I haven’t written about cooking for a long long time… the short version being that women are driven crazy by the question, “What’s for dinner?” and supplying a food source is always a good thing. The basic rules for my recipes are that it has to be brain dead easy to make, come out great and that kids will eat it.
Here are some of my approaches to leftovers… you’ll need a good non-stick fry pan, high heat, and not much else.
Bacon and Onion Salvation
(1) About half a standard size pack of bacon, slice up into one inch lengths (or slightly less) and toss into the pan.
(2) One medium sized onion. Peel it and chop into small pieces. Add to the pan. Cook the bacon and the onion until the point the bacon is starting to crisp and the onion carmelize a little.
(3) Chop and add whatever leftovers you have to the pan. (Jennifer: By “whatever leftovers”, he means some meat and some sort of vegetable, maybe some potatoes, not last night’s pizza) Cook until it’s all hot. No seasoning needed whatsoever. Works amazing with any kind of leftover meat. Using bacon will cover any weaknesses in skill you have.
Serve with red wine.
Kelbasa and Mushroom Blitz
(1) Chop the Kelbasa into half inch circles. Toss into the pan.
(2) Rinse and pare the mushroom stalks off, but you can probably keep the mushrooms whole.
(3) Chop and add whatever leftover vegetables or starch (potatoes, rice) you have to the pan. Cook until it’s all hot. No seasoning needed as the kelbasa is plenty juicy and will coat everything in flavor. Once you see the mushrooms starting to shrink you’re all set to remove from heat. Works great even when you don’t have any leftover meat. You can have a frozen kelbasa in the fridge for emergency dinners.
Yeah I know the kids won’t eat the mushrooms. That just means more for me!
Serve with red wine.
(1) Take leftover chinese takeout and add all the rice to the pan and get it started heating up.
(2) Take the remainder of the chinese takeout and chop it up and add to the pan. Pay no heed to the dishes, simply add it all in one great heap. It’s all chinese food so it all will work together, just trust me on that. Seriously, chop a spring roll up. Add noodles. The chicken and cashews. The dumplings. The sesame chicken. The garlic beef. Everything goes in the pan together. No seasoning needed. Heat and eat, BAM and you’re done. It will be different every time you make it.
Serve with plum wine if you have it, othewise a white.
Hibachi Style Stir Fry
(1) When you have leftover rice of any kind, throw it all in the pan with a little oil.
(2) Season the rice with some soy sauce and hot sesame oil / mongolian fire oil.
(3) chop and add vegetables / leftovers.
(4) When everything is cooked properly, push it all to one side of the fry pan so you have half the fry pan clear.
(5) Whip two eggs and dump in the open fry pan area, it will cook VERY QUICKLY, so keep the egg moving and scramble it as fast as it cooks. Just rake the egg into tiny pieces and as soon as it cooks, mix it all in with the rest of the food and serve. This is a 30-60 second move at most. Otherwise the egg will over-cook.
Serve with beer.
Things to Think About Adding
Peanuts. Seriously, peanuts turn a dull dish into something that says, “Hey wow, there’s fucking peanuts in here. That’s awesome.”
Peppers. Not the bitter feminist green peppers, I’m talking the yellow, orange or red ones. They are sweeter and you can eat them raw, so undercooking means you just pretend you meant to do it that way. They are bright and festive looking.
Meatloaf. Cut into small cubes. It will do better than you think.
Sweetcorn. Just slice it straight off the cob and it will break up nicely in the pan. Can use canned if you want it.
Minced garlic. Want.
Potatoes…. roast or baked leftovers. Chop in half inch bits.
Green beans. Nuff said.
Curry. Oh. My. Gawd. We have a red curry that is taking over our life. True story.
Plan B Soup and Pasta
(1) Can of soup in a pot.
(2) Add whatever leftover bits and pieces you have to the pot and heat.
(3) Pour the soup + leftover mix over pasta and serve. I’m just going to hope you know I meant cooked pasta.
Serve with arrogant confidence.
Jennifer: I testify that all of these are amazing dishes. Our eldest daughter once joked that she wanted us to buy chinese food but not eat it, just so Dad could make the Chinese Leftovers Stirfry Of Goodness the next day.