Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Make Your Leftovers Work for You

That’s my motto most of the time.  I’m on a big campaign to curb the amount of food that gets wasted around here.  It most often happens because I prefer to have a hot lunch of leftovers at work rather than a sandwich or other typical lunch foods.  Which is fine except I only work part time which means that more than half of the week I have to make enough leftovers for a second meal or suffer the consequences of the food going potentially uneaten.  The whole thing is complicated by the fact that Ben’s views on lunch are the exact opposite of mine (although lately his view is shifting).

As a side note, my other big problem is my failure to plan meals ahead.  I just can’t seem to get it done reliably.  It’s a big problem because it means that if I’m feeling too tired or harried that we end up eating out (like we did on Monday) or ordering in.  I like going out as much as the next person but it’s a treat I don’t like using it as a crutch.  

Which all leads me to tonight’s dinner.  Around 3 I started complaining to Erin that I had again forgotten to plan our dinner in advance.  I complained a little more and then I thought and thought and thought about it.  I ended up having to stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some reinforcements but I did manage to turn one and a half leftover pork chops into three servings and have it on the table in 20(ok, maybe 25) minutes.  A quick stroganoff is one of my go tos for using  up leftover meat.  It makes for a quick and satisfying meal.  Maybe one day I’ll write down a recipe but for now I’ll just tell you how it goes.  Maybe you’ll try it one day when you’re scrambling for dinner ideas.  

First I sliced a medium onion into half moons and browned them in a little olive oil over medium or medium high heat.  Next I cranked the heat to high and added a package of button mushrooms sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper.  While the mushrooms and onions were cooking I sliced the meat and tossed it into the pan to heat through.  Then I added a few dashes of worcestershire and a good tablespoonful of dijon mustard and stirred that in.  Next goes in about 1/4 cup of chicken broth.  I let the mixture bubble for a minute or two until I’m happy with the amount of sauce that’s left in the pan.  Turn of the heat, stir in a good dollop of sour cream and serve over egg noodles or rice.  

I defy you to take a picture of this dish that leaves your mouth watering but all the same it was hot and homemade and pretty dang tasty if I do say so myself.  What do you do with your leftovers?

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