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The Holiday Leftover Round-Up | A Creative Cooking Challenge


We tackled leftovers in this month’s challenge. You know, what to do with this and that … and how to repurpose leftovers so you’re not just eating the same thing over and over again. Click on the various links to see the genesis and transformation of these dishes.

We hope we inspire you to get creative and have fun in the kitchen. Continue Reading

Leftovers: Or How I Turned My Fancy French-Inspired New Year’s Eve Dinner Into a Spicy Asian Fusion Meal

New Year’s Eve was all about indulgences … foie gras with an apple gastrique and chutney, bone marrow, triple créme cheese and baguette rounds that served as the vehicle for all those delectable starters. Then came some shrimp and lentils (for New Year good luck) followed by a main course of cornish hens and black rice. Not just any cornish hens, either. These birds had a little foie gras under the skin and were basted with the fat rendered from the foie. Indulgent!

Though not French, the Chinese black rice was treated with a mirepoix which also included fennel and was mixed with chopped dates and toasted pecans for a little sweet-savory to complement the birds. Side dish: roasted string beans and mushrooms with a little gorgonzola topping. Continue Reading

Supper-time Hash and Eggs

A little truffle salt and it’s good enough to pair with wine…I did!  Continue Reading

Meatless Monday: Pasta w/ Zucchini, Tomatoes, Olives + Bocconcini

I’ve seen reference to ‘meatless Mondays’ on the internet but never paid much attention to it. Lots of meals in the FOODalogue kitchen are meatless. It doesn’t matter the day. But, today is Monday and I went meatless…so why not?

This meal started with leftovers from our Mothers’ Day antipasto. We had bocconcini (tiny fresh mozzarella balls marinated with sun-dried tomatoes and basil) and kalamata olives, among other things. To that I added cubed fresh zucchini, garlic, fresh grape tomatoes and few other ingredients. It’s a simple dish, yet very illustrative of the pasta/veggie dishes I love. Continue Reading

Grilled Vegetables – 3 Ways

Isn’t it great when you get invited somewhere and get to take a doggie bag home (assuming the food was worth carting away)?

I was invited to a lunch my son prepared over the weekend and everything he served was worth carting away! It was a seemingly simple but delicious menu because it was all seasoned and cooked to perfection…grilled chicken breast, pasta salad with a fresh pesto sauce and an assortment of grilled veggies: eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, onions and eggplant.

My doggie bag included the yellow peppers, zucchini and eggplant. I also had about 6-8 tomatoes at home that were ‘just’ ripe so today I decided to slow roast them with a couple of cloves of garlic.

Time for lunch. 
How about eggplant, roasted tomato and Wasa toasts spread with hummus and a squeeze of roasted garlic? Oh, yeah!

Ooh…is it dinner time already?

Well, you didn’t think I wasn’t going to insert pasta somewhere in this…did you? This started out as a spaghetti fritatta but, as kitchen mishaps go, it kind of stuck to the pan and didn’t flip well…so let’s just call it scrambled egg pasta and zucchini or something like that. The important thing is it could not have been tastier!

Recipe for fritatta (serves 2)
1-1/2 pre-grilled zucchini cut up
2 roasted garlic cloves squeezed out
3 quartered marinated artichokes chopped
handful parsley
3 eggs (you may want to add another)
4 ozs spaghetti
1/2 cup mixed shredded Italian cheese (mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, etc.)
a generous amount of grated fresh parmesan
S&P (lots of black pepper)

• Cook spaghetti and drain.
• Heat zucchini, garlic, artichokes and parsley in a little olive oil in a skillet. 
• Add spaghetti.
• Add eggs and cheese and mix thoroughly.
• Cook over medium heat (or as you normally cook an omelet or fritatta). 

Note: Invert on plate and turn over back into pan for finishing or put in oven.

Serve with whole roasted tomato, another sprinkle of parmesan and a grind of black pepper.

Pulled Pork & Tropical Slaw with Plantain Salsa

It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring. Do you remember that little jingle from your childhood? It was the inspiration for this dinner. It was raining. It was pouring. There was no old man snoring. Otherwise, I would have woken him up and sent him to the market!

Instead, I ferreted through the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I mixed. I matched. I re-purposed. And each step (noted below) brought me closer to the ‘kitchen magic’ that we foodies love so much.
  • I pulled out the container of pulled pork from the carnitas my son made for our tortilla food challenge last week. 
  • My mind immediately went to a pulled pork sandwich and simultaneously to a fresh tasting salad to go with it. 
  • First came the idea of a red cabbage slaw (because that’s what I had).
  • Since I already was on a Latin path, I thought to make it tropical with toasted coconut and a citrus dressing.
  • Then, I remembered I had squirreled away a couple pieces of plantain (maduros – the sweet ones) that were leftover from a prior meal. 
  • Aha, I had it!

I would make a tropical slaw dressed with a plantain vinaigrette. It would add crunch, freshness, acidity from the citrus and a little sweetness from the plaintain — in fact, it was a perfect complement to the savory pork. It truly was kitchen magic!

Tropical Slaw
Shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, fresh cilantro, toasted coconut and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Plantain Salsa
Pulsed 3 small slices of baked plantain with juice of 2 limes, 1/2 large lemon and olive oil. It was more the consistency of a salsa than a vinaigrette so I mixed a little through the slaw and then topped it with a dollop.

The Moral of this Tale
NEVER throw leftovers away, especially if they’re 3 measly pieces of plantain. This was unplanned but flavor-popping delicious…so much so, that the dishes are the table, the pans are in the sink, and I rushed off to the computer to tell you all about it. 

I’m very happy it rained today.

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