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what do you do with your spare parts?

the other night i made lasagna and had more leftover noodles than i was happy to throw out, but less than i would make some other meal out of. i remembered when i was a kid and my mom had leftover noodles i would take one, slather it in butter, put some cinnammon sugar on it and have a pre-lasagna lasagna dessert. I did this in the end but thought maybe there is something more creative to do here. What would you do?

And another thing-- all those darned fortune cookies that you get from chinese takeaway that never get eaten. Seems silly to just throw out. Do you do anything interesting with those? Crumble them into something?

I have a system for bread down. My freezer is littered with bread scraps for bread puddings and panades. i have even been known to steam back to life rock hard half loaves that dried out before they went moldy.

What are your spare parts in the kitchen and what do you do with them?

What are the scraps that sit in your freezer mocking you, saying 'you'll never find a use for me! Mhwahh ha ha ha!" (well mine do this....)

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  1. I make soup! Usually the leftovers are cooked vegetables and gravy from meat dishes. I've recently adopted a new dietary lifestyle to lose weight that has been successful so far. I eat a bean and barley soup for breakfast, and cooked old-fashioned oatmeal for lunch. Dinner is whatever my wife prepares. I'm down 20 pounds as of yesterdays weigh-in after a couple of months.

    The bean and barley soup is made up of at least 2 kinds of beans (pinto, navy, cannellini, small red, garbanzo, etc.), lentils, split peas, 28-oz. can of tomato puree, onion, celery, garlic, leftover vegetables, leftover gravy (often kept in freezer until needed), barley and so on.

    Si, e una minestrone! Chiamarsi 'orzo e fagioli.' BTW, non sono italiano, ma la minestrone fa mi parlo italiano.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      Ditto with the roulade. Actually, my grandmother would let the grandchildren who watched and helped have the lasagna "rags"; she'd cut the homemade parboiled noodles with a fancy edged ravioli cutter into odd sizes, then finish cooking them and we'd have them with butter and parm or with freshly made sauce. A treat for the kids!

      1. re: ChiliDude

        Congratulations!!! Isn't it a fantastic feeling?

        And thanks for the suggestion -- it never occurred to me to use extra gravy as a base for soup! I'm definitely going to try that with the green olive and anchovy sauce I made last night.

      2. We would make a lasagna roulade... one noodle, spread with ricotta and spinach, rolled up, secured with a toothpick and sauced with the sauce of choice-tomato, bechamel, whatever,,, then cook in the toaster oven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MaspethMaven

          I do a roulade, but dessert-style with cinnamon sugar ricotta cheese, roll up, drizzle with butter and coat with graham cracker crumbs, then brown in a pan; serve w/ chocolate sauce or vanilla bean creme anglaise.

          Or, cut into strips, fry in butter (or vegetable oil) til crisp, then coat w/ cinnamon sugar.

        2. I deliberately do not have a freezer but I never throw food away. With spare parts I just keep on eating them until I've used them all up and then I'll go and do the shopping again once I've cleared the fridge out.

          2 Replies
          1. re: coombe

            I'm confused! Do you have a refrigerator? If so, does the refrigerator not have a freezer compartment? Is it a 'lowboy' that only refrigerates? Do you have ice delivered daily that is kept in a box to keep food cold? I was born in the 1930s and was a little kid when ice was delivered by horsedrawn wagon during WWII, and people did not have electric refrigerators.

            1. re: ChiliDude

              I do have a refrigerator with a very small freezer compartment big enough for some ice and a box of ice cream. I don't ever freeze meat, fish or anything else because I will only buy what I know I will get through within a few days.

          2. Everytime I shell frozen raw shrimp I throw the shells in a bag in the freezer. One of theses days I will make a good shrimp stock. I will! I will!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Eric in NJ

              Great idea, Eric! I've done that several times and it works well. The stock is a nice base for chowder.

              1. re: ChiliDude

                I'm thinking of putting it in a Paella.

                1. re: ChiliDude

                  I've decided to start saving shrimp shells, even though I've never made chowder in my life. Maybe I will someday. How many shells do you use when you make the stock?

              2. For the lasagna noodles I do pasta rags. Just break them up and cook them in salted water. Add toping/sauce of choice.

                I try to respect the ingredients so I freeze many things. Chicken stock with necks and backs. Shrimp stock with shells into pho broth. Produce going bad gets frozen before it turns for stock flavoring.

                For those cookies, why not try to stack them as a base and serve a small tart or something on top? You don't have to eat them, just use them as plating decoration.

                1 Reply
                1. re: holy chow

                  Those "pasta rags" can be used as maltagliati (meaning "badly cut"), which is what Marcella Hazan specifies in her recipe for pasta e fagioli (otherwize known as pasta fazool). It's in one of her earlier big cookbooks, don't remember which, but this dish is well worth making.