How to Spruce up Your Leftovers

written by Erica Paredes

Leftovers are always a good thing, specially if it's a dish you really enjoyed or if you have no time to cook the next day. But sometimes you don't want to eat the same food over and over again. No worries, because there are plenty of things you can do with leftovers to create something entirely new and different. Here are some ideas:

Roast chicken - If you have leftover turbo-broiled or oven-baked chicken, shred them up and use them to create a pasta sauce, or to add to instant ramen noodles for a heartier meal. Also, don't throw away the bones; you can use them to make your own tasty stock!

Steak - Nobody likes to see steak go to waste, but it's one of those foods that don't taste a good when reheated the next day. A solution to this is to dice them into small pieces and make steak fried rice! Simply add some diced carrots and bell peppers and sprinkle with liquid seasoning while frying.

Fish and chips - Made too many pieces or have extra batter? Make fish tacos the next day! Simply reheat in an oven toasted to retain its crisp batter and roll in a tortilla, add store bought salsa, sour cream, lettuce and cheese.

Risotto - Too much risotto, not enough mouths to feed? Make a fun snack or appetizer the next day by making fried risotto balls. Make sure you shape them immediately after taking out from the fridge so that they retain their shape when you fry them.

White rice - Have leftover white rice but want a more creative way to eat it? Make sushi! Spread a few tablespoons of rice on some nori and add your preferred filling. It can be as simple as canned tuna and cucumbers or as fancy as smoked salmon and cream cheese. The sushi tray is your playground!

Spaghetti sauce - Spaghetti sauce, especially the tomato based variety, can be turned into many things the next day. For instance, if your kids are hungry for a snack, use your red sauce to make mini pan de sal pizzas by spreading on bread and adding cheese and other toppings!

Osso buco - If you indulged one night and realized you made a bit too much, take your braised, fall off the bone tender beef shank and shred into the leftover tomato based braising sauce. This can serve as a pasta sauce for next week if kept in the refrigerator.

Cheese platter - Don't know what to do with a leftover cheese platter? You don't want to waste the expensive cheese but they won't last much longer, even when put in the fridge. Treat yourself to some fancy cheese sticks for lunch or a snack the next day. Use your leftover brie, manchego and goat cheese and roll in store-bought small sized egg roll or spring roll wrappers before frying. You can even dip them in honey or fruit jams for something more fun.


Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen
is the founder of The Parisian Diet, which is about the pleasure of eating and being able to eat all types of food.

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