M. Andrew Gordon

The best meal in town? Last night’s leftovers.

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Using ingredients or whole components in subsequent meals is something that seems, in some part, to be a good frugal New England Yankee trait.  Though in fairness, I am sure this has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with any geographical location and more to do with a characteristic of past years.  But this is a food blog about new recipes not a sociological study of changing social mores in America.

I don’t have a new recipe here to discuss but rather just a quick post about using leftovers again.  For instance, I made a variation on this Pork Stew last week and made cornbread to go with it.  We only ate about half the corn bread but two days later I used about a quarter of it for the filler in crabcakes.  The remaining quarter of the bread sat in the breadbox wrapped in foil.  On Saturday it was split in half and toasted, topped with a fried egg, some jalapeno-cheddar, and served with bacon and avocado.  That, my friends, is a cornbread that lived a good life: side dish to stew, integral component of crab cakes, and the foundation of a delicious weekend breakfast.

Because of my newly acquired ice cream maker, I have been using any food-based event as a good excuse to make a new ice cream.  This left me with a delicious espresso ice cream and the habanero-ginger ice cream from a recent post.  At a recent dinner-party, I served beer floats, pairing Berkshire Brewing Company’s Coffeehouse Porter with my espresso ice cream and Left Hand Brewining’s Milk Stout with the habanero-ginger.  The former pairing was spectacular and is something I very much want to break out in the future; the latter pairing was somewhat less successful, although that owes more to the overpowering flavor of the habenero-ginger ice cream than anything else.  A nice vanilla or burnt sugar ice cream might be just about perfect with the Milk Stout.

I also recently roasted a ten-pound pork shoulder for a dinner of six people.  Overkill really doesn’t quite begin to describe it.  Two days later I cut up the rest of the pork and wondered what to do with it.  Some chicken stock, onions, potatoes, various spices, a whole bunch of black-eyed peas, and about an hour yielded a decadent pork-and-bean stew that was pretty damned good on a cold winter’s night.

Half the plate was left open for bacon...don't ask what happened.

This past Saturday, Lena and I made a sautéed shrimp appetizer to tide us over before our stew was ready.  With the simple, bold flavor of garlic and soy sauce, it was rather tasty.  But…the next morning we were making waffles with a healthy dose of cornmeal in the batter.  And we upped the ante by laying bacon across the batter and cooking the waffle per usual (thank you to Mark Bittman and his book “How to Cook Everything”).  Sometime while the waffles were cooking we looked at each other and said, “what do you think about serving those shrimp over the waffles?”  Oh boy.  The shrimp were quickly warmed up in a skillet, put on the waffle, and topped with shredded cheddar.  I know it sounds a little crazy, but this is going into the brunch rotation for me.

All of which is to say, if you don’t like leftovers, you don’t know what you’re missing!

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  1. I wish I was more creative with leftovers. I tend to eat them in their original form…

    As for beer floats, have you tried a chocolate stout? I think the Brooklyn Black Chocolate, as well as the Southern Tier Chokolat would be amazing with a scoop of homemade vanilla!

  2. […] and unique, I am putting these on my short list of unique brunch items for a future brunch (see Shrimp Waffles and Shredded Wheat rolls with Mashed Sweet Potato at the bottom of this post).  Recipe for the […]

  3. […] hide my unabashed love for using leftover ingredients in a second or third dish, as evidenced by my February post on leftovers.  So there it is, an announcement of a new, regular feature here.  The Absurd […]

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