thanksgiving and they deserve a little feast of their own. Unfortunately, they now demand turkey every time we wander near the kitchen ...

15 April 2016

Easy Chicken & Black Bean Burritos

Looking for a supper that could be quickly assembled ahead of time, would use up a bunch of odds-and-ends, and also create ample leftovers for lunches, I turned to burritos. I simply tossed shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, black beans, thawed fire-roasted corn, salsa, shredded cheese, salt-free taco seasoning, and sour cream together in a big bowl. Then I portioned the filling out evenly among a package of flour tortillas, and folded the tortillas up around the filling to make little bundles that could, if you're feeling generous, be called burritos.


I arranged the burritos in a large baking dish, sprinkled them with cheese and salsa, covered the dish with foil, and left it in the fridge overnight. About 30 minutes before I came home, The Husband popped the covered dish in a 375°F oven and let them bake. When I came home, I uncovered the pan, switched the oven to broil, and let everything cook until the cheese was melty and the exposed tortillas had gone golden brown.

We ate the burritos topped with chopped romaine, grape tomatoes, scallions, guacamole, and salsa. It was not the most elegant of meals, but it was filling, economical, and (mostly) homemade.

26 December 2015

Easy Corn Chowder from Christmas Leftovers

As always, I over-estimated the amount of sides needed to feed everyone Christmas Dinner and have a fridge full of leftover mashed potatoes, braised cabbage, and corn. There's a tiny bit of tenderloin left (I'm quite good at calculating out the meaty needs of four people, so why not the vegetables?) which I knew we'd use for sandwiches and what goes so well with sandwiches? Soup!


I used all the leftover corn, but only a little leftover garlic mashed potatoes in this recipe. There's still three(ish) cups remaining and I'm probably going to take the easy route with them and make cheesy, chivey potato pancakes for supper.

Also, the corn and mashed potatoes, being Christmas leftovers, were already seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, parsley, and the like so I did not season the soup very much. Therefore, you will need to adjust the seasonings according to your own tastes!

Anyway, the soup is tasty (of course), easy, and comforting. Just the thing for the day after Christmas when we're -- or at least I'm -- hungover on sugar, cheese, wine, and too much excitement. And by too much excitement, I mean working on a jigsaw puzzle until midnight and then sitting on the couch until 2 AM, telling The Husband how he should be playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Easy Corn Chowder from Christmas Leftovers

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 1 medium celery rib, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 32 oz carton low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 oz finely diced peeled potato
  • 10 oz leftover corn
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp chopped dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½-1 cup leftover garlic mashed potatoes

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large French/Dutch oven over medium. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until onion is tender and fragrant. Add broth, bay, and potatoes and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in the corn, cream, and seasonings and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the potatoes -- starting with a half cup and increasing if needed -- until the soup is thickened to your liking. Remove bay leaf and adjust seasonings as needed.

Of course, this soup makes too much for two people, thus creating leftovers of its own. However, soup is an easy leftover to deal with as it's perfect for every meal -- even breakfast -- and is always ready to go.

And, just for kicks, the puzzle it took way too long for four reasonably clever adults to complete (wine may have had something to do with it?):


03 July 2015

Repurposed Picnic Leftovers or "Hide It In Salad"

Is there anything sadder looking than a picked over vegetable tray the day after a picnic? Usually, I chop up whatever remains and throw it into a "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" tossed salad for lunch, but it was still the weekend and The Husband needed feeding, too, and salad is not really his favorite kind of supper. Happily, I had a box of Betty Crocker's "Classic" Suddenly Salad and knew he'd go for that ... appropriately amended with picnic leftovers.


I prepared the salad according to the directions on the box, then stirred in leftover grilled chicken, guacamole, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, chopped peppers, grape tomatoes, and onion. When I served it, I topped each portion with shredded cheddar, crushed tortilla chips, and more salsa.

Overall, I'd say it was a pretty good salad for something that started out as a box mix, but I think it could have benefited from the addition of black beans and corn.

24 October 2014

Toast Those Muffins

We had a Dunkin Donuts chocolate chip muffin kicking around the kitchen that no-one seemed interested in eating because it was two days old, after all, and lost much of the fluffy cake-like qualities that make Dunkin Donuts chocolate chip muffins worth eating in the first place. I didn't want to throw it out -- waste of food/money -- but I couldn't see how to make it taste good, again.

And then I remembered how The Husband love's the chocolate chip muffins at The Shack in , because they butter and toast the split muffins on their griddle. And I thought "I have a cast iron skillet and butter!" And, you know, it worked out pretty well! The muffin -- warm, crunchy, and buttery -- was a lovely bit of decadence on a dreary October evening.


Cut your muffin in half. Heat a blob of butter in a cast iron skillet until it's foamy.


And halved muffin, cut side down, to skillet and cook until beautifully browned.


Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, because whipped cream makes tasty toasty muffins even better.

12 April 2014

Chop-All-The-Things Salad

Get to the end of the week and the fridge is just chock-a-block with foodstuffs that won't keep much longer, but aren't each anywhere enough to be a meal. What to do? Chop everything up and call it a salad.


What's in it? Chopped buffalo chicken strips, corn salsa, black beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and romaine.

I tossed this salad with a little salsa and guacamole just before eating and it was delicious. So delicious that I was both surprised and saddened by how quickly I arrived at the bottom of the bowl!

26 March 2014

Delicious Leftovers

Using Up Leftover Ingredients

I had some ingredients leftover from this month's Improv Challenge and decided to make a lazy sausage parmigiana. First, I cooked the sausage patties in a skillet with a double handful of sliced mushrooms. Then I removed the sausage to a broiler-safe pan, topped them with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, and broiled them until the cheese was all melty and gorgeous.

Meanwhile, I added some leftover bruschetta to the still-hot skillet and stirred it 'round until everything was heated through. Plated the sausage, topped it with the mushroom and bruschetta mixture, and garnished it with fresh basil. Served it with a little penne in tomato sauce and it was pretty darn good (and pretty!) for something that took less than 20 minutes to prepare!

08 March 2014

Hello, Leftovers: Shredded Beef Taco Salad

I'd intended to make quesadillas with the leftover slow cooker shredded beef, but then realized taco salad was an even better idea. I do love me some taco salad, after all, and the temperature was supposed to rise up to 49°F today suggesting Salad Season was on its way, so ...

Taco Salad

Shredded Beef Taco Salad

Ingredients
2 small flour tortillas
Olive oil, as needed
1 cup leftover shredded beef
red onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped
romaine, chopped
cheddar, shredded
[Cabot Seriously Sharp, of course]
salsa
guacamole

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. (If you have a pizza stone, preheat it with the oven. Otherwise, get out a sheet pan).

Lightly brush tortillas with a little olive oil and place on preheated pizza stone (or place on sheet pan and put in oven). Bake for 4-5 minutes, depending on desired brownness.

Baked Tortillas

Remove tortillas from oven and plate. Microwave beef until heated through. Divide meat between tortillas. Garnish with cheddar, romaine, red onion, salsa, guacamole, and cilantro. Eat.

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(My shredded beef already had corn and black beans mixed in so I didn't add any to my salad, but would certainly recommend it if yours doesn't).

27 November 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Stuffing Waffles

I found a Rachael Ray recipe for "Leftover Stuffing Waffles" and, since I had a huge amount a leftover slow cooker turkey dressing, I knew I had to give it a try. I love waffles. I love stuffing. Waffled stuffing sounded like definite win.

And, you know, it looked good. I'd followed the instructions exactly -- preheated the waffle iron, liberally brushed it with melted unsalted butter, and packed it with leftover turkey dressing. I put my small oval French oven on top of the waffle iron to press the dressing down nice and tight and let it cook for a full eight minutes. When I lifted the lid, the cooked waffle was golden and crispy on top. It looked pretty darn good.

Waffled Stuffing

But then I tried to take the waffle out ... and it wouldn't come out. Oh, the top layer (all crispy-crunchy goodness) did, but the bottom stuck fast. It was a very sad waffle. Next time I would, as the good woman says, "butter yo shit" and maybe that waffle would just slide right out of the iron.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Anyway, fail waffle still tasted okay! Topped the waffle bits with reheated turkey and gravy and The Husband had no issue with it and cleaned his plate.

23 November 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Sandwiches

So, lots of Thanksgiving leftovers and, while sandwiches are an obvious way of using them up, I wanted more than the usual stuffing-cranberry-turkey sarnie. I wanted a turkey bahn mi. Or as close as I could get at home with the ingredients I had on hand.

Turkey Banh Mi (Sorta)
I shredded too many vegetables, so made a little salad of the extras.

While it's not really a banh mi, I'm still pretty pleased with this sandwich. Spicy and crunchy and tart and full of carbs and tryptophan!

Banh Mi Inspired Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients
Leftover turkey
Sandwich rolls, halved
Sliced cucumber
Shredded carrot
Shredded radishes
Thinly sliced red onion
Unseasoned rice wine vinegar
Light mayonnaise
Sriracha
Dried cilantro

Directions
Toss your vegetables with enough rice wine vinegar to coat and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Cucumbers in Rice Wine Vinegar
Marinated some of the cucumbers on their own as The Husband is fussy.

Combine mayonnaise, cilantro, and sriracha to taste. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Spicy Mayo w/ Cilantro
My eyes kept trying to tell my brain I'd made Thousand Island Dressing.

Spread mayonniase blend on both halves of rolls. Layer with vegetables. Sandwichize. Eat.

Turkey Banh Mi (Sorta)
All the colors!
(I made The Husband's sandwich a little differently as I knew he wouldn't like the carrots or radishes. Instead, he had spicy mayonnaise, turkey, marinated cucumber, red onion, and stuffing. He seemed happy enough and went omnomnom).

13 October 2012

Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Earlier this week, I roasted some lovely little Brussels sprouts and then, just to gild the lily, tossed them with a little bacon jam. Oh, so delicious! However, while I adore Brussels sprouts, there are only so many I can eat in one sitting and I was left with a small bowlful. What to do? Breakfast!

Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
Delicious!

I brushed two thin slices of crusty, crunch garlic bread with garlic oil and toasted them in a hot nonstick skillet until golden.

While they toasted, I thinly sliced the leftover sprouts and set the oven to warm. When the bread was toasted, I popped it on a plate in the oven and transferred the sprouts to the hot skillet. I cooked them, stirring occasionally, until they were well browned. Then I transferred them to the plate in the oven and cooked an egg in the hot skillet.

Put the hot egg on the sprouts, seasoned everything with pepper and a little salt, and went nomnomnom.

(I cooked my egg a little too long -- was distracted prepping the tea things -- and it was not as runny as I like. Lesson learned: Make the tea before the egg).

09 May 2012

Fast Greek-Style Dip & Salad

We threw a little shindig at work last week to celebrate our volunteers and, as always, I panicked when I saw the sign-up sheet going 'round. I never know what to bring to these things -- especially since this year, it was a "social hour" instead of a meal, which meant lots of nibble-y things instead of "sit down" food.

I knew I wanted a recipe I could throw together in the morning before work with minimal fuss that would still look good on a plate -- as if I had actually made an effort. A quick search on the Internet at lunch turned up Kraft's recipe for "10-Minute Appetizer Spread" and that seemed pretty perfect. I could make it right before work with minimal fuss, it would keep well until the "social hour," and it was savory rather than sweet (there was already a preponderance of sweets on the offing).

I modified what I thought of as the "Mediterranean" version of the recipe and it turned out really well! So well, in fact, that three people asked me for the recipe!

Creamy Mediterranean Spread

Combine 1 8 oz. package softened neufchatel cream cheese, ½ cup light mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon Penzeys Greek seasoning blend.

IMG_3557

Plop into a serving dish -- I used a shallow soup bowl -- and top with ½ cup chopped seeded Campari tomatoes, ½ cup chopped unpeeled seeded English cucumber, ¼ cup chopped black olives, and ½ cup crumbled feta with garlic and herbs.

IMG_3552

I lay the diced seeded tomatoes and cucumbers on paper towels for about an hour before assembling the dish, hoping to get some of the water out of them. I also drained and blotted the olives very well.

As my amounts turned out differently from Kraft's (I did't want to bury the cream cheese mix in a mound of vegetables), I ended up with leftover chopped vegetables. I tossed the excess vegetables and cheese with cold diced beef leftover from Sunday dinner and a little Greek vinaigrette to make a lettuceless salad.
Easy Greek(ish) Chopped Salad

¼ cup diced seeded tomatoes
¼ cup diced seeded cucumbers
2 Tbsp black olives
2 Tbsp crumbled garlic and herb feta
4 oz diced cold roast beef
2 Tbsp Marie's Greek vinaigrette

Combine all. Toss well. Eat.