Scraps plus magic wand

I do most of my shopping on Saturdays at local small businesses (butcher, bakery, etc) and the farmers’ market on Sunday, so most of my leftovers become Sunday brunch - mostly omelets or scrambled eggs with whatever leftover veg and/or meat, fried potatoes or mashed potato patties, etc

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:grin: Sounds like me, but not the part about liking leftovers.

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Third, or fourth me, for hating to throw away. Fried rice, pasta dish, soup, x with fried egg on top, are all good vehicles for bits and bobs. I did something delicious with garden bits and bobs yesterday. I’d had some less than excellent tomatoes (weather) that I’d roasted down with oil and garlic, and used only part. A couple of sad small zukes and a tiny eggplant that fell off before it was ready. Some man-handled grapes off the vine that were getting wrinkly. All of the above were combined with a caramelized onion, capers, salt, pepp, sugar, vinegar, into a caponata that was served on 2 day old bread as crostini. Appetizer before dinner which was going to be late. It was much more than the sum of its parts.

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Nice. I had veggies in the fridge (the carrots and potatoes for a while) and chicken stock in pantry so bought chicken breast and made soup.

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The other night I made butternut-mashed potatoes to use up some leftover squash puree. This morning, to use up the leftover squash-and-potato mixture, I fried cakes by adding some caramelized onion, scallion greens, one egg, a tablespoon of flour, a pinch of sugar and seasoning. Quite good served up with some scrambled egg. Also posted on the breakfast thread here.

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Good thread idea and helpful to me to read all of your comments and ideas. I’ve been cooking for 6 for so long that now that we’re down to just 3, “I don’t know how to stop”.

I made baked ziti last night and when I called my wife and son in for dinner she looked at the casserole dish and said, “That looks like a lot of ziti”. My reply was, “That’s how I always make it” to which she said, “That’s my point”.

:crazy_face:

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Stale cookies, crackers, donuts, and/or cold cereal can become streusel or the crumbs for a one-crust pie/tart.

A bakery where I grew up chunked up unsold Danish, pound cake, and the like, mixed it with chocolate, apricot jam, and (I think) either beaten egg or a custard mixture, pressed it into a loaf pan, added crumbcake topping, and baked it. I’ve used the same approach with good results.

Mix targeted savory leftovers into a mornay sauce to fill entree crepes.
Poach overripe fruit, thicken the juices with tapioca or cornstarch. Spoon it over toasted pound cake, or ice cream, or spread lemon curd onto crepes before adding the fruit topping and rolling/folding.

Treat tortillas like crepes: make one radius cut. Envision the tortilla as four quadrants. Place a different filling in the center of each quadrant. Starting at the cut, fold each quadrant over the next. Add the resultant thick wedge to a buttered frying pan, cover, and cook on gentle heat, flipping once, to make the outsides golden brown while softening the interior layers of tortilla.

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Not quite the same numbers, but I went from cooking for 4 to cooking for 3 when kid 1 went to college. It was a big adjustment and I was constantly cooking too much. Skillful repurposing is an art.

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Along those lines, a local bakery fills plastic to-go cups with a mishmosh of cake trimmings, frosting, and various toppings. They’re called “scrappies,” sell for cheaper than a slice of cake, and the lightbulb just came on that this is her way of not throwing trimmings and extras away. Smart!

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Yum! :yum:

Still working on using up the butternut-mashed potatoes from the other night, I whisked in an almost equal part apple juice over heat and viola - butternut squash soup for lunch.

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Not only is it difficult to pare down the meals for fewer people, but to change shopping habits as well. I admit I still shop for 4 basically, but have cut down on perishables at least. Cook for 4 deliberately to have leftovers or feed the freezer. I do love to rescue food that needs to be used, and also to turn baking failures, or less than stellar results into something else. Bread pudding is good if cakes or quick breads are accidentally over baked, or just didn’t turn out that well.

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I haven’t tried it, but seems like a neat trick:

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Cheese plate bits leftover potatoes some spinach and eggs.

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Such a beautiful color, and I’m sure it tasted great!

Thanks @Lambchop ! we are big fans of spinach - having it fresh and green makes it so much better than the stuff I didn’t eat when I was a kid!

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Love fresh spinach too, most greens really, with beet being my favorite. Oddly, am not so keen on collards, though I can eat them and enjoy. They’re just different than I always imagined - quite thick!

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I’m with you love greens also the various Chinese and Japanese ones too with a lighter prep to keep 'em fresh. On collards I adore them. They need time cooking to get silky. I don’t even mess around with bacon anymore I like a pot liquor from veggie broth and onions and then a can of tomatoes not much. My girls are animal lovers and rescuers and of course vegetarians. At least an hour of stewing after sauté usually more. But not those fresh green greens you like that’s another vegetable and that’s the freshness my family likes and what really brings to life beige and grey leftovers.

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I am a bone collector. My kids use to call me Hannibal Lector.

Mostly chicken bones but bones from short ribs you may find in my freezer. My bone collection is used in making stock. The bones and aromatic veg like onions, carrots and celery are the ingredients of my stock. I don’t mix beef and chicken bones so have containers of stock of both in the freezer. We seem to buy gelato in these plastic jars, so they are saved to store my stock in the freezer. This way I can portion out my frozen stock to be thawed depending on my need

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