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Category Archives: Leftovers

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are looking for some great ideas of what to make this year or want something different beyond the usual corned beef and cabbage, New York Times Cooking has put together an excellent collection of recipes that cover everything you might need. From soda bread to side dishes to desserts and drinks, you will find it all. Check it out.

On a side note, I haven’t been around lately because I have been fighting a terrible cold for 2 weeks now. The cold has pretty much sapped all my strength and leaves me coughing quite a bit. When this has been combined with a heavy workload I have had recently, I have little time for blogging. I am hoping to kick the cold this week as it seems to be waning, and then I can get back to posting recipes. Please bear with me a little bit while I get my strength back. Thanks!

 

Source: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

 

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17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

Coming up with ways to make easy, fast and healthy dinners can seem impossible sometimes. There are many days when the last thing you want to think about is what is for dinner and wish something could magically appear that you can cook quickly. Instead of turning to pizza delivery or fast food, start using some of these 17 ideas and tips Bon Appetit offers to keep healthy and easy dinner options right in your kitchen so you can throw something great together in just minutes and look like you have been thinking about it all day. Check it out!

Tomorrow should be the day our new appliances come, and hopefully, that will complete our kitchen. It’s been tough trying to cook meals just using an electric pressure cooker, a sandwich press and two small electric burners we borrowed, so it will be great to have a stove again that I can with each day. Fingers crossed it works out tomorrow, and I can get back to recipes!

Source: 17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

 

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What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

The holiday meal is always a great one, but then you are left trying to figure out what to do with all of those leftovers from your roast, turkey, ham or other protein you made. Bon Appetit has put together 14 great recipe ideas with what you can make with some of those leftovers that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Check it out!

Source: What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

 

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The End of the Turkey in a Delicious Way – Turkey Rice Soup

Now that I have returned from visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday and gotten caught up with some of the work I had to catch up on, I can get back to trying to do some blogging. Even though I did not cook Thanksgiving dinner at home this year, I still had some leftover turkey from a couple of the turkey meals I had tried out before Thanksgiving. With that in mind, I naturally had to come up with some different ways to use some of the turkey meat and the turkey stock that I had created with the carcass from the turkey. I have made potpie and open-faced turkey sandwiches in the past and even turkey salad but this seemed like a good opportunity to try to make a quick and easy soup. I found this recipe at Food Network for turkey rice soup that was simple, used basic ingredients and was put together very easily. This recipe assumes that you have not already made turkey stock with the leftover carcass and gives you instructions on how to do so but if you have a ready-made the stock you can simply skip over that step and get right down to making the soup.

Turkey Rice Soup

1 turkey carcass
2 stalks celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
8 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup rice
2 cups chopped leftover turkey
1 cup frozen or leftover corn
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, combine the turkey carcass, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf and water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer the stock for about 2 to 3 hours over medium low heat. Strain and discard all of the vegetables and bones. Reserve the turkey stock.

In a separate large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onions until they are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the celery and the dried thyme. Stir in the carrots and rice and toss the ingredients to coat the rice. Stir in the turkey stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook the soup until the vegetables and rice are tender about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the turkey, corn and the parsley. Return the soup to a simmer and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

That is all there is to this particular recipe. You can easily make use of everything you have right in your home and have the entire meal done in under thirty minutes. It produces a very flavorful soup that you can use as a meal all on its own. You could certainly add other vegetables to the soup if you have some that are left over or just prefer having different vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, peas or just about anything else. You could also swap out the rice and use noodles instead if you want to make a turkey noodle soup, though you will not have to cook the noodles quite as long as you would the rice in order to get them tender. Soup always goes great with some homemade bread or biscuits if you have them or even your favorite store-bought variety. You could also have your soup with a sandwich or salad to make it a more complete meal with that is what you want.

That is all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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A Meal of One’s Own – Apple, Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

As tempting as it might be to make big ,filling meals all of the time like meatloaf, fried chicken, burgers and the like, sometimes you need something a bit more on a little bit lighter for dinner. Dinners like warm chicken salad or other refreshing salads seem to go well with warmer weather and the summer and fall weather is a great opportunity to not only do things with soups but also with all of the great winter squash that is available. A lot of the squash you find can serve as a great vehicle not only as the vegetable of your dish but also as part of the serving and presentation. My favorite thing is to try to do this with acorn squash. You can get them at just the right size so that when they are halved they make a great serving bowl all of their own that you can eat practically all the way through. Naturally, you want to be able to fill the squash with some great ingredients and I took a cue from this recipe at The Pretend Baker and took the opportunity to not only use some of her ingredients but add my own and use up some of the leftover wild rice we had from a previous meal.

Apple, Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 medium acorn squashes

2 tablespoons butter, plus more if necessary

1 pound pork sausage, casings removed

1 large sweet onion

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced

1/2 cup cooked wild rice

1 large egg, beaten

Salt and pepper, to taste

¾ cup shredded white cheddar, mozzarella or Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squashes in half, remove the seeds and place the squash halves on a baking dish, cut side down, and roast them for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the flesh is easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove the squash from the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees, flip the squash over and allow them to cool until you are able to handle them.

Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until it is browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the sausage to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet along with the minced onion, celery and chopped apple. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and the apple is soft about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and minced herbs and saute for about 30 seconds until they are fragrant.

Remove the onion and garlic mixture to another plate or bowl.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet and return the onion/apple mixture to the skillet along with cooked sausage and all the accumulated juices.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the flesh, leaving some in the skin for sturdiness.

Add  the squash flesh to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Add the wild rice to the pan and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Mix in the beaten egg and fill squash halves. You may have leftover filling – just add it to an oven safe dish.

Top the squash with shredded cheese, return the squash halves to the oven on the same baking sheet and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

Let the squash stand for 10 minutes before serving.

The blend of flavors and spices here make the kitchen smell great and you end up with a really nice meal all in one package. I loved the mix of the sausage, apple, squash and wild rice together. It was very hearty, warming and filling. While I didn’t top mine with cheese, Michelle and Sean both had cheese on theirs and said it was delicious. The great thing about this meal is that you can leave out the sausage entirely if you want to make this a vegetarian dish. You could also substitute in just about any grain that might you like instead of wild rice – brown rice, barley, quinoa, for example – and still have a wonderful meal. The leftovers are great for lunches as well as they are already nicely portioned out and if you have any stuffing leftover after filling the squash it makes a great side dish for chicken, turkey or even a pork dish.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 
 

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A New Take on a Takeout Classic – Chinese Fried Rice

Everyone always has their favorite dish when it comes to getting Chinese food. While some people will always defer to things like egg rolls, beef and broccoli, wonton soup, General Tso’s chicken or Mushu pork, there always seems to be one thing that is consistent with all Chinese food takeout orders – fried rice. The great thing about fried rice is that it goes so well with any of the entrées you might choose for takeout but it can also be an entrée all of its own. There are different varieties available from whatever place you normally get your Chinese food from but fried rice is easy enough where you can make something like this right at home to go with your favorite Asian meal or just to have as the centerpiece of your dinner. I have tried a few different fried rice recipes over the years and recently came across this one at Food.com that promise to have the taste and flavor just like you get from your favorite takeout place.

Chinese Fried Rice

3cup finely chopped onion

2 1tablespoons oil

1 egg, lightly beaten (or more eggs if you like)

3 drops soy sauce

3 drops sesame oil

8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or 8 ounces chicken, chopped

1cup finely chopped carrot (very small)

1cup frozen peas, thawed

4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)

4 green onions, chopped

2 cups bean sprouts (optional)

2 tablespoons soy sauce(add more if you like)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; add the chopped onions and stir-fry until the onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove the onions from the skillet.

Allow the skillet to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, mix the egg with 3 drops of soy sauce and 3 drops of sesame oil; set the bowl aside.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, swirling to coat the surface; add the egg mixture. Working quickly, swirl the egg until the egg sets against the skillet. When the egg puffs, flip the egg and cook the other side briefly. Remove the egg from the skillet and chop the egg into small pieces. Set the egg aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the selected meat to the skillet, along with the carrots, peas, and cooked onion. Stir-fry the ingredients for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cooked rice, green onions, and bean sprouts (if using), tossing the ingredients to mix everything well and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and the chopped egg to the rice mixture and fold them into the rice. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute more and serve.

As is always the case with fried rice, you can use any type of protein you like with the dish – beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, tofu – or no meat at all and keep everything vegetarian. I did find that this recipe does seem to taste a lot like takeout rice. I am not sure if it is the amount of soy used or just the method, but the taste was really close for me. I served this with the chicken teriyaki I made and it complemented the meal perfectly, but as I said this fried dish could stand on its own as a meal if you want something easy one night and have some leftover protein and vegetables to deal with. I even threw in some leftover asparagus tips into the mix to top ours off.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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The First Soup of the Season – Baked Butternut Squash and Celery Root Soup

Okay, so the weather hasn’t been exactly fall weather here the last 2 days, with temperatures getting up into the 80s during the day on both days, but it still seems to be that soup time of year. Things cooled down quite a bit last night and should be back more towards normal here, which means brisk autumn air that makes for good soup weather. With so many great fall vegetables around right now, particularly a bunch of different root vegetables, the opportunities are there to make all kinds of good soups. One that has always been a family favorite of ours has been butternut squash soup and since squash is so plentiful right now  I knew I just had to make some soup the other night. I had picked up a couple of butternut squash at the farmer’s market last week, along with some carrots, celery root and leeks and I knew this was all going to come together nicely for a soup dinner. I decided to use this recipe from Molly O’Neill at New York Times Cooking for a baked butternut squash soup and adapted it to include some other great root vegetables to make it my own.

Baked Butternut Squash and Celery Root Soup

2 butternut squash, about 1 pound each, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

medium leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and finely chopped

1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons honey

teaspoon each of mace, ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice

 

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the squash, carrots leeks and celery root in a shallow roasting pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle the olive oil over the vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste and toss the vegetables in the oil to coat them well. Drizzle the vegetables with the honey and add the mace, ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice and toss the vegetables again so they are well mixed. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast the vegetables in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil from the pan and continue roasting the vegetables until they are lightly browned and fork tender, about another 20 to 25 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat the chicken broth in a large pot or Dutch oven until it is simmering. Remove the pan from the oven and place the vegetables in the pot with the broth and mix them well. All the broth and vegetables to continue simmering for about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables and broth together until the vegetables are smooth (You can also do this in a blender in batches if you prefer). Return the pot to the stove and bring the soup slowly to a boil over medium-low heat and then stir in the heavy cream. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley, if desired.

You get some great combinations of flavors here with the squash, celery root, carrots and leeks. The honey just bumps up the sweetness a tiny bit here and the spices, even though they are in small amounts, add just the right touch. I like roasting the vegetables before putting them in the soup because they get nice and tender and seem to have better flavor this way than if you sautéed them in a pan or the same pot as the soup. You can leave out the heavy cream if you prefer but I added it because it helps create some great texture to the soup. The soup would benefit even more if you added a peeled and sliced apple to the vegetables when roasting, but I didn’t have any on hand so I left it out. You could also easily make this a vegetarian meal by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth or just using water.This makes a nice batch of soup so you can have leftovers for other meals or lunches and we had the soup with sandwiches for dinner, but you could easily have it by itself, with some croutons, a salad or just with some homemade bread or biscuits. It was a great way to kick off what hopefully is the first of some awesome soups and stews this year.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 20, 2016 in Leftovers, Lunch, One Pot Meals, Vegetables, Vegetarian

 

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Leftovers Redux – Pastrami Hash with Eggs

Continuing along with my last post’s theme of making use of some leftovers, I needed to find something to do with some of the leftover pastrami I had when I made it myself last week. Too much work and effort went into making it to just let what was left go to waste and Sean and I had eaten quite a bit of it for lunches over the days and needed something different. To the rescue comes breakfast for dinner! Breakfast for dinner is always a family favorite and something Sean has liked since he was a little boy. We do it every few weeks when I have run out of ideas of what to make for dinner that night. It usually involves something like pancakes, bacon, eggs or sausage, but since we had leftover pastrami to work with, what better opportunity was there to make some hash? Has is a great way to use up leftovers and create something new and tasty all at the same time and it gives you a change of pace for breakfast or dinner. I used this basic recipe from Bon Appetit for a pastrami hash with eggs as a template, though you probably don’t really need one when you are making hash.

Pastrami Hash with Eggs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 large), scrubbed, cut into 1-inch pieces

½ pound winter squash (such as acorn, butternut, or kabocha), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 pound pastrami or any leftover braised meat, cut or shredded into bite-size pieces

4 large eggs

¼ cup sliced chives (optional)

¾ cup sour cream (optional)

Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and the winter squash and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 25–30 minutes.

 

Add the leeks and garlic to the hash and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, lightly smash the vegetables. Add the pastrami and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is warmed through and the flavors have melded, about 10–12 minutes.

 

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat. Carefully crack the eggs into the skillet one at a time and season them with salt and pepper. Cook the eggs until the whites are set and slightly puffed but the yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes.

 

Divide the hash among shallow bowls and top each bowl with an egg; scatter the chives over the top, if using. Serve with sour cream alongside, if desired.
If you have made corned beef hash before then you can see that this recipe is pretty similar. It would work with just about any type of meat you wanted to use – short ribs, prime rib, steak, turkey, sausage, chicken – and creates some great flavor. I really liked the spices that the pastrami already has and what they lent to the dish to give it even more flavor and it was a great way to use up the leftovers. I used butternut squash with the potatoes and opted for onions instead of leeks since I didn’t have any leeks on hand that day. Sean had his with scrambled eggs while my eggs were over easy and it was tasty to mix in the hash with some of the runny egg. We both loved it and there was a bit of hash leftover that is perfect to use with breakfast with an egg over an English muffin.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
 
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Posted by on October 8, 2016 in Beef, Breakfast, Brunch, Cooking, Dinner, Eggs, Leftovers, One Pot Meals

 

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A Lazy Day of Leftovers – Chicken Tarragon Pot Pie

If you are like me, there are probably many nights during the week where you make a meal and then end up with a bunch of different leftovers that you may or may not know how to use. It is not unusual to get tired of having the same meal two or three times a week just because you do not want to throw away perfectly good food but are not sure what you can do with those leftover chicken pieces or leftover vegetables. It is times like this where potpie can come to the rescue. Potpie is a great meal to put together just about any time of the year and you can do it with any type of protein (or no protein at all if you are vegetarian) and vegetables. The only real effort that goes into it is making the pie dough and even then, if you have no problem using store-bought pie dough you can get the meal together even quicker. Very often I will use store-bought pie dough simply because it is easy, I do not really have the room to make pie dough and for potpie purposes it tastes just fine. I decided to use this recipe from New York Times Cooking for a chicken-tarragon potpie and make a simple dinner.

Chicken-Tarragon Pot Pie

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) cold unnsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon cold vegetable shortening

Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

Scant 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 egg

For the Filling:

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup thinly sliced leeks

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1 cup frozen baby green peas

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 cups leftover roast chicken, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

To make the crust, combine the flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients together just until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is broken into small pieces. Pour 1/3 cup of ice water into the machine, and pulse 3 or 4 times. Squeeze a little dough in your hand to see whether it clumps together and is evenly moist. If not, add another tablespoon of water, and pulse 1 or 2 times more. Don’t overmix so that the dough forms a ball.

Turn out the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lift the ends of the plastic to gather the dough together inside. Press the dough into a large disk, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until you are ready to use it, up to 2 days.

To make the filling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, leeks and tarragon, and cook, stirring, just until slightly softened but not browned (reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning), about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl, wipe out the skillet, and place it back on the stove.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt it over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking, until the mixture bubbles and smells cooked. Do not let it brown. Whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth, and cook, whisking, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, just until the mixture is thickened. Add the salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in the remaining broth.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the cooked vegetables and peas, the chicken and the sauce to an 8-inch deep pie dish or other baking dish, mix the ingredients gently, and taste for seasoning.

If you are using store-bought dough, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you are using your own homemade dough, flour a work surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough, turning and flouring often, and cut a shape approximately the size of your baking dish plus 1 1/2 inches overlap all around.

Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, and unroll it over the baking dish, so it rests evenly on top of the filling. Fold the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the tip of a knife through the crust to create 3 vent holes near the center. Whisk the egg with a teaspoon of cold water. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the entire crust with egg wash. Place the pie pan or baking dish on a cookie sheet, and place it in the oven.

Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents. Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can make use of any type of vegetables you want in a pot pie. I used the vegetables recommended but I also had some leftover broccoli that I put in as well. Pot pie works well with chicken, turkey, beef and pork that you may have leftover so you can make just about anything with it. I find pot pie tastes even better the next day and often have any leftovers for lunch, after the sauce and the flavors have had even more time to come together. It can be a great dinner to put together in under an hour.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Kitchen Pantry Cooking Essentials – Key Ingredients and Recipes – Food.com

The key to good cooking and easy cooking is having some basics in your pantry all of the time. When you have the right ingredients around you can put together a meal in no time at all. Food.com has a list for you of the 50 most common cooking essentials you want in your pantry so you can do anything at any time. Check it out!

Source: Kitchen Pantry Cooking Essentials – Key Ingredients and Recipes – Food.com

 

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