Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Joy of Leftovers

Sometimes being a good cook is as simple as having really great ingredients on hand at all times. When friends stop by for a visit it's easy for me to whip up something extraordinary because I never throw away my leftovers until I absolutely have to. Leftovers make it easy for me to be creative and make something new on the fly.

For instance, if you make an amazing vegetable pasta dish the night before, leave the vegetables separate from the pasta. This will allow you to use the vegetables in another dish at a later time. Toss those yummy veggies into an omelet the next morning and viola! That amazing taste you'll experience comes from having all the flavors melt together and cooking them to perfection.

Here are some other ideas that might work for you:

Meaty Tomato Sauce – Thin the sauce with stock or water and top it with Parmesan and you have a hearty rustic tomato soup.

Any Starch (couscous, pasta, rice) РThis is the perfect thing to stuff vegetables with. Toss the rice with saut̩ed garlic, onions and ground beef or chicken. Then add it to the vegetable of choice (peppers, tomatoes, squash) and enjoy your wonderful meal!

Leftover Pork Tenderloin – Add a little bbq sauce and a bun and you've got yourself a bbq pork sandwich. Anything you add to this dish will enhance the flavor of the pork and make the dish more dynamic.

Leftover Rind From Parmesan – I didn’t believe this at first, but this item is perfect for soups. Add it just before you simmer and it will become soft, making your soup rich and delicious.

Happy Cooking! Mary

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