Monday, June 29, 2009

Morphing Leftovers

I think one of the most challenging things a cook has to do is to take leftover food and morph it into a new dish that is enticing. This sometimes involves using leftovers from several meals on different days and making a magical creation that your family looks at and doesn't (operative word here is "doesn't") say, "Gross!".

You saw, at least I hope you saw, last night's post on Asian Pork Satay. I had leftover jasmine rice. When I was doing the dishes after dinner, I was about to pack the rice into a container and pop it in the fridge. Then I looked at it and thought maybe I could do something interesting with it. I took stock of what I had in the refrigerator, including leftovers from the last couple of nights' dinners.

I had made "Malaysian Chicken Noodle Soup with Asian Greens and Chili Soy Sauce" the other night. It is an incredibly delicious soup that I got from one of my absolute favorite bloggers, Jaden Hair at And there was this wonderful silky chicken left from that. I chopped some of it up and threw it in with the rice.

Now I needed to get creative or it was going to be pretty bland. I have no measurements because this was an experiment. To the rice and chicken I added chopped green onions, chopped carrots, minced fresh garlic, a little Kansas steak seasoning and a healthy dash of Cajun seasoning. I mixed it really well and divided it in half and pressed it into two large patties. Because the rice was a little on the sticky side, I didn't need to use any kind of a binder. I wrapped the patties and stuck them in the fridge.

Today Jane and I were shopping and we stopped at Trader Joe's. I have such a love affair with this store. They always have something that I had no idea I was looking for, but when I find it I am just thrilled! Today it was a one pound package of heirloom tomatoes. They were about the size of cherry tomatoes. Besides being just darn cute, I knew they would taste good.

Back at home I sliced the tomatoes in half, added thawed frozen corn, fresh mozzarella pearls and chopped basil & parsley from my herb garden. Bob made a wonderful vinaigrette with olive oil, fresh lime juice, lime zest and orange blossom honey. It was absolutely perfect!

I sauteed the rice cakes til they had a good brown crust and were heated through. I heated a bit of the sauce from the pork satay and drizzled that over the cakes. To Bob's plate, I put a small ramekin of the cucumber salad to finish it off. Carrot and cucumber sticks were added at the last minute.

Let me tell you, this was one tasty meal! Woohoo! A home run! Out of the ballpark! High five! I rock!...okay, maybe not all of that. But it was good :-) A definite "do-over"...and that is high praise indeed in this house!
So what have you "morphed" lately?

1 comment:

  1. sound great Jean. I love doing stuff like that. I got lots of practice when Chris and I worked at the back country camp. Guests used to play the game "guess-where-Ellen-put-the-leftovers" -- ha!