Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Giving old dinners new life - recycling leftovers

The morning after the evening before. The food was great, the wine was even better. The best memory, besides the most obvious effect of the gluttony, are the leftovers in your refrigerator.

The easiest thing is to chuck them away. Well, you may not, if you know what to make from them, and nearly everything may be recycled into the most delicious dinners. Well let me show you. But as leftovers go, the coming recipes are based on what was left from some meals. But the most important is to use your imagination and improvise.

Leftovers - some basic rules

Make a good stock!
I often use both raw, fresh or frozen and roast chicken. When I remove bones and the carcass, I either make a stock while preparing the other dish, or I freeze them for later use. You can use both the bones, and vegetable peel from e.g. onion, carrots, or potatoes. Add herbs and the right amount of stock cubes for flavour. After you have boiled the stock and cooled it down, you may peel off the meat left on the bones. Use the stock for stews, sauces or soups. You can even freeze it down for later use. But remember: Do not refreeze raw unprepared ingredients after they have been thawed.

Tough meat gets tender when boiled for a long time. I earlier told you about the disappointing episode with the lambroast that was tough as leather. Well, the best thing to do, is to dice the undigested leftovers, make a stew and boil over a low heat for four to five hours. If you use red wine, tomato paste and other leftover vegetables you can make the most delicious meal for the next day.

Boiled or baked vegetables may be turned into the most delicious soup! Do not throw them away. Boil some stock from some water and stock cubes. Throw the vegetables in the stock and allow to warm through. Then put the stock and vegetables in a blender and blend until smooth. Add some cream and some leftover meat - presto, dinner!!

Some leftovers that may be used as thickeners. Rice, cold puff-pastry, or leftover mashed or dauphinoise potatoes. These leftovers contains starch. Cold puff pastry is basically butter and flour and is great to thicken soups, as potato dauphinoise, creamed potatoes with cream and starch. Great for potato soup. Put your leftovers with some stock and other ingredients in you blender and you get the smoothest soups you can ever dream of.

Well it is time to give some examples.

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