Tag Archives: leftovers

Leftover Turkey: Chili

In my pantry today:

  •  1/2 turkey breast, chunked
  • 1 28oz can Rotel® tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 c corn
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 small onion, chunked
  • 3 L cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • dash asafoetida

turkchiliThis one is easy — put everything in a large pot, grate the carrots in for added nutrition and texture, bring it to a low boil then reduce heat to L.

TIP: Add in the onions that cooked in the beast’s cavity.

Cover and let sit to ruminate for at least an hour — the longer, the better (to a point — we’re not talking 3 weeks here or anything). Feel free to adjust any seasonings, especially the cayenne, to your own personal taste. This is a 5 spoon dinner — when I return from Adaptive Yoga tonight, it will be waiting and ready.

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Processing Leftovers

In my pantry:

cauliflowerleftoversoupEasier than easy! Ask the food processor to deal with yesterday’s leftovers. Scrape it all into a pot, add broth, heat, serve sprinkled with Parmesan… this, paired with the swift brevity of convenience will escalate leftover soup to a 5 spoon dinner.

Leftover Roast Beef Travels South of the Border

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c sliced roast beef, cut into chunks
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1.5 c vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c minced yellow onion
  • 1/2 lime, wedged
  • 4 tsp Taco Seasoning ganked from a boxed taco kit in the cupboard
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • pinch asafoetida

leftoverroastbeefSo I wasn’t even really planning at its onset to write about what I assumed would be a boring, last-minute meal. I was under the MS weather yesterday and have no idea from whence this amazing creation came. Thanks have to go to my dad’s amazing 14lb roast beef — nothing would have ended up this tasty without it. I cut up about 1/2 of the leftovers he sent us home with, stuck the other half in the freezer then took a step back and regarded the pile of meat on the counter before me. We love Indian food, but obviously there really aren’t a lot of recipes there including cow. I had no way to make gravy and not enough of the ingredients needed to throw together a Thai salad. The options here were limited — but there was cooked rice in the fridge and beans in the cupboard!

Start out the same way I always do — garlic and onion in oil warming to M. Just before it gets to full on M, reduce the heat to ML and let cook for about ten minutes while you cut up the roast beef, drain/rinse the beans and then, say, empty the dishwasher. When you return to the pan dust in your seasonings and mix everything into a paste; scrape the bottom clean as you do this, adding in little drips of broth to help the process. Add in beans; when coated completely, add in broth little by little until beans are halfway covered. Turn heat to M as you do this until near-boiling. Top with diced roast beef and lime. Turn heat back to ML and cover pot; walk away for 5-10m while the limes cook onto things. Come back, remove limes and mix meat into broth, adding enough more to nearly cover things now. Bring to a low boil on M then reduce to MreallyL for a few hours, checking in once or twice to make sure all the meat remains covered in liquid. The meat ended up getting much more tender and flavoring the vegetable broth with the black beans and lime to come out in its own gravy. This was a lick-the-bowl good meal over rice and earned every one of its 5 spoons!

 

 

Palak Sweet Potatoes (or, “Literally Playing an Angle”)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked white beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 15 oz can Princella® Cut Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 c spinach (frozen from fresh)
  • 3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning

I have learned how to even more enormously enjoy Indian cooking over the last year or so, and now more often than not will choose rice as my default starch, not pasta. This knowledge does cause a gasp for me, but then I shake my head and continue eating whatever delicious food sits before me atop a pilaf.

This being said, I am untrained in most ways that might let me slide off the Cracker Train a stop or two before Racism City. Please keep in mind that I am fully aware of what a White American I am as you continue forth through my bastardization of a beautiful culture. And start your mustard seeds and onion warming in a cold pot to M.

After a minute or so of crackle-popping, mix the spinach and kala jeera in and once the spinach begins to wilt transfer the entire mess to the food processor with 1/2 c vegetable broth. Open the can of sweet potatoes and rinse them well (they’ll be sweet enough without any extra syrup) before tossing them, too, into the cut-em-up machine. Pulse until you’ve got a chunky paste then transfer back to the pot.

Over ML heat, add half the remainder of your seasonings and liquids. Stir. Add your cooked, drained beans, stir, then add in the remainder of the flavors. Let the sauce simmer on L for at least one hour (mine simmered on L for 5 hours before it was time to be ingested). When I asked my girlfriend how many spoons she’d give this, her answer was “4… maybe even 5.” I shook my head and staunchly thought, “3. The flavors were like a Showbiz Pizza ball-pen of shapes.

And then there was the follow up discussion about maybe letting people know that when I cook, it is by shapes. I figured that this blog had enough angles to it already (Food Stamps! Incurable Brain Disease! Lost 100 lbs! Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!) that throwing in the synaesthesia was a moot point. Synaesthesia… hold up, I’ll copy + paste from Wikipedia:

Recently, difficulties have been recognized in finding an adequate definition of synesthesia…

Crap, well. Here’s the meat of it for me: In terms of cooking, I generally go by the shape of things. I fancy each dish as a Kandinsky (also said to have had the -aesthesia) and the pieces and parts of it have to interact in perfect composition. Dr. Cytowic’s book “The Man Who Tasted Shapes” is an excellent study on this phenomenon, which I delight in as most synaesthetes present with the numbers and letters as colors thing.

Cytowic describes his chance encounter during a dinner party on February 10, 1980 with MW, the “Man Who Tasted Shapes.” Cytowic describes how his host reported that “There aren’t enough points on the chicken!”

Don’t feel bad if this makes absolutely no sense to you. I find that it does not to many people, whereas it it my only frame of reference. Has your sky always been blue? Mine has always been puce. Figuratively, I mean. I certainly suppose this is an important element to my cooking that isn’t well-publicized… but you can’t show that weird mole on your ass to every stranger, y’know? I’d rather be out and proud about my weight and discovering all the positive effects of food on health — there ain’t no food pyramid for spikes and circles and squares (“Oh, my!”).

Of course, I could make one… Hmm…

Hifalutin Frito Pie (or, “You Put What in There?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover meatless meaty chili
  • 2 c broken Fritos®
  • 1 c cheddar cheese
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 12-20 stems of asparagus
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Taco Bell® seasoning envelope
  • sour cream as garnish

In an 8×8 casserole dish, layer rice with a few finely-crumbled Fritos® mixed in for entertainment value. Cut the fluffy tips from your asparagus about 1/4″ below their hairline and mince the three next inches down (I tossed the rest of these stems after this step as I am still investigating how to best use them). Set the asparagus tops aside and sprinkle the rice with 1/4 c cheese and minced asparagus stems. Layer on your leftover chili. At this point you might see that there is no “right” way to be layering all this noise, so be creative! I tossed the asparagus tops in the chili pan dregs with a little Taco Bell® seasoning and mixed them with more well-crushed Fritos®. On top of that I layered 3/4 c cheddar cheese and topped with more Fritos® and some fresh cilantro. Cook the covered dish for 15-20m in an oven preheated to 400° and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

This might’ve gotten more spoons were the Fritos® not chewy upon reveal, as that is not a texture I anticipated or enjoy as garbled surprise in my end result. Whatever led me to believe in the magical crunch-retaining power of anything roasted under a foil cover? 3 spoons anyway.

Spring Snap Soup (& Cheese Quesadillas)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover hibachi rice
  • 1 15 oz can snaps-n-peas
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 c diced roma tomato
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida

Well, hello tonight’s low of 44° in April! I generally swear by the delineation between “soup weather” and “salad weather,” but every now and then things happen in this world that we (as not-meteorologists) cannot explain. Just when I was bemoaning the first day of the year to hit 90° along comes one week later, and I am glut with the fast food that extra-routinized variables bring even after two days of Norovirus‘ enforced foodlessness. All current conditions point to a forecast of soup!

The post ratio of the last week and shameful public admittance to eating too much fast food should tell all of you junior detectives this: leftovers. Crap, leftovers. Start some ghee melting in a pot on M while you first being pulling various things out of the fridge. Throw in those leftover diced onions from the bacon tacos and after a minute or two, toss in the also taco-leftover tomatoes and garlic paste. Swirl. Open, rinse and rain your snap peas and add them to the pot. Sprinkle on your remaining seasonings and stir. Add broth, stir, add rice, stir, add uncut cilantro leaves, stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to L and serve before your rice swells up and kills the mood.

For leftovers, applaud! This is an easy 4 spoons of soup, and will be served alongside tiny quesadillas made from taco night’s three leftover rounds.

Leftover Lunch (& More Oven-Fried Broccoli)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover Basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

I’m making more oven-fried broccoli for lunch. It was, indeed, delicious enough to warrant an immediate do-over, but just broccoli makes for a lonely lunch. What to do?

Fluff up that cold half-pot of rice from the fridge. Put onion and jeera in a cold pan with your butter and crank it to M. Once the butter is melted, reduce heat to L and let sit for as long as you got — I’ll have had about an hour under my belt before I move to the next step:

Go ahead and have your seasonings mixed together in a dainty cup or some such nonsense. Turn the pan back up to M and begin mixing in rice with the seasoning blend. Fluff and stir until everything is warm, the serve under the much esteemed broccoli. Bazow! 5 spoons!

 

Interstate Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover subgum wonton soup
  • 1 c leftover cooked white beans
  • 1 10 oz can coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic, clumsily minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander

So start the garlic and olive oil off in a soup pot on M and let them mingle for a few minutes until sizzling is steady; erstwhile, turn your attention to that leftover subgum wonton soup you bought in Virginia on Thursday (yes, it was kept refrigerated; it was really good so lay off). In my case, there were four large wontons preserved as well as an array of shrimp, pork and vegetables. I started this endeavor by pouring the leftover soup through a colander to fish out all the big slabs of chicken that look too much like tripe for me to consensually chew and ingest; I set the broth aside (1.5 c) and let the vegetables sit in their colander (.5c).

Back at the sizzling pot, I added the cooked white beans and began smashing them with the back of the mixing spoon until they were about to become burning mounds of beanflesh, then added 1/4 c broth and continued smashing. Once said smashingtime is completed to your satisfaction, add asafoetida, turmeric and coriander, mix then add in the rest of your broth. Stir and bring to a slow boil, then add in the coconut milk and subgum wonton non-liquid elements. This can be eaten right away, but mine is sitting until a proper dinnertime. This meal includes six vegetables, up to four animals and beans for good measure — it was made on four hours of sleep after an eight hour trip home from DC and still gets 3 spoons.

Ataraxic Amalgam!

In my pantry today:

Yep, just put it all in one pot.

Well, not the pasta: cook that separately and add to your bowl personally before the soup hits it. This allows control over your al dente preference.

And maybe wait until the last minute before adding the spinach, y’know, to help it retain a little of its #3fff00 dignity.

3-4 spoons depending on whether or not you add “love.”

Leftover Adverb Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 3ish c leftovers from yesterday
  • 49oz chicken broth
  • 10oz can coconut milk

Ta-da, soup! Now, to be fair I did end up adding the can of coconut milk before dinner last night. It was a whim that payed off well. Did I say “whim?” I could also have used the words “instinct” or “mystical predilection.” It was delicious either way, but the coconut milk ultimately served a more sinister purpose: dreams of leftover soup! And yes, all of my evil plans unfolded perfectly. Scrumptiously, even.