Apr 4, 2016

Dealing with LEFTOVERS!

Potluck Fried Rice
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As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, so will there be leftovers. Leftovers are a problem for me in that I usually don't enjoy eating the same thing two days in a row. For most people it's a matter of what should I do with that leftover meatloaf, or that block of cheese that sits in your refrigerator turning blue. Well listen up my friends, it's time to take out those creative juices and apply them to dealing with leftovers.

Rice is a common food here in Hawaii and around the world. One of the best things to do with leftover rice is to make fried rice. Actually rice is better in fried rice when it sits in the fridge overnight. It dries out so that each grain of rice separates, as if opening its arms and saying "OK, bring on the rest of the ingredients", in this case, more leftovers. Add leftover chicken, shrimp, or pork. Then throw in some fresh broccoli, or frozen peas, even chopped Napa cabbage to lighten up the dish. Sprinkle on some soy sauce, mix together and top with thinly sliced scrambled egg and sesame seeds... Easy! Here's another fried rice recipe for "Potluck Fried Rice".

Jook with Salted Duck Eggs
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Another one of my favorite leftover rice recipes is to make "Jook", also known as Chinese Congee, a rice porridge, traditionally garnished with Chinese salted duck egg. Leftover rice works great for Jook because the rice should be broken, or basically overcooked forming the porridge consistency. The flavor comes from the stock and pieces of protein (chicken, turkey, pork, fish or shrimp, etc.) added to the rice, as well as the flavor from the toppings, like hard cooked egg, sliced green onion, sesame seeds, etc. This is a delicious way to make a new meal out of leftovers. If you are too busy to make a stock for the rice, use canned soup like cream of chicken, mixed with the leftover rice.

Meatloaf, one of my favorite leftovers. I usually make three times more meatloaf (recipe) than I can eat so that I can make meatloaf sandwiches and meat sauce for pasta. Believe me my friends, my meat sauce is a good thing! Simply crumble the meatloaf and add my "Mamma Mia" Marinara Sauce. After the sauce has cooked for about 30 minutes, I decant it in plastic ice-cream containers and freeze it until I am ready to use it.

Turkey in my house is enjoyed year round, not just on Thanksgiving. Turkey leftovers are a favorite of mine. Everybody enjoys turkey sandwiches, but how about turkey-stuffed cabbage leaves, creamy turkey- pasta casserole, turkey salad platter cobb-style. All of these recipes can be found here.

Pork is also a favorite here in Hawaii. I like to use wontons for leftover ground pork in a pork wonton soup, or steamed shrimp & pork shumai. You can get these recipes here.

Want a delicious dessert to go with your leftover wontons? Try my Chocolate-Banana fried wontons, dusted with confectioners sugar (recipe).


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