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Foods you LOVE as leftovers?

Personally, I LOVE leftovers. But there are some things that I wake up in the middle of night to eat. I'll actually stand in front of the fridge eating it because I know that as soon as I put it away, I'm gonna want more...

Fried Chicken
Som Tum
Linguine with tomato sauce
Cold Pizza
Fried Mandoo

So what are your favorites? Or has this subject already been covered?

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  1. Fried Chicken
    all Chinese food
    Egg salad (lol)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Evilbanana11

      yummm cold, leftover pizza is the best!

      1. re: kimmieokc

        Damnit, you stole my response. Chocolate fudge cake, in my case.

      2. All Indian food (though I'll nuke it first).

        1. this has definitely been covered before, but i'll play again :)

          chinese food... when i could eat, cold lo mein, and to a lesser extent, kung pao chicken
          roasted or steamed salted veggies, esp cauliflower or green beans
          thanksgiving stuff like mashed potatoes and stuffing and sweet potatoes

          1. Cheap frozen pizza that was cooked at least a day before. Microwaved and dipped in hot sauce and ketchup.

            1. Fried chicken, ultra rare steak, chicken chunks and spuds from a local joint, tamales, pork roast.

              I daresay the pork roast is much improved by a long nap in the fridge.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Popkin

                Oh.... rare steak cold? LOVE. And pork roast gets a big thumbs up too. I think most roasted meat is better cold leftover than rubbery-from-attempted-microwaving.

                1. re: LauraGrace

                  Roast pork with lots of salt is irresistible, and it makes a super sandwich.

              2. Pot stickers- the skins get harder and chewier in a good way
                Salad- the dressing saturates the greens and makes them limp, allowing for denser, juicier mouthfuls of food
                Turkey- becomes gamier and more flavorful

                1. I think most pasta dishes get better the second day. I also love fried or roasted chicken the next day, even cold, maybe especially cold. Roasted red meat is better the first day though, but not bad.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scuzzo

                    I should have mentioned spaghetti pie! It's awesome! Take leftover cold spaghetti, mixed with some sauce, ideally, the night before so it soaks in good. Add just enough beaten egg to coat, add some parmesan cheese. Pack tight into a hot, well oiled heavy pan and cook on med. high until a nice crust forms on the bottom. Use a big plate to flip the pie over and brown the other side. Slice into wedges. Great hot or cold! I love slice sausage added in. This is very versatile and can work with lots of leftover pasta dishes.

                  2. Lasagna
                    fried chicken
                    steak sliced thin
                    mac and cheese
                    turkey/mashed taters/stuffing/cranberry sauce rye or Italian

                    1. I like leftovers best as material for other meals:
                      Roast pork - good cold in sandwiches, heated for tacos, sauced with onion, turmeric, paprika and hot mango pickle for mango pickle pork, in sauerkraut with paprika, onion and caraway for Szekely gulyas (my bastardizations of these recipes, at least)
                      Roast rare lamb - great in a salad with green onion, garlic, chili pepper, mint, cilantro, dark soy, sesame oil over watercress
                      Roast rare beef - as for lamb or Thai-ish with garlic, lime juice and rind, fish sauce, cilantro and mint, really good with some slices of avocado added
                      Roast chicken or turkey - the possibilities are endless, my favorite: cook onions with a whiff of turmeric, add curry powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, the meat, a can of coconut milk - simmer and add fish sauce to taste at the end - serve over linguine or similar with raw red onion, green onion, mint, cilantro, hot peeper, cucumber slices, fried sliced garlic (another bastardization, thsi time from a Burmese recipe in Linda Burum's Asian Pasta, an excellent book).

                      1. Stuff that gets better the next day, like homemade chili, pot roast or stew, definitely. Eggplant parmesan or lasagna, too.

                        1. roasted brussel sprouts, cold from the fridge!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LPhila

                            I second the roasted brussel sprouts and also the roasted chicken. Yum! Hearty soup such as lentil or split pea also gets better.

                            1. re: LPhila

                              Wow, one of my favs for sure. Everyone thinks I'm nuts but they're great.

                            2. I can eat either roast chicken or turkey, stuffing, and gravy (it's a plus if there're leftover mashed potatoes) for three meals in a row if there's enough left over.

                              Fried chicken is delightful, right from the fridge.

                              Anything in red sauce is always better the next day!

                              Leftover take-out Chinese often lends itself to making "egg foo young." Just add eggs and make an omelette. It's a plus if I have the energy to actually separate some of the sauce from the meat/veggies and put it in a saucepan with a little stock and some corn starch -- then I have sauce for the "egg foo young."

                              When I make a roast, whether it's a fresh ham, roast beef, veal, or lamb, I always make a much bigger roast than necessary, so there's plenty left over to make sliced cold roast meat sandwiches with mustard on good bread.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: shaogo

                                """""I can eat either roast chicken or turkey, stuffing, and gravy (it's a plus if there're leftover mashed potatoes) for three meals in a row if there's enough left over."""""
                                me, too -- and on a sandwich (wonder bread or pepperidge farm country white) with cranberry, mayo.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Love that sandwich but toasted sourdough for me.

                              2. Fried catfish, cold

                                That's the only unusual one, all of the others are the expected - soups, chili, lasagna, etc.

                                1. If I had fried chicken, I would love it. Unfortunately we had to give that dish up.

                                  I do like having leftover mashed potatoes or cooked rice around. I make little patties of the potatoes to fry in a small amount of oil. And the rice can be part of next day's lunch or to make a somewhat slimmer version of fried rice. And I like having leftover cold chicken around too for chicken sandwiches.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    What's wrong with fried chicken?

                                  2. Fried Chicken, Chili, Home baked Pot Pie, Roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Slow cooked Pinto or Navy Beans cooked with some kind of smoked pork (Neck Bones, Ham Hock, etc). Collard, Kale and or Mustard Greens, also cooked with smoked pork. There's something about greens & beans with pork that is the best left to sit a day or two in the frig...

                                    1. Soup
                                      Liver and onions
                                      barbecue ribs

                                      1. Baked potatoes to use as an ingredient for later - slice them up and fry them with onions and peppers. mmm! My mom used to do this, but she fried 'em in bacon grease and I use olive oil. :)

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: occula

                                          My mom did that too occula with potatoes, so now I do too, only difference in the way our family does it is we toss in a bit of corn too. Frozen is great but leftover fresh corn from the cob is outstanding!

                                          1. re: givemecarbs

                                            We used leftover cold boiled potatoes fried with peppers and onions the next morning. We called them "home fries".

                                          2. re: occula

                                            Slice baked potatoes fried in bacon grease in a cast iron pan equals heaven! Haven't done it in a long time, but it was a favorite. I added some red pepper flakes too. Not too much. The heavy pan gave a thick brown crust on the slices.

                                          3. Leftover rice made into fried rice, leftover risotto made into arancini. Cold pizza. Fried chicken. I also think potato salad tastes better the day after it's made.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: liamsaunt

                                              some arancini di riso sounds great right now with my leftover risotto - any recipe recommendations?

                                            2. Meatloaf. Sliced on buttered white bread with ketchup

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: ChrisOC

                                                No, no, no. Wheat bread with mayo.

                                                    1. re: Sooeygun

                                                      good Lord not with mustard!..ugh and surely not wheat bread!!!

                                                      I like plain on buttered white bread.mmmm

                                              2. roasted veggies and ratatouille are so much better the next day.

                                                1. Chili or Spaghetti often tastes better the second day. Strangely, mac&cheese seems better fresh.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: DonShirer

                                                    I second (third?) the turkey/stuffing sandwich. Has to be my most favorite leftover ever...I can eat vast quantities of all of it and enjoy it immensely. Good that it's only once a year!!

                                                  2. All of it. I love leftovers, period.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                      When I was a kid, leftover night was my favourite dinner. There was never enough on one particular thing for everyone to have, so you got pick and choose what you ate. And didn't have to eat the stuff you didn't like.

                                                      Now, I eat leftovers almost every weekday for lunch. Even if a leftover dish isn't as good as when first made, it's way better than most of what I can buy near my office. And cheaper too.

                                                      1. re: Sooeygun

                                                        When I was growing up Monday was left over night. For me any day can be left over night. Just depends on what's in the fridge. I'm also good ar reinventing leftovers into a new dish.

                                                    2. Meat loaf
                                                      Stews, soups, chili
                                                      Pot roast

                                                      1. Grandma's Lasagna
                                                        Thanksgiving dinner (stuffing to be more precise!)
                                                        Moms Lentils and macaroni

                                                        1. Seems like a consensus on Chinese Food! For me, there's also:

                                                          Leftover turkey and cranberry sauce in the form of a sandwich

                                                          1. You can never have enough leftovers when you host a banquet hall event - I like all the buffet basics better the next day(s)...
                                                            Baked rigatoni
                                                            Potatoes Au Gratin
                                                            Fried Chicken
                                                            Italian Sausage and Peppers
                                                            Sheet Cake

                                                            And then of course I enjoy a midnight thanksgiving replay, especially with stuffing

                                                            Its interesting that on many occasions where people traditionally serve way too much food, the types of food served make the best leftovers

                                                            1. Noodle kugel and macaroni & cheese. Every reheat means a new crust.

                                                              1. Favorite leftovers that wear out my arm opening the refrigerator door are... #1 is Yorkshire pudding. Then carrot cake. For either of these I would do well removing the refrigerator door. Quiche, one tiny slice at a time so no one will notice it's disappearing. HA! Just about any kind of stew. They're delicious cold! Leftover enchiladas, especially chicken with green sauce, and the whole time I'm eating one I'm telling myself I should take the time to warm it in a frying pan... <POOF> then it's gone. And I love left over rare roast beef sliced really really thin, then layered on well buttered (the real thing, NO margarine!) gummy white bread with lots of crunchy kosher salt and freshly ground tellecherry black pepper. I'm gonna stop now. I could go on and on, but I'm making myself hungry, and I just finished a huge serving of egg fu yong I made for lunch! Maybe it's true. I am hungry fifteen minutes after eating it. < sigh >

                                                                  1. re: annapurna7

                                                                    At least two of you have now named soup as a favorite leftover. For me, soup is a "plan over." When I make soup, I plan on having a whole lot left, then I put it in individual serving microwave safe cups, lay a film of Saran wrap over the top of the soup, then put the "sip lid" on and stick them in the freezer. The layer of Saran wrap helps prevent ice and frost build up on top of the soup. My fave plan-over soup is mushroom!

                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                      Caroline - I was about to mention soup, but was thinking "that's not exactly a leftover, it's just, there's more of it!" "Plan over" is exactly the term I needed. I think the flavors continue to blend and mature for the second day. mmm. I usually make a kind of 'random leftovers saved in the freezer supplemented with fresh veggies' soup; I have a couple of containers of random beans and 'roast beef juice' in the freezer right now, calling my name! (edit: so I guess the soup itself is a leftover even on the first day!) :)

                                                                  2. Roast beef. I've always preferred French Dip to the original roast! Give me the leftovers anytime.