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Foods you refuse to eat as leftovers?

Not things that are dangerous or inedible to eat the day-after.

Rather, things you simply don't find palatable as leftovers -- something you refuse to eat on a purely, subjective level.

For me, I simply cannot stand leftover fried rice. Dunno why, probably because fried rice is already sort of like a leftover dish since it's usually, and best, made with day-old rice.

Reheated leftover fried rice inevitably tends to be grainier, less fluffy, with a more pronounced oily aftertaste. Just not very good.

And cold fried rice is just a nonstarter.

What's on your refuse-to-eat-as-leftover list?

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  1. but a microwave dies lovely things to old fried rice

    2 Replies
    1. re: thew

      I like to revamp my old pork fried rice by making a jambalya out of it. The hot spices overpower the chinese taste. I just add chicken or shrimp, chicken stock, green pepper (it already had enough onion), diced tomoto with chilies and the jambalaya spice. Let it simmer for awhile and you have a yummy new dish to eat for dinner!

      1. re: thew

        I've been reading this post for three days and I could not think of anything other than the fried foods many have indicated and thinking I disagree with most everything els of what others have stated....but it just hit me....

        Liver of any kind......I'm not talking about spreads or pate...but just plain old cooked liver. I came to this realization as I have just prepared a dish of Sauteed Chicken Livers for lunch. Now that the livers have cooled.....I just can't stand the hard edges texturally.

      2. can't stand cold pizza or reheated leftover pizza. For me it's gotta be fresh out of the brick oven.

        18 Replies
        1. re: smartie

          I'm with you on the pizza. If it's not piping hot, I can't stand it. Even room temperature is off putting to me. Fortunately, my kids do not feel the same way. They will scarf up every last piece right out of the fridge.

          1. re: baseballfan

            Cold pizza for breakfast is the best!

            1. re: kchurchill5

              So there...LOVE cold pizza for breakfast!!!!!

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Agreed wholeheartedly. I think I look forward to leftover next-morning pizza as much as I do fresh pizza! I always order enough to ensure I get my breakfast treat!

                2. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                  yes! Can't imagine cutting half the pleasure out of my pizza by not eating the rest of it cold for brunch

                1. re: jchamberlain

                  Hey, when I'm getting pizza delivered I always order more than I can eat - a whole 16" large pizza for one, for example - because I know from experience that frozen slices from a great local pizzeria that I reheat in the toaster oven are far better than any commercial frozen pizza I've ever had.

                  1. re: BobB

                    there's a double-edged sword ! I did this once or twice with good intentions to freeze and reheat, and instead, ended up eating more than I should have.

                  2. re: jchamberlain

                    We reheat left over 'Za for break or lunch in our cast iron skillet; makes the crust hot & crispy again.

                  1. re: smartie

                    Agreed - cold pizza (and especially the next morning for breakfast) is just an abomination. Can't even look at the congealed cheese.

                    Fried chicken (not that I eat it all that often) is another "I can't eat it the next day" item for me - either cold or reheated. Also - french fries.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Cold fried chicken is the bees knees. I used to sometimes buy fried chicken purely so I could stick it straight in the fridge and enjoy cold fried chicken the next day. Granted, it's not as good as hot but it's almost a different dish when cold.

                      Leftover french fries on the other hand ... Binned. There is just no coming back from the dead with fries.

                      1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                        Reading what I originally wrote - I *could* eat fried chicken again the next day - but it would have to be properly reheated and, hopefully, the crispy coating would be crispy again (perhaps a reheat in the oven).

                        1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                          Gotta agree on the cold fried chicken. My older brother used to work at KFC and I remember those years so fondly because there was always a bucket of extra crispy chicken waiting for me in the fridge.

                          1. re: soypower

                            I didn't think that a Sunday picnic would ever be complete without cold fried chicken- that is why God invented tupperware and paper towels...

                      2. re: smartie

                        Blasphemy! I sometimes order an extra pizza just to make sure some is left for breakfast!

                      3. Fried rice and Pizza??? Are you guys insane? I can't think of anything better as leftovers! Maybe I'm the insane one...

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          No, I'm with you on both.

                          Steamed rice, however, is IMO terrible leftover.

                          1. re: tatamagouche

                            I see nothing wrong with either of the above. I can make left overs into other meals that don't resemble the first meal. I hate to toss out good usable food. With a little imagination you can turn it into something very good.

                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              I can take 3 meals+ and make something completely new.

                              The other day I took left over rice from one dinner, left over grilled veggies from another, some frozen smoked chicken from a couple of weeks ago, chicken stock just a little left with some canned help and threw in some roasted tomatoes from a dish 4 days ago. Chicken soup was amazing. A smoky wild rice with grilled veggie topped with a sliced baguette which I topped with a smoky gouda and melted (also leftover from last week, I just froze the bread). I didn't serve eight but made 3-4 nice size bowls. I did have to add some fresh herbs and a little garlic, but otherwise, done.

                              Leftovers rock!

                            2. re: tatamagouche

                              Both steamed rice or fried, they're my favorite for using the next
                              day with eggs. I make a big pan of reheated rice in sesame oil, throw in a few eggs,
                              onions, peppers, some hot sauce to finish, makes a big mess. Yummy.

                              1. re: tatamagouche

                                You use the leftover steamed rice to make new fried rice. I do that a lot. Especially morning fried rice with extra scrambled egg.

                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                  take the left over steamed rice add soy,eggs and onions and stir fry (fried rice) and pizza with hot sauce for breakfast IMHO the best life has to offer

                                1. re: mcel215

                                  Oooooh, leftover spaghetti makes the most wonderful frittata....pasta frittata....yum!

                                    1. re: laliz

                                      Saute leftover spaghetti in a good amount of butter, for a whole new dish. If it gets a little crispy, then that's a bonus.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        Putting a little freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley with the sauted pasta is wonderful. The parm gets really gooey and delish!

                                        1. re: cookieluvntasha

                                          Plain ol' butter and parm on leftover plain pasta is a great sauce too. Just add a little pepper. We should make up a fancy name for it, everyone eats it right up and never asks what it actually is.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            I don't think I said it was plain. I just said leftover spaghetti.

                                            1. re: mcel215

                                              So try it sometime, it's good. I do it both ways.

                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                Mmm, I love cold, tomato-saucy spaghetti the next day!!

                                        2. re: laliz

                                          My spaghetti wouldn't make it to a frittata, I would devour it before. I love it too, better the second day.

                                      2. Boiled dumplings. Potstickers can sometimes be salvaged, but boiled dumplings stick together, or the dough on the bottom falls off, or parts of the dough become hard...ick. And if you microwave them, they make an ungodly smell that horrifies even lovers of stinky tofu.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. Leftover fried stuff is usually yick- in particular french fries. There is no going back...

                                          For me it's leftover tuna fish. Something evil happens to it if it hangs out for several hours and I won't eat it.

                                          I dearly LOVE my bacon but I won't eat it cold or leftover or (gag) re-heated.

                                          32 Replies
                                          1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                            *shudder* I'm with you on the fried stuff. Rubbery bacon, straight, gives me the willies, though it recycles nicely in a quiche Lorraine. I have friends who love cold fried chicken even more than the stuff fresh from the fryer.

                                            If you ever want something to do with a significant amount of leftover fries, try making either a Greek-style omelet (fries, eggs, feta, oregeno) or a Chinese stirfry with thinly cut strips of meat (generally pork or beef), onions, other vegetables (optional) and gravy. It's surprisingly good. There's a similar Peruvian dish called lomo saltado.

                                            1. re: cimui

                                              Leftova cold fried chicken? Gaaa! Once you hit a pocket of cold, congealed fat hiding in a hallow of breading, snacky time is OVA! (eek! run! I really hate the feeling of a lump of cold fat high up on my tongue!!)
                                              (there are not enough exclamation points!)

                                              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                Don't go to a tailgate party in the S.E.C. lots of good cold fried chicken in August and September.

                                                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                  Yes, a horrible trap! The breading looks so nice and delicious on the outside, you bite into -- and SHAZZAM! You have a cold, congealed fat grenade explode in your mouth.

                                                  It is amazing how much better a lump of lump of warm, melty fat tastes than a lump of cold, congealed fat!

                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                    I gagged when I read your last sentence and had to quickly soothe my soul by holding my cursor over your puppy picture. Sweet furry puppies make me feel less like gagging over the words 'lumpy cold congealed fat' KAAAAAAAAA!
                                                    But it's so true- yer all happy, smiley, dancing in the sun with a hunk o'cold fried chicken in yer hands- yer waving it in the air, talkin, laugin, and then you take a nibble and.... and.... this is why God invented alcohol- to help us forget.

                                                    I personally love cold pizza and most leftovers, I have even plucked shredded iceberg from a burrito so I could warm it up and eat it again- which was a once in a lifetime event because re-heated burrito is bad.

                                                    I'm glad to take these challenges head on, so that you, the home viewer shant suffer...

                                                  2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                    I go fishing often and go to my local publix and buy fried chicken the key is to let it cool on a sheet pan until room temp then refrigerate. nothing better than cold fried chicken 40 miles offshore oh and catching fresh tuna

                                                  3. re: cimui

                                                    Most fried foods are god-awful after they've cooled down (so floppy and unappetizing), but cold fried chicken is divine! Even better than fresh fried chicken :-).

                                                    1. re: vorpal

                                                      And you don't even have the excuse of being southern, I don't think. ;)

                                                      Actually, I can see why you like it. The frying keeps the meat nice and moist. If I had my druthers, though, I'd pick off all the crunchy, fried breading fresh out of the fryer and leave the meat for later.

                                                  4. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                    I agree about left over french fries, no good

                                                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                      I agree that anything that has been deep fried is unpalatable when cold or reheated. I'm not a fan of leftover Chinese or Thai food.

                                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                                        Kelli! No cold Chinese outta the carton eaten standing in front of the open fridge with sticks (or your fingers if you are too sleepy to find the chop sticks??!)?!?!
                                                        It HAS to be out of the paper carton with the wire handle though. If it's in those blasted half tin/half plastic bowl and lid combos then it's no fun cold.

                                                      2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                        Mostly agree with you on fried stuff, especially fried seafood - completely inedible. The big exception being, of course, cold fried chicken.

                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                          I love leftover cold fried crab rangoon

                                                          1. re: Infomaniac

                                                            Hm. That is in the fridge for lunch today and I was dreading the soggy-ness of reheated crab rangoon, but cold... we shall see. I am not a big fan of leftovers for dinner, but frequently package them up for lunch. M,uch better than hospital cafeteria food, lol

                                                            1. re: jme1beachbum

                                                              Ew ew ew, cold crab rangoon are worse than reheated. I couldn't actually swallow it. Oh well, to each their own.

                                                              1. re: jme1beachbum

                                                                anything is ok done in a hot cast iron skillet -- even crab rangoon!

                                                                1. re: jme1beachbum

                                                                  Sorry the cold crab rangoon didn't work for you....thanks for giving it a try.

                                                          2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                            There is something in my genes that causes me severe psychic pain if I waste food, so almost all my leftovers eventually are consumed. But I am with you there on fried foods. They're just not as good the next day... not that that will stop me from eating them. Throw on some sauces or perhaps heat it in the broiler and you can come up with something reasonably palatable.

                                                            I wonder, though, how I would feel about leftover sushi. That might be one food I'd have second thoughts about.

                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                              yep, sushi was on my original list. i'm actually surprised more people didn't mention it. ick.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                I don't think I'd eat it left over... but I never have any left! :)

                                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                  When I was a kid, my mom would make sushi rolls for me with the only things I would try - fried chicken and veggies. It took a while longer to enjoy raw fish - after I finished studying the anatomy of squid by dissecting it, I decided I should try it. The nori was chewy on those leftover rolls, but I didn't care. Leftover "kentucky" rolls, lo mein and fried rice (with duck sauce mixed in) were my favorite school lunches. Salt, sugar and fat - YUM.

                                                              2. re: JungMann

                                                                Sushi with fish = no go. Sushi with vegetables and/or eggs I'll eat happily! Every time one of my college roommate's parents came to visit, her very nice mother would bring us giant Tupperware containers of Korean style futomaki rolls. These would stay in our fridge for a week or two as we tried very, very hard not to snarf them all too quickly. I also used to get these in my lunch box in elementary school. The soft, stretchy nori doesn't bother me at all.

                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                  i never have left over sushi, but if i did i don't think they would be very appetizing.
                                                                  when my mom would make kim bap with various veggies and meat and there were leftovers, they would go in the fridge...the rice would get cold and hard but my ingenious mother would get out the cast iron, put a little bit of oil in the pan and fry those pieces up. the outer rice would get a nice crunch while the insides would get heated through and soft. incredibly delicious!

                                                                  1. re: liveloveat34

                                                                    that *is* sort of ingenious! i would love that! i think our futomaki in college didn't actually get too hard in the fridge because we had one of those small, barely functional dorm-sized contraptions that didn't really get very cold at all. i'm sure they violated all sorts of food safety regulations (i.e. milk would go back ultra quickly)... but the upside is that it kept rice from getting too hard. :)

                                                                    1. re: cimui

                                                                      yup and depending on my mood n my mom's, we would purposefully put some in the fridge so we could heat them up later... try it out!

                                                                2. re: JungMann

                                                                  I've never had any sushi leftover.

                                                                3. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                  That's funny. Making tuna fish (as in tunafish sandwiches) I think is better when I make it a couple hours ahead of time. Then the ginger and scallion or other flavors get a change to meld better.

                                                                  1. re: thinks too much

                                                                    I like that you make tunafish salad with ginger and scallion!

                                                                    1. re: thinks too much

                                                                      ditto with the tuna salad for sandwiches. I much prefer to make it ahead and chill.

                                                                    2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                      Mmmm... cold bacon is something I *love*! Pass it this way, please!

                                                                      1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                        Leftover bacon? Isn't that an oxymoron, like "Jumbo Shrimp" or "Military Intelligence"? (R.I.P., G.C.)

                                                                        I have never seen leftover bacon...never. I'm pretty sure there are ordinances prohibiting such a thing. :D

                                                                      2. This will surely expose me! I don't like leftover chicken or turkey. It takes on a very gamey flavor that I don't taste at all w/chicken and hardly with turkey when cooked fresh. I wish it wasn't the case. It would be so much easier to cook a huge batch of chicken on Saturday and eat it for lunch all week long on salads. For whatever reason, grinding the chicken and adding onions/garlic (ala meatballs) changes the whole thing for me and I don't get the gamey thing the next day. Nor do I get it with chicken tenders. Go figure.

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sasha1

                                                                          i thought i was the only one that refused to eat leftover cooked chicken! i need to try your meatball idea for my leftovers.

                                                                          1. re: pie22

                                                                            This is not a timely response! :) Sorry.

                                                                            I'm afraid there might be a miscommunication. I can't grind up cooked chicken, add onions, and have it lose that gamey taste. I meant, but I guess I wasn't clear, that if I make chicken meatballs, using raw ground chicken, that the leftovers don't taste gamey to me, and I don't mind eating them. Sorry for any confusion.

                                                                            1. re: sasha1

                                                                              ahh ok, thank you for the clarification - that make sense in my mind - i will still need to try it out!

                                                                          2. re: sasha1

                                                                            Gamey??????? From domesticated drug laden chicken? Don't think so.

                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              In my perception maybe not gamey, but there is a distinct smell to chicken and especially to ground chicken. Sort of a strong albumin smell, which is rather fitting I suppose.

                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                We won't go into the type of chicken I buy, because I don't believe I mentioned it. But thanks for thinking so highly of my food choices.

                                                                                Yeah, next day chicken and turkey have a flavor I don't care for, and that I don't sense when they are fresh cooked. In fact, it doesn't have to be next day either. Anytime I refrigerate it, it takes on the flavor I don't like, whether I eat it cold afterwards or reheat it.

                                                                                1. re: sasha1

                                                                                  nuked leftover chicken is stinky -- esp, on the bone!

                                                                              2. re: sasha1

                                                                                I agree it has an off taste. What I don't understand is why the prepackaged cooked chicken I have used in a pinch doesn't have that taste? It's actually not bad, not like fresh, but not bad.

                                                                              3. French fries
                                                                                Fried fish
                                                                                no cold rice
                                                                                Tacos (like a fully built taco nuked, yecch)
                                                                                Tater Tots too!
                                                                                burnt up hot dogs(they're ok right off the grill but no reheats)

                                                                                I'm gonna keep thinking on this and get back.

                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                    oh wow, i buy extra for midnight snacks they are great for soaking up the extra alcohol after a night of few too many beverages!

                                                                                  2. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                    I take our leftover tator tots and break them up into little pieces and make a sort of hash brown dish with them. Very good with some bacon bits and shredded cheese mixed in.

                                                                                    I do agree about the leftover eggrolls, though.

                                                                                    1. re: danhole

                                                                                      ok, leftover Tater Tots sound like an urban myth to me...how can you resist polishing them off the first time around? ;)

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                        LOL! When we go out to eat and get them we share a batch and there are no leftovers, but when I make them at home I purposely make extra for leftovers. No urban myth here!

                                                                                      2. re: danhole

                                                                                        I have to laugh, a friend recently gave me some from his freezer because he was moving. I do like them as is ... I admit it. But I had 3 bags. So I thawed them mixed with green onions, garlic, some bread crumbs, egg, onion, red pepper and made patties that were great. Melted some cheese and a poached egg, and the one night I served them with fried fish. I love them.

                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                          When I fry flounder, I have to make at least 4 or 5 extra so my husband can have cold fried flounder sandwiches for lunch the next few days. As a matter of fact, that's what he's having today!

                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                            I always make a few extra pieces for the next day. Makes great fish tacos for lunch.

                                                                                        2. Scrambled eggs, Cheerios, buttered toast, coffee.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                            Scargod, Scar-woman, Mr. O and I are in total agreement.

                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                              sorry, Leftover coffee is the best for iced coffee, I was taught never to use today's coffee for iced.
                                                                                              BUT, I agree with you about the eggs, cereal and toast

                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                Yuck! Scrambled eggs leftovers are the worst! Definitely with you on that!

                                                                                              2. There are very, very few things I don't at least attempt to eat as leftovers, though often recycled in another form. The only one I can think of right now that I can't touch at all is leftover avocado salad.... the wilted lettuce, the brown avocado. Gnarly. Other salads usually don't hold up so well, either, but if it's only a little wilted, I'll try to eat it because I so hate to waste food. I'm eating the remains of my salad from lunch right now.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                                                                    If I know I'm making an anything-goes soup or stew the following day, I've been known to save dressed salad and toss it in the pot. But otherwise, nope.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      Makes me think of garbage soup, attributed to Phyllis Diller: yesterday's salad + chicken broth heated and puréed in the blender. Not bad actually.

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        "You cozy up to your butcher (I hope he looks like Cary Grant, he probably doesn't) and ask him for a soup bone. This will thrill his body. Nobody asks for a soup bone. How many people own a Great Dane?

                                                                                                        "You take this home, and this is the beginning of Garbage Soup for the week, this is:

                                                                                                        "Fill a huge pot half full with water - add salt, cracked pepper, salad lift, grated parmesan cheese, chili powder, a pinch of poultry seasoning (optional).

                                                                                                        "Drop in the bone. Forget the Great Dane. Let him find his own butcher.

                                                                                                        Fresh chopped onion, parsley, carrots, celery, potato and green pepper. Simmer endlessly. Add one large can of tomatoes cut up and two cans of kidney beans.

                                                                                                        "From then on - all leftovers go into the soup - with the exception of pickles and Jello. Make sure you chop leftovers fine and be sure to keep adding juice from all cooking or cans opened ... including salad leftovers with dressing! Remember, when frying any kind of meat, rinse skillet with water and throw it in Garbage Soup.

                                                                                                        "Remember, anything boiled is sterile,
                                                                                                        germless and the flavor is fantastic."


                                                                                                        1. re: Kholvaitar

                                                                                                          Sounds sort of like my general recipe, I swear. I'll have to keep my eye out for this book at the thrift shops.

                                                                                                  2. Leftover hamburger patties gross me out.

                                                                                                    1. most of mine have been mentioned, though i can't eat some of them anymore anyway because they typically contain gluten:
                                                                                                      - fried anything
                                                                                                      - pizza
                                                                                                      - baked potato (all varieties)
                                                                                                      - sandwiches
                                                                                                      - bacon
                                                                                                      - sushi
                                                                                                      - anything with chips in it (e.g. nachos)

                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                        Fries or nachos, pancakes, waffels. NO tortillas are gross, but if I make tacos I save the fillings and then remake. Otherwise, I can't think of anything much. Maybe sandwiches, I don't like soggy, but I have never brought home a sandwich, but that may be gross. Burgers, I also don't bring home burgers, who would. I would eat mine. Just me I guess. I rarely bring home leftovers so I can't say too much but I eat leftover that I cook all the time.

                                                                                                        I like all leftovers for the most part.

                                                                                                        1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                          ooh, i forgot pancakes and waffles! add those to my list :)

                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                            I always make extra of both, then freeze, then when I need a quick breakfast just toast in the toaster oven.

                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                              i've tried that, but they just end up too dry for my preferences. but that's just me!

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                pancakes and waffles never worked for me, but not opposed to them. Just don't eat them and don't care for them much left over.

                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                  I soak them with so much maple syrup, they couldn't be dry! Although I like things crispy too, so maybe it's that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                    I can handle the maple, doesn't sound too bad. Ever make a fried egg with a little maple in the butter in the pan. I never did but my friend does. Puts it with maple bacon on and English Muffin. Almost like the Mickey Dees sandwich. It honestly is good. I certainly never would of but why not. It is pretty good.

                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                            Hear, hear. Nothing is more gross than wilted, soggy tortilla chips in leftover nachos! Ick.

                                                                                                            1. re: Infomaniac

                                                                                                              never had any fried clams left over, but there is a restaurant in Old Saybrook, CT that makes great clam hash

                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                Is that a fried clam hash?

                                                                                                                Can you post the name of the restaurant....I've never had a clam hash before and will be passing by Old Saybrook soon on my way to NYC.

                                                                                                                I'd go out of my way for a good hash.

                                                                                                                1. re: Infomaniac

                                                                                                                  Pat's Kountry Kitchen
                                                                                                                  It's not a fried clam hash, but I have made clam hash with leftover fried clams, the breading sort of melts into the fats and potaoes and crisps up nicely. Unlike the picture attached, I don't put a fried egg on top, but serve the hash with scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                                  Pat's Kountry Kitchen
                                                                                                                  70 Mill Rock Rd E, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

                                                                                                            2. +predressed lettuce leafs. There is no recovery for wilted goo.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                I agree but just remembered reading about that icon of gastronomy Phyllis Diller being quoted somewhere in the distant past that she made "garbage soup" with leftover dressed salad and chicken broth, pureed and heated. Wouldn't be bad, I shouldn't think (although can't say I've tried it).

                                                                                                              2. Hard-shell tacos, burgers, guacamole.


                                                                                                                1. fried anything... eeuw!
                                                                                                                  the white rice you get with chinese take out - it gets really hard and dry overnight, even when I put it in a plastic container. I'd rather make fresh - I will eat home cooked rice leftover tho! ;-)
                                                                                                                  DH won't eat fish or steamed green beans.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                    Stir-fried with an egg, soy sauce, and green onions, left-over steamed rice makes great fried rice the next day. Try it sometime!

                                                                                                                  2. Anything with seafood or anchovies (such as puttanesca sauce)....I make a great seafood lasagna but cannot stomach it leftover. Dh loves it leftover.

                                                                                                                    1. I once brought home some uneaten fried onion rings, thought they'd be good the next day for a snack.
                                                                                                                      The bartender advised me not to do it, said they'd be lousy.
                                                                                                                      I left them in the backseat of the car that night, forgot they were there.
                                                                                                                      I sure remembered the next morning as I headed out to work. Won't do that again.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: pacheeseguy

                                                                                                                        Haha, I have a doggy bag complex too! I always have to bring home what I didn't finish. I have def left it in the car, pee-yew, windows open for that ride to work! I think its from my dad, he has a thing about food going to waste.

                                                                                                                      2. Roasted pork loin. No matter how I try to hide it in gravy, etc., it just has an off taste that I can't get past. Too bad, too, because in the winter it's one of my favorite Sunday meals, and it's hard to make a pork roast just for two.

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                          Have you eaten it cold in sandwiches, thinly sliced, on good bread with nice hot mustard and whatever else you like? My favorite meat for sandwiches.

                                                                                                                          1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                            Roast pork is probably my favorite for cold leftovers or in sandwiches or just reheated. I make it all the time.

                                                                                                                            1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                              But don't you think it tastes "off" the next day? I'm talking about just a plain old pork loin roast. I love it freshly cooked, but reheated, not so much.

                                                                                                                              buttertart, I never thought of trying it cold on a sandwich (duh). I'll try that and see.

                                                                                                                              1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                Usually when I make pork I either braise it in beer with roasted onions, I have an amazing soy and brown sugar marinade for loins or tenderloins and grilled which is very very sweet and tender. Great hot or cold. Or I BBQ. I rarely make a plain roast without fresh herbs and flavors.

                                                                                                                                Cold on a sandwich is wonderful with a little mustard or mustard aioli, lettuce tomato, just like chicken or beef. Even if you don't cook it with BBQ, just add a little to the grilled bread or bun, some cold pork, sliced onion and it is wonderful. Also use it in pasta just like chicken, stir fried rice or even a stir fry. Even a pot pie, just like chicken or turkey.

                                                                                                                                Can I ask how you cook your pork. There are many easy ways to give it tons of flavor without much work. My last one I roasted with apple juice, orange juice, and onions, fennel and fresh thyme.

                                                                                                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                  My favorite for pork loin is a simple roast with rosemary, thyme, garlic, black pepper, seared on the stovetop then roasted in the oven to 140, then I make gravy in the pan after it comes out of the oven. It's a simple classic preparation. I've done others, but this is my favorite and DH's most frequently requested meal in the colder months.

                                                                                                                                  For tenderloins, I am always trying something different, lots of different flavorings, and I love to grill them. My favorite is a honey-ginger-oyster sauce marinade / sauce, but I'll try lots of different ones. There's generally no leftovers because they are pretty small to begin with.

                                                                                                                                  I mean, I can get a <1 lb. loin, but it's pretty puny and doesn't cook up as nicely as say a 1.5 lb. or 2 lb. I used to always make a 1.5 or 2 lb. and send all leftovers to my grandfather, but he's recently passed, and I now find myself with leftovers, hence my newfound dislike of leftover pork loin roast.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                    Over the weekend I'll try to post (on home cooking) 3 things I do with leftover pork that we really like (and do more to disguise the taste than eating it cold does).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      I just pressure cook it and then add some beer and BBQ sauce, cook it down a little and voila, instant pulled pork for sandwiches. Or julienne for some kind of stir fry.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                      My fave marinade for a tenderloin is: soy; brown sugar, cumin, paprika, garlic, mustard, cilantro.
                                                                                                                                      For pork roasts I love to cook with the fresh herbs, rosemary and thyme, garlic, sliced onions and beer. Makes a great flavor.

                                                                                                                                      To me they both make great leftovers, hot or cold.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                    I think it tastes best cold, actually. One of the nicest lunches of my life was at the Bay Wolf restaurant in Oakland, CA ages ago - very thinly sliced roast loin of pork with a sharply-dressed mixed l;ettuces salad (this before the day of the ubiquitous "mesclun" salad) and slices of perfectly-ripe Haas avocado. With a baguette and a white Burgundy, divine.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: lisavf

                                                                                                                                      Lisa - cold pork loin is key to a good cuban sandy. Try one of those babies!

                                                                                                                                      Sometimes I will sneak off some meat from the loin before I cook it and the following day pound it out, bread it up and fry it for sandwiches. My DH loves them!

                                                                                                                                2. I actually save fried rice when I have it so that I can eat some cold for leftovers the next day!

                                                                                                                                  That said, besides pre-dressed greens and french fries, I don't think I can eat leftover noodles in soup the next day. The noodles get so soggy and mushy, after all the liquid gets absorbed...ick! Chowmein, lo-mein or other fried noodles, maybe.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                                                                                    I would like to add another one: toasted garlic bread. It never seems to soften up properly the next day.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                                                                                      My mom swears by dampening a paper towel, wrapping the bread and then putting that in foil. It softens them right up. She then sometimes unfoils them and recrisps. NOTHING gets tossed in Casamama!

                                                                                                                                  2. I’ve been wracking my brain, and I can’t think of a thing I wouldn’t eat leftover.

                                                                                                                                    Cold leftover french fries and pizza are terrific, and I like to make extra pancakes to munch on at work. Sure none of those things are as good as fresh, but they have their own character that lends itself to a satisfying nibble. Leftover fried rice, like thew said above, is wonderful after a nuking.

                                                                                                                                    AH! I just thought of one...I will not eat leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                    1. I think there must be something wrong with me, I can only think of one thing I might not eat as a leftover, dressed salads with croutons that go all squishy the next day.

                                                                                                                                      I will eat leftover french fries, but it's not something i'd ever take home from a restaurant, ever. Other items can be recrisped in the oven. Or maybe things that would require a crowbar to pull apart if reheated, like nachos.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                        Ok add salad with croutons for me too. YUCK!

                                                                                                                                      2. Certain Indian food, especially saag. What a mess the next morning

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Grove

                                                                                                                                          What's wrong with leftover saag? I just had some for lunch.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                            first, who has *leftover* saag? second, even if such a thing were to exist, it would be delicious reheated in a little pot on the stove.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Bob Grove

                                                                                                                                            What? I dream of leftover saag. I have tried making giant batches so some will be left over, but little mice nibble away at it in the fridge and by morning (I get up early to snag left over indian) the leftover dish is sitting in the sink or is in the fridge with ONE bite left in it.

                                                                                                                                          3. I can't really think of anything that won't reheat except greasy fried food. There isn't any practical way to reheat deep-fried stuff without making a big mess or making it soggy and limp. Just about everything else is either fine reheated in the microwave or good cold.

                                                                                                                                            Oh, and most salads just don't hold up well in the fridge either... they go limp and soggy and disgusting! Lettuce is just not made to be recycled...

                                                                                                                                            1. leftover chicken heated in a microwave. it steeeeenks!

                                                                                                                                              leftover salad is very, very sad.....

                                                                                                                                              1. I disagree that fried food can't be reheated well. It just doesn't reheat in the microwave. Reheat it in a hot oven and it gets nice and crisp again.

                                                                                                                                                I won't eat leftover dressed salad, but then I won't eat dressed salad unless it's absolutely fresh. I hate Caesar salad when it even sits for 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                1. to my taste, the best way to reheat french fries is in a hot cast iron skillet on the stove, with a wee bit of oil. yum! extra crispy!

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    Oooh, that sounds yummy. I think I'll try that next time instead of throwing them away.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      That's my favorite way to heat up _any_ leftovers, especially the aforementioned spaghetti.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. That's how I heat up almost all my leftovers and it makes them delicious. Fresh rice noodles are abysmally disgusting after being cooked and refrigerated - talk about unpleasant texture - but a quick stir fry with oil and water makes the slurpy and delicious once more.

                                                                                                                                                    2. sushi that has raw fish in it...i know some people who do, but it is nasty to me.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Leftover lamb. Ugh.
                                                                                                                                                        I love lamb - especially lamb chops on the grill. But I can't eat them leftover the next day - they take on a gamy taste that isn't there to begin with. Something about the fat that congeals then even when re-heated, just doesn't taste the same.
                                                                                                                                                        My husband loves me for this foible. He gets all the leftover lamb.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Fish. Baked potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                          The best boiled potatoes for leftover are salt potatoes (of central NY and Iberian fame): they reheat much better than more typical boiled potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                          Grains and pastes have to be reheated carefully (no high-power m-wave for them, please!) because they get denatured in refrigeration. Long thin pastas are a particular problem and not worth the effort unless simply added to soup or eggs or something like that. Too flabby otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                          Lean proteins (fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, lean red meat) should not be recooked but warmed (the best way is to put them in an airfree and airtight high-gauge plastic bag in a bowl and run hot tap water over it for a while).

                                                                                                                                                          The microwave is often the culprit in mediocre leftovers. Too many people lack the patience to use it on 20% or 30% power the way it should more typically be used.

                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                            I take leftover fish and make a tuna salad equivalent.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                              leftover salmon is great as a "salad".

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                as is fresh lake trout (mackinaw) - especially from really cold water like Lake Tahoe.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                              with leftover baked potato, i make a "stuffed potato" by removing the potato "inside", blending with cheeses, fresh chives, maybe some sour cream, then baking to warm through and melt cheese. (or add sliced green onion, and serve as "potato skins" topped with sour cream and pico de gallo).

                                                                                                                                                              that...or just slice the tater and pan fry with some sliced onion in a little bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                >>just slice the tater and pan fry with some sliced onion in a little bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                                a beautiful (southern) dish. great stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                plain ol' potato salad is also great, and aloo gobi...

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                Karl, not to gross you out too much, but I love taking leftover baked potatoes with me when I hike or climb. A potato and a little salt packet -- and maybe a hardboiled egg or hunk of cheese -- makes for great, compact and highly portable fuel. (I agree that it probably tastes a lot better at the summit of a mountain than at the foot, though. :)

                                                                                                                                                              3. Except for raw-seafood sushi, I haven't seen anything here yet that I'd eat normally that I wouldn't eat left over.

                                                                                                                                                                1. On principle, I don't throw out food. I'll repurpose leftovers into new dishes, or eat them as is, even if they don't taste good, as long as nothing is seriously spoiled (notice the qualifier - I'll even eat something that's just starting to turn evil). On rare occasions, the dogs may get some leftovers if I'm really tired of them. I think the last thing I tossed, a couple of years ago, was a supermarket cake (Market Basket) that looked good but was dry and achingly sweet, not suitable for consumption by man or beast.

                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                    i'm with you on not wasting food. i am a depression-child by proxy.

                                                                                                                                                                    but, when it is not good, it goes out to the backyard "manimals." (really just "animals" but...with a funny nickname ;-). crows or coons or possums will enjoy the leftovers, then. the sparrows, robins, doves and cardinals like the stale bread.

                                                                                                                                                                    last week, i had some crows fighting over a corn cob! fun!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal, don't throw those corn cobs out to the crows before simmering them with some chopped onions, celery, and a bouquet garni to make a sort of corn stock (for corn chowder). I did that a few weeks ago, and the corn stock combined with homemade chicken stock made for a "cornier" chicken corn chowder. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal, this is for you: http://skelanimals.com/meet-us (they don't eat leftovers, though.)

                                                                                                                                                                      grey, very good principle to live by! i'm all in favor. i kind of enjoy the creativity involved in repurposing leftovers, actually. we've ended up with some pretty interesting dishes!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                        skelanimals don't eat leftovers...they *are* leftovers, right?
                                                                                                                                                                        so then, before the crows hauled it off, i believe i've had a skelchicken in my yard. {;^D.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                          i have a couple skelanimals tshirts.... and a keychain! lol

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                            me, too. =P elle the elephant and chungkee the panda. i guess i should've mentioned them on the food-themed clothing thread, huh?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                              there's a food-themed **clothing** thread? and i get "talked to" and "reined in" for not talking about "chow-ish" things???!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh yeah. More than once. Naughty naughty.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  No surprise that I get the "rein" treatment also :)

                                                                                                                                                                        2. What a wonderful thread. Every time somebody says, oh, puke, I can't stand that, somebody else says oh, yum, that's my favorite leftover. One man's poison, etc. . One hint: if you have a lot of food left over in a Chinese restaurant you probably bring it home, but if there's just a little you think it's not worth bringing home. Well, bring it home. You can add the little bit to a can of chicken broth and make wonderful Chinese soup. This works with anything in the restaurant except possibly the fortune cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                            great tip, Q. folks in China and Taiwan and I'm sure lots of other parts of the world have a long history of boiling leftovers into soup, especially in the pots they were cooked in.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Some foods, I find, are rather good reheated. Many Indian/Sri Lankan dishes, po troast, many tomato based sauces for pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                            On the other hand, most Chinese food must be frersh and hot. Once refrigerated and nuked, it's just not the same. There is nothing droopier than a reheated bean sprout.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ekammin

                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. I really hate nuked leftover Chinese food. To me, Chinese take out is only good if you are craving it, and only good for about the first fifteen minutes you scarf it. After that, it's garbage.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not even sure I would enjoy this leftover Chinese soup thing mentioned above.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. bottom line: don't nuke...just bake or skillet!

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed! I don't have a microwave nor do I plan on getting one any time soon - I just have no use for one. Microwaves ruin most leftovers. The best way to reheat things that need reheating is in a good cast iron skillet or in the oven! More time consuming, but well worth it!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Just eat em ... all of em.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I have learned since being with my hubby to use my leftovers. But I agree with the french fries. They are past help. I do remember chopping them up and putting them in a breakfast burrito for him though. He liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't eat left over sushi, if there ever was any. And egg rolls if they go in the fridge, and you try zap them, they are a limp greasy mess.

                                                                                                                                                                                  that's about it, most of our leftovers are eaten by someone in the house. Boys.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                    but....but...chef c!! don't diss the fries. heat 'em up in a hot skillet with a little oil. good stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't typically take home leftover fries, but if leftover from home (something I don't make), this put me in mind of something Mom used to make growing up with leftover potatoes or frozen fries and stuff of that ilk. She'd fry up onions in likely far too much butter, and toss the fries in, plus a bit of s&p. It was a bit of a hash.

                                                                                                                                                                                      oh but it was good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                        We put them on a baking sheet in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or so and they come out nice and crispy.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh I know, I've since learned to do that. They do go in burritos and they are also good in an egg and veggie scramble. You are correcto-mundo.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Short list: Leftover French Fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think there's any other leftover I can't or won't repurpose.

                                                                                                                                                                                        On principle, cold pizza's a non-starter: I'm a big fan of reheated pizza, even for breakfast. And as I live solo, if it's brought in, there's always leftover pizza. YUM. (If I'm making a Boboli pizza, there's Never a leftover...I buy the single serving crusts.)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting I love leftover fried rice.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I will not eat leftover tuna salad, even if I have made it and stored it, it just tastes off to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mmalmad

                                                                                                                                                                                            leftover tuna salad is non-existent in my household. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just about everything on this list so far is fair game for a leftovers meal in my kitchen, the only exceptions being things I don't eat anyway, like scrambled eggs and liver. I guess I'm another Great Depression survivor-by proxy when it comes to abhorring waste of food.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Leftover pizza is always a meal to look forward to as far as I am concerned (but it has to be reheated in the oven, never eaten cold). And the microwave oven was a miracle invention as far as leftover rice (fried or steamed/boiled) goes. I can eat rice from a single batch for several days. Just mix in a little water before microwaving.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The one dish I draw the line at is mac and cheese. Once that stuff gets cold and congeals, it it cannot be rescued.
                                                                                                                                                                                          (OK, to be fair, I should state for the record that I never order mac & cheese in restaurants, and I usually pass on a serving of it when eating as a guest in someone else's house. Never cook it myself.)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Cold french fries! I was visiting my hometown years ago and staying at my parent's house where my widowed dad lived. I came home from a night out and had fries from the diner. I got munchy and ate a few....and started to choke! By the time I woke dad up, I managed to cough them out myself, but it scared me off of cold fries for good!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm happy with microwaved fried rice and cold pizza. The one leftover that stays in my fridge till it gets thrown out is most kinds of fish. Even if it's not dangerous or inedible (e.g. fresh cooked fish is fine healthwise the next day), it's just unappetizing. I think it's partly because there's no way to reheat without seriously overcooking, but the same is even true for something like a cold shrimp salad. Oddly, leftover spaghetti w/ clam sauce is probably my ultimate comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The other category that others have mentioned is fried food. I'll nuke then toaster oven fries, but only in desperation. Onion rings are irredeemable.On the other hand, my Mississippi mother-in-law has served me some great cold fried chicken.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't stand pre-dressed salads, but my mother loves them; it's just a different animal for her. Don't like leftover eggs, toast, pancakes, but never have them as I generally make them on demand - no kids and not a big breakfast eater.

                                                                                                                                                                                              This is my first time to this site - thanks for an interesting discussion!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Anything with broccoli or any other similar brassica.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Sushi (or anything with sushi rice).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charentais

                                                                                                                                                                                                    beans? that means my idea that beans are definitely better the next day is off-base?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also means that some people only cook small amounts of beans, defeating one of the best cook for several meals foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Totally agree with you on that, alkapal. Beans are so better the next day (or even the day after that). The umami and flavors of the spices really come out better the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: charentais

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ohhh, geez I make huge pots of beans and i'll eat them all week long. Actually the whole family does. It's a great late night snack. The boys will come in, and it's 2am and I'll hear the microwave whirring away. Then out comes the hot sauce, the sour cream, and all the rest. hmmm wonder what they've been up to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then if there's any leftovers I freeze those and eat those for lunch. I LOVE beans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Reading this thread has awakened me to just how little deep-fried food I eat today compared to when I was younger. These days I only eat fries from a restaurant (fast-food restaurant, usually) and fried chicken or pork from a restaurant or relatives, so there's never an issue of leftovers with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. wow, no one has said popcorn? I can't think of anything worse left over. Like eating styrofoam peanuts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rds246

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you kidding? I always pop more so I can have it the next day at work. I dump it into an old bread bag and it stays fresh enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree though that once it hits the stale, styrofoam stage, it's food for the birdies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                amen, cuccu, another bread bag re-user!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: rds246

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh good one. I have a colleague who has invented a popcorn diet for himself. He pops a bag of fat free stuff in the a.m. and eats it veeerrrrry slowly throughout the day... any leftovers are eaten as breakfast the next a.m.! I'm a bit worried he's going to die of scurvy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used to live off popcorn when I was anorexic and yes you end up vitamin/protein/iron deficient.(plus numerous other things). Hopefully this person eats more than that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mine was the popcorn -diet coke diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rds246

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My father tried to con me into believing he would eat leftover popcorn with milk and sugar when he was a kid. I knew it was a con, because once you get that stuff wet, forget it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not a con at all. I've heard other reports of this, particularly from the Depression era. And more recently, Alton Brown repopularized the practice by doing it on Good Eats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, Dad was born a few weeks after the 1929 Crash, so maybe it's true. I'll have to try it out myself and see if the soggy, shriveled popcorn is any good. What a cheap alternative to store bought cereal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rds246

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I admit to having a fondness for cold popcorn. Love it hot, but also love it chilled, in the fridge. Must be some part of me having a throw back to childhood when we used to get baggies of popcorn while trick or treating that i'm sure had been made days prior. Or just that I love popcorn. Except that fat free styrofoam packing material-esque stuffl .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I agree with leftover french fries- they're terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caesar salad the next day is usually pretty gross- soggy croutons and garlicky, limp lettuce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Day old calamari fritti is bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I love pasta leftovers: frittata di pasta is a wonderful thing. I love leftover risotto: risotto cakes fried in butter are wonderful things. But somehow when starch meets the sea and there are leftovers, I find them repulsive. Linguine alla clams with tons of homegrown parsley, chili flakes, toasted garlic and wine is a regular thing for me, and I always try to make exactly enough, but when I overdo it, I find the leftovers pretty heinous. There's only a ten-minute window on that kind of pasta, it seems to me. Same goes for riso frutti di mare...ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i'll pick out the frutti di mare bits and make a cold seafood salad, maybe add a bit of fresh diced tomato and lemon juice, maybe aioli and hearts of palm, artichoke or capers -- served on a fresh mesclun salad or on good toast. i can never waste seafood; i love it too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Risotto cakes are okay - but eating cold risotto or trying to reheat is the unpardonable sin to any Italian catholic. Do this and you will skip purgatory and go straight to Hades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't eat cold risotto-yech, a cold, gluey gelatinous mess. But, I use my leftover risotto o make deep fried risotto balls (much like risotto cakes I would imagine), and those are heaven!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Arancini- the wonderful offspring of leftover risotto!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. French Fries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dressed salads
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cream based sauces (like chardonay cream sauce, etc)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I got to say, for those that live in LA, the budino from Mozza dos not hold up at all in the fridge-it just tastes like salty pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Rice dishes can be revamped by adding a bit of liquid and then re-heating.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't like old cold cereal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              French fries if just microwaved ... they are okay if you stick them in the oven or in a pan on the stove to re crisp though.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Old scrambled eggs get kind of gross if reheated, cause then they become dry and I like moist and tender fresh eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Funny reading this thread, I realized that a lot of bad left overs are things I never buy in the first place, so no disgusting leftovers. Left overs from home cooking are always eaten.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Absolutely...and if not in it's original incarnation, then twisted into something new, or thrown in a pot for soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly Cu! On Sunday, I was trying to stretch some oxtail soup and added some left over (home made) baked beans and more beef broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Pretty much everything, unfortunately. I have some - er - "issues" with leftovers. My husband or son eat them, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My husband will try to reheat just about everything, including Nachos, onion rings, McDonald's, Burger King, Arby's - name it, he'll attempt it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My son is a little more picky, but just about anything other than rice (he doesn't eat rice to begin with) he'll try as leftovers. If he doesn't like them, the dog gets dinner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Missy2U

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Care to elaborate on your "issues"? We fix MANY things in doubles so we can HAVE them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Pho. The rice noodles just don't reheat well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dressed salads don't fare well over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Stuffed mushrooms. Seafood. Sushi. Dressed green salad or lettuce in toasted sandwiches. Deep-fried anything. Gee, I'm pickier than I thought!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Beans, naan, rice, most Chinese food, sushi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: howaboutthat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in my book, beans are better as leftovers -- esp. black-eyed peas & black beans....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My daddy told me that if, god forbid, I died before him, he wasn't going to bury me; he was going to have me stuffed with black-eyed peas. Still sounds like a great idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just about anything reheated properly is fine, deep fried foods like french fries and chicken reheat really nicely in the oven (10 minutes on a baking sheet). Things that don't do so well are cold stuff (like dressed salad and sushi). Not much you can do with wilted soggy salad (I usually just add dressing to what I'm eating), but sushi can be recycled as cooked fish (although I rarely have leftover sushi). Generally, I'll eat anything as a leftover that I would have eaten as a freshly made item.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Fried restaurant foods...Used to think that there was something about fried restaurant foods that made them unedible the next day (with the exception of crispy fried chicken)...after working in one, I found out it was the nasty grease used to cook it in, which by the way is used to cook everything fried on the menu & reused. Think chicken, fish, fries, and where I worked, donuts & brownie bites all being cooked in the same grease, yuck!!....Oh, and I don't eat leftover cooked eggs, I don't care if it's in a quiche or in fried rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Salad (lettuce that has been dressed)...that's pretty much it. I won't eat a piece of toast or a bagel that's toasted as breakfast food- but it can be put in the cuisnart and ground up for breadcrumbs, fries, onion rings, (and other fried foods) and cereal that has gone soggy. YUCK!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Chicken, Turkey, take out food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Reheated Chnese food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A chicken sandwich with bits of bone, gristle and skin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On the other hand cha siu. I grind it up in a food processor, and use it in Ma-po tofu.