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Smash and Chop!

September 15, 2011 by Joan Nova in Meat, Mexican + Southwestern, Recipe Development, Vegetables | 7 Comments

Hang onto your sombrero…today I’m taking you and my leftovers south-of-the-border. Once again, I offer 3 recipes that can be mixed, matched…and, yes, repurposed. Be sure to check out the ‘OMG, lick-the-spoon, lick-the-plate, I-can’t-wait-to-make-this-again’ sauce. Andalé!

Repurposing kitchen ingredients means taking an ingredient and giving it a totally new flavor profile and /or preparation and presentation. 

How many live by the old adage “waste not, want not“? I do…especially when it’s relates to good food.

This meal started from leftover (uncooked) cauliflower, pumpkin puree and breadcrumbs, all from the parmesan crackers with creamy pumpkin and roasted cauliflower. A little tomato sauce in a container and 1 (uncooked) zucchini leftover from the Spanish fish stew were the inspiration for the pork chops and a few other look-around-the-kitchen ingredients rounded it out.

I originally used these ingredients in a decidedly Mediterranean way  so in the spirit of ‘repurposing’, I decided to take it south-of-the-border by switching up the flavor profiles.


2 cups of raw cauliflower (florets minced)
2 tbs of minced onion
season with evoo, s+p

Roast at 400 degrees; mix with 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree spiced with salt, pepper, chipotle, a dash of chili powder, and fresh lime juice. Smash!

Serve on a toasted tortilla round and top with toasted breadcrumbs and dollop of sour cream with lime zest.

Pork Chops

Marinate in evoo, salt, white pepper, chili flakes, cumin, chipotle, smoked paprika and fresh lime juice.

Pan fry and then braise till chops becomes fork tender and sauce is thickened (see following recipe).

The ‘I-Can’t-Wait-to-Make-It-Again’ Sauce

1 sm onion minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbs tomato sauce
2 piquillo peppers minced
3 tsp of guava paste
hot sauce
salt + pepper

…and diced zucchini!

This is the first time I ever used guava paste in a savory application…it married so well with the sauteed onions and the tomato sauce and it balanced my aggressive shake of hot sauce.

Message to Readers: Sorry this post and the prior 3-recipe post does not have the ‘print’ feature you like, but that only works with one recipe per post. I could have done 3 separate posts but I wanted to show a completed dish that could be broken out and used in different applications.

[Recipes as noted make 2 servings.]

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. bellini says:

    I am loving these posts Joan that give us ideas to use up any leftovers and reinvent the wheel.

  2. norma says:

    Your creativity has no limits. Using the guava paste was interesting. Pa’ lante con tus ideas!
    norma recently posted..Avocoado Stuffed with Little GemsMy Profile

  3. This is such a wonderful and versatile post Joan – shows how much diversity you have in the kitchen :) Those pumpkin cauli smashes have my name written all over. So does your wonderful sauce.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors recently posted..CHICAGO In Bite Size Pieces ~ Part 1 : 10 Tips for Riding the Rails & Welcome Aboard The Capitol LimitedMy Profile

  4. I like the use of guava paste in the sauce…..I’ve been considering making my own as guavas are plentiful at home in Nigeria! Everything looks great Joan!

  5. Great idea to avoid food wastage. I personally cannot tolerate waste of food.

  6. giz says:

    Please come to my kitchen and repurpose what’s in there and make it look even 20% as good as this does. You’ve earned your tiarra.

  7. Lori Lynn says:

    I need to get guava paste, that sauce sounds terrific.
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Lobster & Okra Fettuccine, Spicy Gumbo SauceMy Profile

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