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Leftovers – A Bad Wrap!

At this time of year  most cooks end up with what some might think of as “those dreaded leftovers”. Then, there are some, like me, who really  like the  challenge of creating something new and exciting with them!

Take a roast turkey for instance! Just think of the possibilities: turkey salad with pears or apples and topped with bleu cheese. And speaking of wraps, how about burritos with turkey, beans, guacamole & cheese? Then there’s homemade soup or a delicious turkey salad sandwiches with apple, celery, walnuts or pecans (see below).

Or how about then homemade tomato pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless: eggplant parmigiana, lasagne, or use as a sauce for chicken, veal, pork chops or on a pizza;  brown off chicken in EVOO, remove from the pan, add very finely chopped onion, carrot, celery and saute until softened; add garlic, without browning;, splash in some wine, reduce a bit, then pour in  some stock; add the leftover tomato pasta sauce, cook down a bit, return the chicken to the pan heat through…here’s dinner! With a bit of leftover beef stew, I brown some Italian sausage, throw in some herbs, like rosemary, sage, or marjoram, the crumbled up stew meat,  leftover sauce from the stew;  leftover tomato pasta sauce; a few pitted olives wouldn’t hurt either and voila….a “new” sauce for penne or polenta or gnocchi!

A good friend hates leftovers, period. We shared a house in Tuscany a few years ago. One night I made a tomato pasta sauce and there was a bit remaining. I secretly stashed it in fridge and didn’t let on! Two nights later, we  barbequed something and we thought that crostini would be nice to have as an appetizer. I figured “what the hell” so pulled out the stashed leftover pasta sauce, grilled the bread, spooned some warmed up sauce on them, added a sprinkle of grated Pecorino, topped them off with a fresh basil leaf. HE LOVED THEM. And wanted to know how I had prepared them. So I had to fess up. He could not believe that the crostini were created from that leftover pasta sauce!

Soups are a cooks best friend, especially when one has all sorts of bits and pieces that have ended up in the freezer.  So, when it’s time to make  soup, I simply raid the freezer, sauté some onion, celery and carrot etc. add my bits and some stock. Funny thing is they are always good…me thinks it pays to make good things to start with!

Click Turkey Salad With Pears, or Turkey Salad Sandwiches, if you would like to make these recipes.



    • and that would be so much fun Victoria…we are absolutely going to do this!

  1. I’m with you, Phyllis. I love leftovers—There are so many ways to recycle them. They’re the original fast food!

    • I know Frank…I actually can’t believe that there are people who throw them away!

  2. ‘Loving the leftovers’ as I often write on my own blog. You are right, Phyllis, leftovers are there to help us re-create and open up new gastronomic vistas. If one is tired, the challenge of dealing with leftovers can by a bit off-putting … but on the contrary, if a little excitement is called for in the kitchen – then leftovers can be the real deal!

    • Agreed…just think of all the stuff you can use to make something simple, like a big pot of soup…did that this morning with some of my Sungold tomato/garlic puree or if you’ve made a pot of chili con carne or veggie chili well then…Cincinnati chili over spaghetti comes to mind as does, burritos, huevos rancheros, taco salad and so on! It’s sort of fun!

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