City Palate

Summer in the City Palate - July August 2017

7 Quick Ways with Leftovers
Jan/Feb 2008
Did you buy or cook too much festive food? Do you want to get rid of it so it's not hanging around the house enticing you to keep eating in a holiday mode? Did people give you gifts of food that you can’t now face? Try these quick ideas to use up some of your leftover ingredients.

1. Using Up Cranberry Sauce: Magic Muffins
Make your favourite muffin recipe, but fill the muffin tins only halfway up with batter. Drop a dollop of cranberry sauce on top, then top the cranberry sauce with the rest of the muffin batter. Bake as usual. Oh yeah.

2. Using Up Turkey/Duck/Goose: Hurry, Hurry Curry
Make an easy curry with Thai red, green or yellow curry paste whisked into a mixture of equal parts chicken broth and coconut milk. Simmer until reduced to about half, then add cooked, cubed turkey, duck or goose left over from Christmas dinner. Serve in a bowl over rice topped with toasted coconut, roasted peanuts, raisins and pomegranate. Or, use the leftover poultry in your favourite chili recipe.

3. Using Up Cheese Ends: Egg, Cheese & Tofu Scramble

A protein powerhouse! Thoroughly drain a block of firm tofu on paper towels. Cut in half. Wrap and store in the fridge for a couple of days, ready for use. For a single serving at breakfast, lunch or dinner, whisk a large egg in a bowl and crumble in half the package of drained tofu. Heat some oil in a non-stick frypan until hot. Sauté chopped onion until edges are brown, add egg and tofu mixture and scramble. Add salt and pepper to taste and flavour with the ends of flavourful cheeses, such as crumbled bleu cheese or Sylvan Star aged gouda. Snip fresh herbs over, dump on a plate, and eat with gusto. If you don't think you like tofu, you ain't tasted nothin' 'til you've had this tofu scramble!

4. Using Up Mincemeat: Option 1: Not Your Average Meatloaf
Mincemeat isn't just for pies. Use it in an interesting, savoury way by mixing the dregs of the mincemeat jar with ground beef and then making it into a meatloaf. You could also use the mixture to make hamburgers. There's enough flavour and texture in the mincemeat so that you won't have to dude the meat up with much else.

Option 2: Mincemeat-Stuffed Apples
Core your favourite eating apples and stuff them with mincemeat. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender/crisp. Serve with warmed Ambrosia Custard (find a tin at Safeway). Hey, it’s good custard (and you know you don't feel like making custard from scratch).

5. Using Up Anything Savoury: Soup
It goes without saying that a pot of soup is exceptionally accommodating to use in leftovers. Soup stock is easily concocted using boullion cubes. Enrich with the addition of a couple of splashes of cream at the end. If you're using just leftover vegetables, rinse off seasonings first, since different kinds of seasonings might fight over each other. When your soup has cooked awhile, you can thicken it by puréeing part of it - keep the chunky texture of the vegetables while giving the soup a thicker, heartier broth. Leftover turkey, duck, goose, ham or lamb if you haven't already made a curry with it (see Hurry, Hurry Curry above).

6. Using Up Fruitcake: Almost Ambrosial Fruit Cake
Is fruit cake your least favourite Christmas food? Did someone give you a whack of her mother's, mother's, mother's recipe because "people love to get gifts you make by hand"? Here's what you can do to make it “almost ambrosial”. First, go to Safeway and buy a couple of tins of Ambrosia Custard -- the same one recommended above in the Mincemeat-Stuffed Apples recipe. Or make a good custard from scratch. Second, crumble the fruitcake into bowls, drizzle it generously with your favourite liqueur, like Cointreau and let the liqueur soak in. Then slather with lots of custard. Lots. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Eat, and be amazed. You wouldn’t think fruitcake could taste so good!

7. Using up Boxed Chocolates: Really Weird Chocolate Slab
People often pick up boxes of Pot o’ Gold and that genre of chocolate from the grocery or drug store as last minute gifts. If you received a box, maybe you'll eat it, or maybe you'll only eat the nut-centred ones. If boxed chocolates are still hanging around your house, try combining them all in a bowl and melting them in the microwave. Very slowly, pour the chocolate "mess" onto waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Let it spread and cool and harden. Break into chunks. This is an untried experiment, but our guess is that the chocolates just might be more palatable transformed like this. Hmmm, or not. If you try this and it works, wrap the chocolate chunks in pretty pink and red paper and present it to your beloved on Valentine's Day.
--&--&--&