Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Odds and ends.

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times ran a piece about the age-old dilemma of leftovers. The article explored a few extreme examples of the sending-people-home-with-food phenomenon, but I'm more interested in the oft expressed anti-leftovers attitude so many people seem to have.

I just don't get it. As someone who cooks primarily for one, I almost always have leftovers of one kind or another - either bits of this and that that didn't make it into an intended dish, or cold roast chicken, or half a pot of boeuf bourgignon. I have no problem making a big vat of coq au vin and eating it for lunch four days in a row. Growing up, leftover salad (chopped salad with fresh veggies and an assortment of leftover meats, grains and whatnot) was one of my favorite meals. Whatever the leftover happens to be, I eat it happily. I re-purpose it, or warm it up, and get down to the business of dining.

For example: the other day, I was hungry, but didn't much feel like making a trip to the store to replenish my relatively empty fridge. The result? An improvised carbonara made with the end of a slab of bacon, the single egg in the fridge, some grated Parmesan, the cavatappi left over from Danielle's macaroni salad and a handful of pea shoots I'd forgotten about.

I suppose this isn't everyone's idea of "leftovers" - part of the dislike seems to be directed at the idea of eating the same thing two days in a row, which didn't happen here - but it fits mine. By looking at the odds and ends left over from four other meals, I was able to creat something new and different for a fifth. Frugality and laziness won the day - all it took was a little creatvitiy.


Shani said...

I love making something new out of what is already in the refrigerator. It often comes out delicious and fun! Just last night we had leftover chicken with browned butter sage sauce over couscous and topped with cucumber and hummus. Sounds like a strange hodgepodge, but it was really delicious!

CityMouse said...

I love leftovers! Lots of foods seem to taste better on day two. My best friend is a leftover hater and when we go out to dinner I regularly take her leftovers home too. Groos? Maybe. But its not going to stop me.

Meg Blocker said...

@Shani: I think that chicken sounds amazing! Brown butter & cucumbers are two of my favorite things...

@CityMouse: Hahaha! That is not gross at all - I think it's only right and fitting. After all, SOMEONE should eat it!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin