Love for leftovers

May 9, 2018

Leftovers to look forward to: Fried rice.

Sometimes, it just all comes together.

I had the asparagus, corn and shrimp from the previous post. I had white rice from the other night’s less-than-spectacular orange chicken.

I always have eggs. One can do a helluva lot with eggs.

I sauteed some ginger and garlic in canola oil, tumped in the rice. Broke it all up and got it coated with the oil. Added about half the corn/asparagus/shrimp mixture. Splashed it with some soy sauce, some mirin, some sesame oil. Boom. Quickie fried rice.

Dished that up, and fried a couple of eggs; over the top they went.

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Best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Do this.

You have more than likely had all the turkey sandwiches you want by this time in the Thanksgiving weekend. (If not, go ‘head on. I am not the boss of you.)

Here, then are some ideas of what you can do with said turkey, and some of the other Thanksgiving leftovers, as well.

I’ll start out with non-turkey, since that’s the photo above. Anyone who’s read this blog very long knows of my love for the latke, and his first cousin, the potato pancake. My Mama used to make stewed potatoes, in a white sauce, regularly; I loved them, because I knew the next day or so would bring potato cakes. These are one of the highest and best uses of leftover mashed potatoes.

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A table full of Thanksgiving goodness. No one left hungry.

It gets harder each year to write this post, as the dishes for Thanksgiving are very traditional and don’t change much. But, here we go.

There were five of us grown folks who shared a farm-raised turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, sweet potato casserole (no pineapple, no marshmallows), mashed potatoes, cranberry salad and a relish tray. I have parceled out many leftovers to Kate, who just left headed for home, and the bird carcass is in the Instant Pot rendering himself into turkey stock. The remainder of the bird is broken down into white meat and dark meat, the dark meat to be used next week sometime to make turkey rillettes, which I will can, now that I have a pressure canner. I have enough leftovers I can eat at least today and tomorrow without forethought to actually prepare anything.

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It's quick, and it's good, and you can use leftovers.

It’s quick, and it’s good, and you can use leftovers.

Where was this dish when I was hustling to feed kids in between getting off work and heading to the ballpark or the band concert?

Well, for one thing, I didn’t know how to cook anything Asian, faux or otherwise, when they were little. For another, they’d have probably looked at me suspiciously. As would my husband.

But beef and broccoli is about the easiest thing you can throw together for a quick, healthy meal. In fact, if you do your prep in advance and cook your rice, you can have this on the table in 15 minutes. (If you do your prep just before your cook, it’ll probably take you 30. Which is OK, because it’ll take that long for your rice to cook, if you do not, as I did, have some cooked rice frozen.)

In any event, By All Means do ALL your prep before you start cooking. Hear me on this. If you do not do so, you Will Regret It, because like all Asian food, once the groceries start hitting the hot pan, it goes fast and it needs your attention.

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We had a fine, fine Christmas dinner. There is not a single picture of it, because, well, Christmas and all its attendant chaos. Six adults, three kids, two spastic dogs, small house. You get the idea.

The best part of Christmas! AGCs, from left, 1, 3 and 2.

The best part of Christmas! AGCs, from left, 1, 3 and 2.

There is, however, this picture, the single moment during the day when we got a kindergartener and two preschoolers to stand still. And snapped quick. And they’re what it’s all about, anyway.

Dinner prep kinda got away from me, as I had to take a chunk of time out of the morning to roast the turkey I was taking to a local group home for a Christmas meal. And that wouldn’t have been so bad but for the fact I had to run hot water over the turkey, which had been sitting in the bottom of the fridge for three full days, but had barely thawed the least little bit.

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If I ate lunch like this every day, I'd be fat again.

If I ate lunch like this every day, I’d be fat again.

This is why you cook pork roast.

This is merely ONE of the marvelous things you can do with a piece of pig shoulder you have carefully nurtured in the oven for hours, in a meticulously constructed sauce, basting regularly….

Or, on the other hand, what you can do with pulled pork from the big honkin’ shoulder roast you coated in pastrami rub, refrigerated overnight, and then slapped in a Dutch oven, poured a bottle of beer in the bottom, stuck in a quartered onion, and forgot it in the oven for five or six hours.

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Chicken challenge

April 8, 2016

Winner, winner, chicken dinner No. 1

Winner, winner, chicken dinner No. 1

Wanna play chicken?

No, not the kind when you barrel down the highway at high speed, headed straight for another vehicle, waiting to see who flinches first. I may or may not have partaken in that foolishness when I was a kid, but not since I (a) began paying my own auto and health insurance, and (b) got over the notion I was immortal.

For the record, I started the first when I was 19, and the second when I was about, oh, 40. Arrested development (at least in some regards), that’s me.

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