Thursday, October 21, 2010

Making the Most of Leftovers

Hello from Singapore!

Ok, well, sort of. I’m actually on a plane on the way to Singapore as I write this, but by the time I post it, I will be on Singapore soil, so again, Hello from Singapore! I’m headed out here (and China later) for work for a while, so I planned ahead and edited and loaded some craft and food post pics so I didn’t miss out on sharing any posts with you all! Don’t worry, I brought my camera along, and will be taking pics here to share as well!

A couple nights before I left, Chris and I were scrounging around the fridge, figuring out what in there needed to be eaten, since he probably won’t cook a ton of meals for one while I’m gone. When I’m planning “clean out the fridge” meals, I absolutely love having some leftovers in there. Now I’d like to preface this by saying that I hate leftovers that stay in their original form. The reason is that when you eat a meal, cool it, and reheat it again (especially in the microwave), it is never, ever going to taste as good as it did the first time.

Unless you’re my brother and it’s Kraft mac & cheese. He swears it’s better after being cold, and will actually make a batch, put it in the fridge, and reheat it later. It’s a little crazy.

Anyway, leftovers kinda suck. Anything that was crunchy is now soggy, liquids seem to have disappeared, and don’t get me started on reheated rice.

But leftovers can be fabulous if you use them as a stepping stone to a whole new dish. Got some leftover chopped brisket from the BBQ restaurant? Make chili! Got some mashed potatoes left over from Sunday night dinner? Make shepherd’s pie!

This particular night, we had some leftover mu shu pork, but not even enough for a meal for one. So instead of just throwing it out, we decided to use it as a component in our own stir fry.

We started by throwing some chopped up red and yellow peppers, asparagus, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a wok. Flipping them around often, we cooked them for about 5 minutes on their own.

edited Leftovers (1)

Then we added an egg for a little extra protein (since the pork was going to be in short supply), and added the mu shu leftovers, soy sauce, hot chili paste, garlic powder, and pepper, and cooked it all together.

edited Leftovers (2)

And suddenly we had our own stir fry, with fresh, crunchy veggies, in addition to the leftovers that needed to be eaten. Served over fresh brown rice, it made for a great clean-out-the-fridge meal!