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"Out of one, many!" Meals that inspire other meals and/or other dishes

What would you call it? :) E pluribus unum means "One out of many." My idea is "Out of one, many!" Start with one meal that cascades to several other dishes you make from the same ingredients. Here's an example:

At the beginning of the week, I made New England Boiled dinner--boiled corned beef (this time in Guinness and water!), added potatoes, turnip, carrots, onions at the end. That was the first meal.

From the N.E. boiled dinner, I reserved the very tasty stock and made reuben soup with the leftover corned beef.

From the reuben soup, I had a leftover cup of Guinness that I didn't feel like drinking, so I made an Irish car bomb cake.

I top my reuben soup with rye toast, sprinkled with cheese, so I had a loaf of rye on hand and made an egg salad (with Duke's mayo that I learned about on CH, I might add!) sandwich for lunch yesterday.

What other "Out of one, many!" dishes have you made that inspired a week's worth of food...or at least other dishes than what you started with?

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  1. no ideas to share, just wanted to mention that the soup sounds soooo good. i've been drooling at the thought since you posted on "what's for dinner?"

    1. Well I certainly can't come close to your "Out of one many" for a week's worth of meals, KK, but I have made fritattas from several containers of cooked vegetables, leftover pasta has been baked with additional ingredients and cheese, pulled pork with juices from one meal becomes taco filling with added ingredients as well, and then there's the famous fried rice. The only dish I can remember rolling through the week is a recipe for pinto beans which makes so much that it keeps on ticking all week long.

      Well done you, though!

      10 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Do you make spaghetti pie? It's been so long since I've had it, I don't even remember what it tastes like, only that I liked it and it didn't include red sauce.

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Never made spaghetti pie per se, but I have used left over macaroni to either augment a soup or as a base for a summer salad.

          1. re: Gio

            I recently tossed some leftover rice and some long-in-the-tooth spinach in soup.

            1. re: c oliver

              Well see... you'll get the hang of this sooner or later. OTOH, "Long-in-the-tooth spinach" doesn't quite make me smile. J/S

              1. re: Gio

                Off the top of my head, I can't remember the last thing I threw out, foodwise. Seems like almost everything can be repurposed. I love omelettes for that also. Lunch today was some leftover rice and black beans with a little dab of leftover meatloaf and some Cholula on it. Batching it for a night so much easier to make a teensy meal. (Got 6" snow!)

                1. re: Gio

                  Well, it it's not slimy, it's good for soup, in my book.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Yeah, no slime, just too old for sauteeing or salad.

            2. re: kattyeyes

              I have made spaghetti pie, and it is great. Mine did involve a sort of a red sauce...also hamburger, cottage cheese, parmesean, eggs and I think mozzarella, as well as spaghetti. Willl look up the recipe if you're still interested.

            3. re: Gio

              I love making frittatas with leftover pasta - made one last weekend with spaghetti with a pesto sauce (pesto pulled out of the freezer, with parmesan then added).

            4. Slow-roasted whole pork shoulder into Sunday dinner as it was, into "carnitas" for pork tacos, into szekely gulyas, into Burmese mango pickle pork (my same old suspects), over the space of 10 days. Works for us - there were 6 meals plus 2 lunches for the two of us out of the 9 lb pc of meat at 99 cents the pound. And a little bit here and there for the fabulous Liam, our 12 lb 9-month-old Maine Coon (including bites stolen from my plate the first night)!

              1. I guess the classic in that vein (and timely as well) would have to be the Thanksgiving turkey, which later morphs into turkey pot pie, hot turkey sandwiches, etc.

                I made some braised lamb shanks a couple of weeks ago with white beans on the side. We ended up with a lot of leftover beans and a few shanks, so the meat came off the bones and ended up mixed with the beans and some root veggies to make a lovely stew. My son liked it even better than the original dish (not unusual with this sort of leftovers).

                3 Replies
                1. re: BobB

                  Yup, good call on the upcoming opportunity to make many turkey-based meals. Here's a fun idea--I had it (not as leftovers) at a local restaurant: a Thanksgiving riff on a quesadilla, replete with turkey, stuffing and a cranberry-orange sauce on the side. Not just creative, but tasty!

                  Your stew does sound lovely!

                  1. re: BobB

                    By now everyone is all turkeyed out, as I thought I was...then a different riff on a turkey sandwich. My partner made a turkey salad club. I took that idea in a slightly different direction and just crumbled bacon into my turkey salad (with celery, Duke's mayo, S&P and Penzey's Barbecue of the Americas seasoning), then warmed some ciabatta, slathered on my mom's cranberry-orange relish and YUM! I'm having this for lunch tomorrow, too. Though once this is over, I am officially all set with turkey for the rest of the year, I think! :)

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      sounds amazing, and I still have 4 turkeys in my freexer, will probably start cooking one a month after New Year's. Love the bacon and turdky salad idea for a change!

                  2. Great subject, and something that I've been working on lately in order to control what was an out of control food budget. My latest favorite is crepes and veloute sauce.

                    Out of lobster rolls and various shrimp dishes - stock made from the shells and some vegetables.

                    Out of that stock - a veloute sauce (so surprisingly low calorie) for beautiful grey sole.

                    Out of that dinner, and some scraps of fish and shrimp in the freezer, and the liquid from poaching the beautiful grey sole - more veloute sauce, combined with the shellfish one, stirred into the leftover fish scraps (sauteed in butter, herbs, white wine reduction, shallots), used for filling in crepes. Top with diluted veloute sauce and baked.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: MMRuth

                      A process of making the good sublime! Brava, MMR.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Thanks. I'm coming to have more and more appreciation for the French and their use of leftovers.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Oh - another thing that I do - if I have leftover braised short ribs or beef stew - quite a bit of sauce and a little bit of meat - I dilute the sauce, shred the meat, add some vegetables, and serve it as a soup.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I do the same thing with my short ribs braising liquid -- it makes the most decadent, rich soup! My favorite is to make a beef barley soup.

                        2. re: buttertart

                          Nice! Will definitely try this! thanks

                        3. re: MMRuth

                          Wow, YOU just raised the bar, didn't you?!? Love the crepe idea. Need so little.

                        4. Just about any leftover pasta dish: heat it up in a deep skillet over low heat, then add beaten eggs. Cook low and slow, and you'll end up with a unique version of a Spanish Tortilla.

                          1. We've been known to eat for the better part of a week off a couple of chickens. Roast chicken is its own meal, but also yields leftover meat and plenty of stock.

                            Chicken and vegetable soup and/or chicken and dumplings are always a hit. Thicken up the leftover soup and make chicken pot pie.

                            Of course there are lots of good chicken and pasta dishes - chicken tetrazzini, penne with chicken, wilted arugula, pignoli, and parmesan, or cold chicken / broccoli pasta salad with a spicy peanut / sesame dressing.

                            Chicken stock adds depth to red or green chile sauce. Which, if there's any meat left, is as good an excuse as any to make chicken enchiladas.

                            It goes on and on...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              I just ground up some cooked chicken and turned it into a stove-top, lasagna kind of dish. It was good.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                What a good idea that is. I frequently have a little chicken, beef, etc. I'll try that.

                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                We do lots of "rubber chicken" dishes too! Would like the recipe for cold chicken/broccoli pasta salad with spicy peanut sesame dressing!

                              3. AHA! Judith Jones said it best "Second Rounds!" Not leftovers. What a lady!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  I have no problem with leftover money or leftover men or leftover food :)

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    Or, as Julia Child so eloquently put it, "Feasting on the Remains."

                                  2. This reminds me of a Faith Willinger recipe, in "Red, White and Green," (or it could've been an old Saveur article, I forget) which describes the white bean cooking/prep cycle: Day 1: Cooked beans. Day 2: Minestrone. Day 3. Ribollita. This is also a cooking cycle for the minestrone, and for the nice crusty bread that you ate with it, which is now stale, so you add it to the soup the next day for the ribollita. And the minestrone also uses up that parmesan rind you've been saving in the fridge.

                                    In my house, we generally only make it to day 2. To end up with ribollita we actually have to plan to do it on purpose, otherwise the beans ALWAYS get turned into what we call "beanie greenie," which is really a dish of white beans with kale or collards, made soupy enough to eat with spoons. Sometimes there's fresh bread next to it; sometimes the bread is stale so the crumbs go in as a thickener. There's never much of that left over.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: the_MU

                                      Hey, I'm with you. Though when I have nice bread that's turned stale, my dessert-loving mind turns to chocolate bread pudding. :) Or strata!
                                      P.S. "beanie greenie" made me grin.

                                      1. re: the_MU

                                        I have that cookbook (Red, White and Green) someplace - I tried that ribollita recipe, and really liked it - can't believe I hadn't thought about it in a long time......

                                      2. Sunday slow cooked spaghetti gravy with a chuck roast (and/or ribs), extra sauce frozen portion controlled for pasta dishes or Italian sausage sands, usually enough meat left over for french dips, tacos with some added spices, and finally BBQ beef sands.

                                        1. Baked Ham for dinner on Sunday.
                                          Monday - ham and swiss quiche
                                          Tuesday - split pea soup
                                          Wednesday - scalloped potatoes with ham
                                          Thursday - ham salad sandwiches and split pea soup
                                          whatever is left of the ham gets chopped in the food processor and save in the freezer for ham and eggs......

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                            Wow, I don't think I could handle ham that many days in a row. But I guess you REALLY like ham :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              I know what you mean, it seems like a lot of ham, but the only 'duplicate' is the ham on Sunday, and the scalloped potatoes with ham slices - for the quiche and soup, the ham takes a back seat. It's so cheap - I got a good size ham on sale for $13 dollars, made everything listed above, and have 6 cups of chopped ham left that I froze. You can't beat it for economical.....

                                            2. re: jeanmarieok

                                              Hey, there ya go! Though my silliness got the best of me and reminded me of this classic clip re SPAM (though you mentioned ham).

                                              I actually don't think I'd get sick of ham the way you prepared it throughout the week (I love split pea soup!). The variations are enough to keep it interesting. Though after my week of corned beef, I was all set with that for a while, I must say. ;)

                                            3. 1) When I make beef stew I make double the amount and a couple of days later use the second lot for a meat pie eg stew in a casserole warmed in microwave then baked in oven with crust of Pillsbury's refrigerated pastry or Crescent Roll dough. 2) Roast boneless loin of pork + a side dish of cornbread stuffing; freeze leftover stuffing with sliced pork on top covered with canned gravy---for future reference. This also works well with any leftover poultry. 3) Leftover roast pork makes a stir-fry with a bag of shredded cabbage (sold for coleslaw) and some onion, plus anything else you care to add. 4) Baked half a ham>ham & sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes & ham, baked beans & ham, ham & eggs, grilled ham & cheese sandwiches. Then cut the rest of the ham off the bone and grind it coarsely in the Cuisinart with a couple of sweet pickles; mix with mayonnaise and mustard and use for sandwiches or on crackers. Or leave the ground ham plain and make a ham loaf. Use the bone for split pea soup or bean soup and finally donate the bone to the dog.

                                              1. My husband reminded me of another one - he smokes a couple of pork butts a couple times each summer. After the usual carolina bbq pulled pork sandwiches, I always make brunswick stew (adding some chicken leg quarters - man, they are cheap, too). Then I freeze some trays of pork enchiladas. And if there is anything left, we make runsas - those little buns with cabbage in them.

                                                1. I love this thread! Great ideas...also would love the recipe for your reuben soup!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                    I agree--lots of great ideas here! Thank you all!

                                                    Meantime, here is my reuben soup recipe:

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                      That is perhaps the BEST soup I've ever eaten! I keep thinking the price is going down but maybe not til closer to St. Patrick's Day.