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So What Have You Made From Leftovers That Was As Good If Not Better Than The Original Dish?

So last night my sweet husband treated me to his famous Pork Verde, nice little chunks of perfectly cooked pork in savory green sauce. It was as tasty as ever and we even munched on the leftover pork and tortillas for lunch....come dinner time, (I was so feeling lazy) the pork and green sauce was gone...so what to have for dinner without having to go out?

I hit the kitchen, took a little juice glass and cut the tortillas in small rounds then deep fried them...while they were crisping up I mixed salt, pepper and the zest from the leftover limes together and sprinkled that over the warm chips, Yum...but what else? Looked in the fridge...two tablespoons of butter got tossed in a pan to melt, then it was sprinkled with two tablespoons of flour....oh yeah, a roux. Grated some fantastic Comte and heated up a cup of milk with 1/2 cup of chicken stock and slowly added that to the roux while I fried up more chips. Smashed up 3 cloves of garlic and tossed that in with the sauce and let it simmer for a bit before adding the Comte cheese and a good squirt of chili sauce.....best "Nachos" we have ever had! So Hounds what have you made from leftovers that was as good....if not better than the dish that lent its parts?

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  1. This has occurred to me frequently in the last month or so, but it's so close to bedtime I can't think of why off the top of my head!

    The one thing I can think of is a guy I lived with who's mother made roast beef frequently. I'm not fond of big hunks of roast beef, but the leftovers made fantastic French Dip.

    She also made the only homemade Mac & Cheese I've ever had, complete with large chunks of sausage.

    I'll think of other 'recycled' dishes later. :)

    1. Nothing fancy, but some improvised baked bean soup out of the remainders of a batch we'd eaten two days in a row. This was one of the last cold days last Spring, so I don't remember exactly what I did, but the soup was delicious, complex, hearty. (Original dish a stereotypical Boston baked bean recipe.) I pureed half of the beans, added water, then put in the rest of the beans, whole. I do recall tossing in some cognac, some diced carrots...can't remember exactly what else, but I know there were some more additions. We love soups and we love baked beans (New Englanders)...and that stuff was great. I was foolish not to have written down what I did. Hubby's asking me to make it again, now that winter's on our doorstep.

      Those "nachos" sound like good cold weather food, too!

      1. 2 minutes ago I scarfed down some homemade Turkey tostadas....

        > Heat a griddle or crepe pan
        > Sprinkle Leftover Dark Meat Turkey - Shredded around a tortilla (even better if you can find Tortillas Raspadas... these are the ultra thin tortillas designed for tostada making)
        > Cover the turkey with a spoonfuls of garlicky Arbol Chile salsa or cheat like me and use bottled Tuong Ot Toi Vietnamese sauce...
        > Place a slice of Havarati, Monterrey Jack or Chihuahua cheese on top of the seasoned Turkey
        > Cook on one side over Medium - Medium Hot fire (or over a smokey grill) until the cheese melts & the tortilla turns a pleasant, rustic golden brown

        Even people who go through the motions with Thanksgiving turkey would have a hard to not eating more of these.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          Thanks for this, EN! You just gave me the recipe for this Thursday's dinner using last Sunday's left over braised turkey legs..... I was going to make open faced hot turkey sandwiches. This is infinitely better.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              We made this recipe according to EN's instructions tonight and they were delicious!
              I was afraid there would not be enough turkey to shred so I sautéed some sliced onions, garlic and jalapeño in EVOO, threw in some minced turkey, let that brown, then tossed in the shredded turkey meat.... added some home made tacos spice seasoning and let that cook till the meat was no longer pink. After that we followed EN's directions using a cast iron skillet. . We used bottled Green Mountain Gringo medium hot salsa and the harvati cheese

              Wow... we really loved this. Served these with a tossed green salad a la Rick Bayless with a chipotle dressing that was a great accompaniment.

              Many thanks EN. You nailed it once again.....we will certainly be making & enjoying these again and again.

        2. No question: fried rice. You have to use cold rice to make the dish in the first place, and there's hardly any better use for leftover white rice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nickblesch

            Oh totally. this has got to be the winner.

            1. re: nickblesch

              While steamed rice is good, fried rice taste better. In fact we had turkey fried rice last night. The bird is almost gone!!!

              1. re: nickblesch

                Nickblesch, please describe how you make your fried rice!

                1. re: nickblesch

                  100% in agreement, fried rice is one of the best leftovers! Last night I got to try Kimchi Bokkeumbap for the first time and it was the best fried rice I've ever had. The waitress cooked it up at our table with all the leftovers from our dinner. I want to back again tonight!

                2. Kimchi jjigae with pork belly, hands down.