Leftovers

:woman_facepalming: Argggh, why wouldn’t he at least offer to give the leftovers to someone else? During Thanksgiving in particular, we have to call dibs on leftovers (I get first pick since I usually cook). I sympathizing with not loving leftovers, as I am picky about what I will/won’t eat the next day or two later. Outside of Thanksgiving, the only foods I intentionally make leftovers for are soups and rice. Soups, chilis and stews of course are just impossible to make in one serving.

I am not big on freezing leftovers. I will force myself to eat whatever is leftover within the next few days but in cooking for one, leftovers is just life. Pastas and congee work well as lunch, and then the rest is dinner so I try to keep leftovers to weeknights when cooking time is tight. Vegetables are terrible as leftovers so I actively work around ever making extra servings of whatever vegetable I’m eating that night.

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Once I used some leftover turkey white meat to make a very delightful Persian dish that involved fresh spinach and also, somehow, verjus. I’ll never find the recipe again, but it was very light and delicious.

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Oh no! ( MacArthur Park…sort of )

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Leftovers always end up reborn and back on the table. Vegetables often return in frittatas. It seems you can make a frittata out of most anything. Proteins come back as tacos, sandwiches, enchiladas, minced for pasta sauces, turned into carnitas, etc. Leftover sauces like spaghetti sauce (never used on actual spaghetti…we like linguine) are revived as sloppy Joes or meatball subs. Leftover soups are either reheated (or chilled) and eaten or incorporated into sauces. Carcasses are, of course, used for stock, along with vegetable trimmings. Stale bread becomes croutons or crumbs. Roasted potatoes and other vegetables get diced, seasoned, browned a tad more, and incorporated in breakfast tacos. Even leftover wine gets tossed into the appropriate vinegar pot. There is never leftover Champagne.

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We rarely freeze leftovers but am starting to a bit more often now, especially if I have a large batch of chili or ham/bean soup that freezes well.

Usually we just label/date/fridge, and when all the kids were home, Tuesday was always leftover night, with repurposed mulligan style mixups or bits of this/that of the individual leftovers. The rule was eat leftovers if we had suitable stuff. Also, I generally ate leftovers at work for lunch.

My wife often doesn’t like leftovers but “took one for the team” and played along with the Tuesday night deal over the years, but almost never took leftovers in to work.

In the last few years I often cook too much, with the oldest 3 out of the house except summer/holidays. But with the pandemic and my wife working from home, and me retired, a lot of that extra gets taken up with both of us eating daily (mostly leftovers) lunch here.

Still, I’m noticing that I’ve been throwing away some remnants on weekly trash day, whereas I rarely did before and I’m not happy with this. So I’ve got to get used to making more suitable amounts (although this is a less immediate worry right now with two of the girls back for the summer).

Mrs. P repurposed my delicious restaurant leftovers from over the weekend, (including filet mignon, cheese and meat charcuterie board, Greek lamb chops and Greek sausage), into a delicious pasta dish. She added chopped and sautéed red onions and castelvetrano olives. There was enough for 2 dinners. It is not very photogenic.


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Brava!

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