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Apr 1, 2012 10:13 PM

Capturing Flavor & Re Purposing Food

After reading Tamar Adler's "Everlasting Meal" I began to realize this is not a new concept at all. This is peasant cooking at its finest. Of course Chow folks have been cooking this way forever too, so why don't we share what we do in our kitchens to create an "everlasting meal"?? You might say the common terminology is, "rehashing leftovers". Maybe, maybe not. Is it leftovers or is it a way to capture one flavor & add it to another meal or perhaps take one meal & extend it into something entirely different?

Today I did the take out thing & came home with a wonderful green bean salad...ate the beans & had the luscious mysterious vinaigrette leftover. I found a few green beans in the fridge, blanched them & added them to this garlicky & smoky marinade & am hoping that I can recapture some of that flavor in the new batch of beans. That was my take on the everlasting meal.

Let's show Tamar that she is not the only one who knows how to make an everlasting meal.

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  1. Alton Brown changed my life when he told me you could add the raw vegetables back into your favourite pickle brine and they would pickle too!I use this all the time for my favourite hard to find marinated red peppers

    1. I was raised in a home where money was verrry tight and "left overs" from one meal were routinely used in a subsequent meal. Chili with corn bread becomes chili baked potato or a chili soup with dumplings. Spaghetti is mixed with egg to form a spaghetti pie and fried to serve alongside a green salad. Chicken was added to a mixture of vegetables and a white sauce then rolled inside pancakes with a butter gravy to top things off. Not gourmet meals, to be sure, but food wasn't wasted and we all survived.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        todao no gourmet meals???? Ha, you were eating "high on the hog" my friend...when left overs are redone that way, it definitely becomes a meal fit for the finest. Thank you.

      2. Here, here! I most certainly am not the only one! I love this idea. Please continue to post the wonderful things you make from luscious mysterious vinaigrettes. Aren't those so often the most delicious meals--the ones improved by what Olney calls "dribs and drabs?" To peasant cookery! T

        1. I've always done that to be economical. I recently purchased Tamar's book. I haven't read the whole thing yet... Can't say I've learned anything new but it is nice to read a like minded person's opinions. Except for the part about being disturbed on throwing out seafood soup that had been left out overnight. Yes, a thousand times yes, I would throw it out. i grew up on the coast and freshness is a big deal down there. Or, at least in my home it was.

          I don't know if this fits into what you're looking for but two of my main remakes are green beans and mashed potatoes. Whenever I make regular green beans (cooked with onion and garlic - maybe a little bacon). I always make extra so that I can make green bean soup. Sounds weird but tastes similar to cream of asparagus soup. I just whir the left over green beans in the food processor, dump into a pan, add enough milk so the texture is how I want it and heat. I then top with plenty of grated romano cheese.

          I also use left over mashed potatoes for a few things. One is my grand mother's 'Irish" potato pancakes. Cold mashed potatoes, an egg or two (depending on the amount you have left over), chopped onion or green onion, a little flour and salt. Fry up in a tiny bit of oil. They look like silver dollar pancakes. Another is just reheated ( in the oven) mash mixed with chile peppers ( my favorite are chile pequin from the garden - but any will do). Once the potatoes are hot, stir and top with your favorite cheese. The third are potato scones adapted from the james beard cookbook. Mix the leftover potatoes with enough flour and butter to make a nice dough that you can roll out. Then cook on a griddle. They look like thick tortillas.

          Whenever I make green beans or mashed potatoes I always make extra so I can create one of these recipes later in the week.

          I, too, am looking forward to hear what you all do.

          1 Reply
          1. re: thymetobake

            Green beans & mashed potatoes...never knew there were so many things to make with those 2 veggies...thanks for sharing...I too am going to make "extra".

          2. Roasted chicken!! First night, roast chicken. Lunch next: chicken sandwich. Next, the frame and final leftovers become the base for a divided soup stock of which half is used as chicken pot pie stock and the other half goes for soup. Then there's the soup meal, of which there are leftovers which are next day's lunch by which time I am so through.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mamachef

              Roasted chicken...that I do know how to rework...but after all that, I am so through too! Would be interesting to know how many things can be done with a roasted chicken. Is there a book on just that subject? Sorta like 101 meals from hamburger or something like that. Oh well, I would like to come up with more ways to disguise that bird.

              1. re: cstout

                Amazon turns up at least 8 different books on rotisserie chicken recipes:

                1. re: juster

                  Books on rotisserie chicken...thanks for the link..will visit that now.