Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I often go on a bender, cleaning out my fridge and making dinner from the dribs and drabs in small containers. It’s both a culinary challenge and a great way to avoid wasting food and money!
Last night Jeff gave my dad a ride to pick up his car. Finally – and just in the nick of time – the air conditioning is fixed! Woooohooooo! While they went to pick up the car, my mom and I turned leftovers into a delicious meal. Savory veggie waffles and a refreshing summer salad.
Here’s what we started with and what we did to arrive at a yummy meal. In the fridge I found:
- Diced white onion (about 1/3 cup) and minced red onion (about 1/2 cup) – sautee for 10 – 15 minutes in olive oil over medium heat to soften.
- 6 ears of corn – while the onions were cooking, we cut the corn off the cob and roasted it in the oven at 350 degrees until it began to caramelize (about 40 minutes).
- Blanched green beans from the garden – cut them in bite-size pieces.
- 2 large carrots – we diced them and added them to the sauteed onions and continued to cook for about 10 more minutes.
- 1/3 of a very large zucchini – we diced it and added it to the onions and carrots and continued to cook for about 10 more minutes.
- 6 slices of cooked bacon – spread out the crumbled bacon on a plate lined with paper towel and reheated in the microwave just to re-crisp for about 45 seconds.
- Odds and ends of cheeses – grated the ends until we had a generous 2 cups of cheese. Our ends were of Gouda, low fat cheddar, mozzarella, Parmiagano Reggiano, and smoked cheddar.
- Using pantry items, we made a double batch of the Frugal Gourmet’s “Mom’s Basic Waffle Batter” (see below) up to the point where you add the beaten egg whites (we added these AFTER we added all our leftovers).
- To the waffle batter (minus the beaten egg whites) we added the sauteed onions, carrots and zucchini, the crisped bacon, the roasted corn, the blanched green beans and the 2 cups of cheese. I also added some fresh thyme for good measure.
- We gently folded in the beaten egg whites and then began making waffles in the pre-heated waffle iron.
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce – we washed it and cut it into bite sized pieces. Then we spun it dry and put it into a large salad bowl.
- A half a bag of pre-washed arugula – dumped it into the bowl with the Romaine.
- 2 slices of prosciutto – we laid them flat on a baking sheet and cooked them at 350 degrees until they became crisp – approximately 15 minutes. After the cooled, we crumbled them and sprinkled them over the salad.
- A small piece of queso fresco cheese – we diced the cheese into small pieces and added them to the bowl.
- Some cubed cantaloupe – we tossed it in with the salad.
- 1/3 of a parmesan pepper baguette – we cubed the bread and toasted it in a non-stick sautee pan with a little olive oil, a little butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to make croutons
- We also added some roasted, salted pepitas and a wonderful honey Dijon vinaigrette.
The end result was wonderful! Very tasty, warm and homey. Burying veggies in waffles is a great way to get my dad to eat them. He barely even knew they were there!
And as if we didn’t love our leftovers enough yesterday….with the leftover waffles (yes, there were leftovers of the leftovers), I made croutons for a salad at lunch time today! I cut the waffles into cubes, put them on a sheet pan, sprayed them with cooking spray and baked them for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. By the time I took them out they were nice and crispy – just the right crunch to add to a light lunch.
What are your favorite leftover foods?