Posts tagged ‘leftovers’


Ever since I began my work at the Capital Area Food Bank, I’ve been looking at the contents of my fridge in a different light. Rather than feel like I’ve got to stop and pick up a chicken or thaw pork chops or even make pasta and sauce, I’ve been trying to look at the random bits and items hanging out in the refrigerator as ingredients for whole meals, to go and buy less and make do more. The concept really hit its stride on Monday evening.

Imagine, if you will, a refrigerator apparently housing nothing but condiments and appetizery stuff. Cheese. Artichoke hearts. Tortillas. Pickledy things. Imagine a food blogger, too lazy to go to the store, too bored with quesadillas, staring into the depths and discovering turkey pepperoni, and the remains of a big-box jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Imagine the bulb going off, as bright as the refrigerator light.

Why not… tortilla pizzas!

His & hers tortizzas, bottom and top.

This might have gone better with a pizza stone, but still it went awfully well. I put two flour tortillas for each of us on two small baking sheets (lined with parchment against the mess and to try to help with crisping, parchment misted with olive oil spray). Preheated the oven to 450. Brushed each tortilla with olive oil and then sprinkled sea salt over for flavor and good measure. Then I started pulling the ingredients out of the fridge: a shredded Italian four-cheese blend, little mozzarella balls, the artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Turkey pepperoni, roasted garlic in olive oil, the last few jalapeno-stuffed green olives. I called my husband in and explained what we were about to attempt, and he jumped right in to build his personal pizzas.

Not ten minutes later (a few minutes for loading the tortillas with ingredients, 5-7 minutes in the oven), we pulled lovely, puffy little pizzas out of the oven.

Okay, mine were lovely and puffy.

His were guy pizzas.

We were both happy. He poured a Spaten, I opened a Real Ale Devil’s Backbone, and voila! A simple, relatively inexpensive, leftover-using tasty supper. The tortilla crusts were a little layered and a bit crunchy. The appetizer ingredients came together in a nice whole. I particularly liked having sprinkled the Italian cheese blend right onto the crust and the chewy crunchy cheesy goodness that resulted. And what else would we wordplayers call them but tortizzas? We’ll be doing it again tonight.

Disclaimer: I’d already roasted about a hundred garlic cloves a few weeks before, covering them with olive oil in a pint jar and storing them in the fridge. The leftover artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes were from big jars from Costco purchased for prep for a party a few months before, both also kept safe in olive oil. We just happen to have a lot of cheese around, because someone *coughmecough* has a whole lot of Wisconsin in her DNA, and the turkey pepperoni is part of our attempt not to snack on cheese all the time. Your own fridge remnants may vary. One of these days we will move from creative scrounging to longer-term meal planning.


April 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Another Two Dinners’ Worth

Wednesday menu: Leftover steak * polenta with sauteed yellow cherry tomatoes * sauteed spinach

Thursday menu: Dinner at Maudies. Bad margaritas, okay tacos al pastor and chiles rellenos

July 4, 2008 at 2:44 am Leave a comment

Meat, Veg, Salad, Salad

Menu: Grilled ribeye with cowboy rub * roasted beet salad * lemon cucumber and tomato salad * eggplant relish

M fired up our grill for the first time since we moved to Austin, and we grilled four ribeyes so we could have leftovers. The “Cowboy Rub” is from Robb Walsh’s Texas Cowboy Cookbook: fresh-ground sea salt, fresh-ground garlic, fresh-ground black pepper, dried thyme, pasilla chile powder. M grilled them to rare.

The lemon cucumber salad was lovely. The farmers market yesterday yielded two lemon cucumbers and four green zebra tomatoes; I sliced them all into crescents and tossed it with lemon basil, olive oil, salt, and a splash of white wine vinegar. It was all yellow and pale green, very pretty.

The roasted beet salad is the usual, but it may be one of the last time it appears for a little while; Tecolote Farms’ last week of beets was yesterday. And the eggplant relish is leftover from our pasta/leftovers/fridge clean-out repast last night.

June 30, 2008 at 1:26 am 1 comment

Leftovers At Last

Headache, and M is working late. I just heated up one little leftover lamb chop and had it with leftover pink-eyed peas, cucumber tomato artichoke salad, and the last eggplant relish from several days ago. There are three chops left for M and plenty of peas.

June 25, 2008 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment


Menu: Black beans with pork and cherry tomatoes * baked sweet potato fries * Indian-spiced kale * 2005 Peter Lehmann Barossa shiraz

We had a leftover pork chop in the fridge and a whole lot of leftover kale. I cubed the pork chop, heated a little olive oil in a saute pan, and dumped in the pork cubes. Then I dumped in at least a dozen of the fresh farmers market cherry tomatoes and let it all saute for a few minutes until the tomatoes started to split. I added 2 cans of black beans; ground salt and red pepper over; and finished with a splash of lime juice. Turned the heat down to medium-low and left it while the sweet potatoes cooked (these were the toughest: I opened the bag of Alexia sweet potatoes from the freezer, thank you Central Market). Reheated the kale, served it all up.

Cook’s sustenance:
1/2 glass champagne
1 salad cucumber, quartered and munched on

Cook’s soundtrack
Bob Schneider, “Gold in the Sunset”
Stevie Wonder, “As”
Lyle Lovett, “Simple Song”
The Mavericks, “Hot Burrito #1”
Hayseed with Emmylou Harris, “Farther Along”
Fleetwood Mac, “Never Going Back Again”

How did it turn out?
The kale still needed salt and Crystal sauce. But the beans… how did I do that? They were velvety, unctuous, a tremendous combination of flavors. Was it the leftover olive-oil laced pork fat? The celestial cherry tomatoes? The citrus splash? I will be trying to replicate that every time we have leftover pork chops.

Would I make it again?
I would certainly try!

June 11, 2008 at 1:34 am Leave a comment

Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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