Tag Archives: leftovers

Grilled Steak Reinvented

Made steaks at my mom’s house and brought home the leftovers. Yum.

We visit my mom often. This one particular weekend we decided to go all out and really cook. We grilled steak, made a blue cheese onion sauce, creamed corn (the real stuff – from a garden). And broccoli. My favorite veggie! Then when I was so full I couldn’t keep my pants buttoned I decided instead of making myself sick, I’d pack it up and take it home. Once at home, a few days later, I sliced the steak, added the onion sauce, a few fresh blue cheese crumbles and thinly sliced potatoes with butter and thyme, fried in a pan and then put under the broiler.

Leftovers are sometimes just as good, if not better, than the first meal. Yum. Again.

I don’t have any recipes here or anything. I just wanted to challenge you to think about using your leftovers in new ways. Oh and topping anything like this with a dippy egg (over-easy egg) makes it awesome-er. ;-)

Baked Mac N Cheese with Ham

After the holidays, be it Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, New Year’s Day, I always try to stock up on the foods that were overstocked in the grocery stores. Many times you will spend three dollars a pound for a turkey but after the holidays you might see them for $ .89 a pound! So keep your eye on the ham after Easter and Christmas, the pork after New Year’s, and the beef and chicken after Fourth of July. Also, check the produce after the 4th too. Often those watermelons and cobs of corn are on the ‘not the best but still a good buy’ rack. AND the corn on the cob is usually husked for you when it’s on the day old rack! Woo hoo!

Anyway, my father-in-law came to our house for Thanksgiving. I made a turkey. But he brought a ham that he got for free through his local grocery store and I put it in the freezer. I recently got it out and thawed that bad boy and threw it in a roasting pan with a splash of pinot grigio, honey drizzled over the ham and some dijon mustard brushed on it. (Tightly sealed with foil and baked 15 mins per pound). We ate it hot that night for dinner. We ate it cold for quesadillas the next day. We ate it for breakfast piled high with an over easy egg on an English Muffin. The best part is, I pulled a bunch of the slices off for Josie’s lunches. I make her a real life “lunchamajig”. You know. Those prepackaged plastic trays with crackers and cheese and a cookie and that meat that’s perfectly round but not really identifiable. What is this? Ham? Turkey? One is the same color as the other and it almost looks like sliced hot dogs. Gross. Yeah, momma’s making Josie her own “lunchamajig”. That’s what I’m calling it.

I had a ton of ham left so I picked it all off the bone and chopped up one cup of the salty sweet goodness for the following recipe and put the rest in the freezer for many many more meals to come. Thanks father-in-law for the free ham! Maybe I’ll bring a casserole the next time we visit which includes some of your generous Thanksgiving donation!

Baked mac and cheese with ham

finished mac n cheese w ham

This recipe calls for 1 lb cooked pasta – your choice. I used mini shells. Cook until just under al dente. It will bake for awhile too so don’t over cook it at this time. A pointer: add some chicken bullion to your water before adding the pasta. Or just a tablespoon of salt. It adds so much to the flavor of the pasta if you flavor the water.

drain the pasta and put back in the pot (or in a big bowl) and add:

1 Cup sharp cheddar cheese and 1 Cup of the diced ham and toss to distribute the ham and cheese evenly.

Place the mixture into a greased 9×13 casserole dish.

Top with 1/3 Cup of dried Italian Style breadcrumbs and 1/2 Cup of sharp cheddar cheese

Top that with a couple pats of butter. Slivers of butter distributed over the breadcrumbs helps to brown the topping.

mac and cheese w ham before baking

Top with slivers of butter and drizzle with milk.

Now, pour one cup of milk (I used 2%) gently over the top of the pasta and breadcrumbs. It also helps to make the top moist and helps it crisp up in the oven.

Bake uncovered at 350F about 45 – 60 minutes until top is golden. Allow to rest for ten minutes before serving.

The creamy soft noodles and the salty ham is so yummy together. And if you chop the ham up in small enough pieces you often get a crunchy piece from the top that is a lot like BACON! Yum.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Rice Pudding with Cinnamon

Baked Rice Pudding

Not the prettiest picture. But pretty tasty.

This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I have called: Cheap Fast Good by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it has a lot to read and not just hoity toity recipes that require you to make a special trip to the store.

The other day I made pesto fish. Tilapia marinated with pesto and baked in the oven and then served over white rice. Served with pineapple wedges. Pretty looking dinner. Very easy on a busy night. Anyway, when I make rice I make way more than I have to so I can make leftovers with it. Namely RICE PUDDING. It’s one of my favorites.

So this recipe was adapted because I never have whole milk. I often have skim milk and I always have sweetened vanilla almond milk. So I adjusted the sugar, vanilla, and  rice because of the almond milk substitution.

Here’s MY recipe. The original follows below. By all means, if you have whole milk, follow the original.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 1/2 cups already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups vanilla almond milk (sweetened)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice is rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

I ate mine with Adrian standing at the stove with the steam billowing off the spoonful of rice pudding thinking, “I’m sure this is going to burn my mouth.” So right before we ate it I told Adrian I had to put something in it. He pointed his finger up at me and said, “I know! ICE!” I said, “Oooh, that might not be the right choice. Let’s try some milk.” So after adding a touch of milk it was just the right temperature. He ate two helpings. I had two helpings. And then scraped some more right out of the pan with a big wooden spoon.

Here is the exact recipe from the cookbook.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 cup already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups whole or 2% milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice and raisins in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice and raisins are rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and raisins and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

ENJOY either way.

Ham & bean soup

ham and bean soup with rivels

ham and bean soup with rivels

This recipe is great for that leftover chunk of ham you are tired of picking at. Boiling the broth for hours makes the meat fall apart.

Ingredients:

1 good size chunk 3-4 pounds of baked ham (it’s okay to use leftover glazed ham from a dinner. The sweet glaze flavor just helps develop the broth)

2 unpeeled potatoes cut into cubes (I used a baked one from Easter dinner and then added a raw one. The baked one falls apart and adds a starchiness to the broth that helps thicken it. The raw one cooks in the broth and is perfect alongside the beans and ham.)

8 Cups broth and water (I had 3 cups chicken broth leftover from another recipe so I used that and used water to make up the difference.) – obviously, if you have ham broth or beef broth, that would work too. Or all water would work too. You just have to add bullion or tons of herbs. Taste and adjust as you go.

2 cans white beans drained and rinsed. I used Cannellini and navy beans. You could also use dry beans and follow the directions to cook them. (Any beans would work. Well, not baked beans. That would be weird.)

You can add a carrot and a celery stalk diced, too. I forgot both. ;-)

one hard boiled egg diced

flour, salt, water for rivels

thyme, salt, pepper, ground mustard powder, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic powder, parsley, white wine, sherry vinegar, etc. whatever herbs and spices you like. Again, sprinkle, stir, taste, repeat.

Directions:

Throw the broth/water, beans, and ham into a pot. Turn it on low and put a lid on it. Cut up the potatoes, carrots and celery (if desired) and add next. Add herbs and spices and a little salt. (if you are using dried beans, and not canned beans, you should put about a teaspoon of salt in now.) Cook for about an hour on low. Stirring every once in awhile to keep it from sticking. Potatoes and beans are very starchy and will stick… Go take a nap and let it simmer for another hour or so. I usually cook my ham and bean soup for about 3 hours on low. Then at the end bring to a boil and add the rivels.

REMOVE BAY LEAVES if you used them at this point.

Pull the ham out by tongs and place in a big bowl so you can pick through it. Using two forks pull the ham apart from all the icky parts and put the ham back in the pot. Throw the rest out for a neighborhood animal to eat.

Now, if you want the soup thicker, you can use an immersion blender to break up some of the beans and potatoes. It will thicken the soup naturally. Or, you can take a scoop of beans out and place on a plate and smash the crap out of them with a fork and put them back in the soup. Either way. ;-)

Bring the soup to a boil.

Meanwhile put about 1/2 Cup of flour into a bowl, an 1/8 tsp of salt, and about a 1/4 cup of water and mix with a fork. It should be thick and sticky. If it’s too runny, add more flour. Too thick add more water. Using clean fingers or a fork grab little blobs of the flour mixture and carefully drop into the boiling broth. Don’t worry about having consistent sizes. I had one that was about 3 inches long tonight in my soup and another one that looked like a little bird with a beak and a wing. Rivels are fun. ;-)

Now add the chopped hard boiled egg.  Stir for awhile. Cook maybe 3-4 minutes at a steady boil. This cooks the flour in the rivels and breaks up the egg so the yolk is sprinkled throughout the soup.

Serve warm with crackers.