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) – This is the perfect thing to stuff vegetables with. Toss the rice with sautéed 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

What I Cooked Today... Halibut with Lemons and Leeks

  • 2 ea 8 oz pieces of halibut
  • 1 leek
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • S/P

  1. This is a terrific dish when you want something very flavorful and really healthy. I never use to like fish, and then I began cooking it for my clients, and I realized that I needed to like the things that I was sending them. This recipe came out of those ideas.
  2. To begin Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  3. First you dry your fish off with a paper towel. Then salt and pepper it. (You can add dried parsley flakes to give it color)
  4. Clean your leek by cutting it in half-length wise and then rinse out the leaves but keeping it in tact. Cut it into thin slices (they should look like half circles. Set those aside. Slice the onions into thin strips and use a cheese grater or a zester to take the yellow part of the onion off, and reserve for cooking. In a sauté heat a little olive oil until it is very fluid (check cooking with Mary’s webisode 2b), add onions, leeks and lemon zest. Cook down on medium low until the onions become caramelized and then turn the flame off and add the white wine and halibut.
  5. Put in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Happy Cooking! Mary