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Better the next day

  • h

Mom use to make a terrific sour beef and dumplings, and always made plenty ,there were seven of us. The sour beef was good but it always tasted soooo much better the next day. Any other dishes that tasted better as "leftovers"?

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  1. Most creole bean dishes like white beans and ham, hoppin john or red beans and rice improve over the course or a day or two. I also think that a lot of baked pasta dishes and eggplant parmesan are better the next day

    1. Yup! Chilis... Stews, Macaroni and Cheese! Anything with a lot of spice, flavor or components I think really benefits with a rest so the flavors really come together and penetrate! :)


      1. Pizza

        Beef stew

        Pumpkin pie

        Chinese Oxtail soup

        3 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          can you describe the oxtail soup (recipe?)

          1. re: kare_raisu

            Versions differ depending on how your mama cooks, but my mom always made one that was basically minestrone with ox tails instead of regular beef. Koreans do a plain ox tail broth with only garlic cloves added. Home cooking board for the full recipes...

            1. re: Pei

              Yup, Pei hit it right on the head.

              Take any minestrone recipe (but don't use chicken stock, use water) and add oxtail.

        2. Many Indian dishes with complex spices are better after a few hours.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheryl_h

            How true! Every time I make an Indian meal for company, I make the curry dish(es) the night before. Saves time on the day of, you and your hair get to not smell of onions/garlic/spices and tastes better to boot. Now if only I could shake that feeling of mom cringing at the thought of me serving "stale" food to my guests!

          2. I think burritos taste better the next day. The tortilla gets a little soggy (or really soggy, if it's a steamed tortilla), but the flavors blend together more after a day in the fridge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Humbucker

              Yes! I always save half when I get burritos, or any caribbean dish... better the next day...or 3 days later!

              Also osso bucco comes to mind.

            2. Chinese stewed oxtail...

              1. Lasagna, ratatouille, corn chowder.

                Gotta agree about the Indian. We always order waaay too much to get a variety of foods and also a great breakfast the next day.

                1. I think there are two categories of food that qualify: soups, stews and other dishes where flavours "meld," as others have said; and food that tastes better a little stale/cold.

                  In the latter category, I'd include pizza, pasta, frittata/quiche, any kind of takeout.

                  Some foods are also better when the leftovers are reused. For example, risotto balls are much better than fresh risotto, in my opinion.

                  1. Chocolate cakes made from Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines boxes and the premade tubs of frosting.

                    1. Pot likker. The longer you keep it in the fridge (within reason), the more the flavor deepens.

                      1. As Dommy said, anything with lots of ingredients that need to talk to each other. On the few occasions that I decide to have a potato salad on the same day I make it, I always try to have it in the fridge before noon if I'm to serve it at supper. Mac salad and creamy coleslaw the same.

                          1. vindaloo from the local take-out tastes 3 times better the next day....soups are also better the next day in my opinion.

                            1. Chili, Soup, complex ingredient preparations need to talk to each other, boil and simmer together for hours, and reduce and meld together as one in the fridge overnight to produce a gastronomic masterpiece when heated the next day.

                              Example - The Chili preparation at L.A.'s Saddle Peak Lodge:


                              1. I always make coq au vin a day before I'll need it.

                                1. Lots of Indian dishes taste better with some time on them.

                                  And many French *daubes* (e.g. beef stew with red wine and prunes) are traditionally reheated two or three times before serving, since only then do the flavours meld.

                                  1. Ditto on chili, lasagna, and pizza.

                                    1. Brisket. Definitely brisket. I have 5 lbs. of it in my oven right now cooking away. Smells heavenly!

                                      I was planning to freeze the whole thing for after I have a baby in a few weeks, but I just found out that my friends are coming over for dinner tomorrow night. So, some will be served to them and the rest will go in the freezer. Mmmm....

                                      1. Don't mean to be a heathen, but, KFC original recipe. Eat it cold the next day, preferably with some rum punch, and even more preferably, laying on the beach somewhere in Jamaica.

                                          1. my wife's cole slaw, it just gets better and better....

                                            1. Actually, now that I think about it, mojo potatoes from Shakey's definitely age very well ...

                                                1. Anything "pickled" or in a vinaigrette that needs to absorb flavours - cucumber salad, mango salad, etc.
                                                  Most dips - hummos, guacamole, etc.
                                                  Most baked pasta dishes.
                                                  Muffaletta sandwiches - they have to sit in the fridge wrapped and compressed for at least a day to meld together.
                                                  Most soups - especially cabbage borscht.

                                                  1. Let me take a different tack. I cannot think of anything that does NOT taste better the next day.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      sushi, muffins - both do not taste better the next day

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        A opened can of beer doesn't improve the next day.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          I humbly stand corrected, so I will rephrase. Except for a few items (examples below)I think that almost everything tastes better the next day.

                                                        2. Filipino dishes like Chicken Adobo and Sinigang are great as leftovers.

                                                          1. Spaghetti. Cold, for breakfast the next day with buttered toast. Bliss.

                                                            1. Linguine Bolognese very spicy sauteed the next day, NOT microwaved but sauteed. MMMMMM think I'll have that tonight. Linda