The Year of Butter?

It being 2012, we can safely say the holidays are in the rearview mirror (Right? I’m not forgetting anything, am I?). Given that, I thought it’d be fun to swap tales of holiday leftover usage from your kitchen or others.

Katy, aka The Non-Consumer Advocate, aka Coin Girl, shared this one via Facebook:

Last night I made scalloped potatoes which included the mashed potatoes from Christmas. Tonight I made fettucine alfredo with the last of the whipped cream from Christmas. It turns out that adding obscene amounts of butter to leftovers is the key to palatability.

No food waste in 2012, but much cardiovascular disease.

Kudos to Katy for sacrificing her family’s health to use up those leftovers. Kidding!

While adding boatloads of butter to leftovers is certainly one way to use up your food, there are plenty of other options. What’s the American version of bubble and squeak? Hash?

Anyone have a leftover tale or tip?

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14 Comments

  1. Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I love leftovers. All kinds of things can be hidden in two of my favorite dishes, soup or stew. Chili works pretty well too. Adding bits and pieces of different things to a base recipe can really use up a lot of leftovers, especially after the holidays.

    My other tip is to make meals in a jar. For some reason leftovers each stashed in their own containers do not attract the attention of my family. Assemble a layered meal in a jar and all of a sudden the leftovers are flying off the refrigerator shelf.

    Hope your new year is filled with all good things!

  2. Posted January 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Mira. Amen–soups and stews really are great ways to use up food. I also see burritos and pasta as blank slates upon which to add leftovers.

    I’m curious–are these meals in a jar layered like those gift soup or cookie mixes? Or is everything mixed together?

    Happy New Year to you, too!

  3. Posted January 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    And I ate the last of the au gratin in my work lunch today, so the Christmas meal is now officially all gone!

    Katy
    A.K.A. Lard Ass

  4. Posted January 2, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Enough cream or butter will make nearly anything edible, I think!

  5. Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    You really should get some sort of post-Christmas championship belt, Katy. Huzzah!!

    So true, FG. But what about egg nog? In pancakes, perhaps?

  6. Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    No. You use up the last of the egg nog in rum.

    Silly.

    Katy
    A.K.A. Butter Tuchus

  7. Renee
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I knew I couldn’t use my leftover Christmas mashed potatoes so I put them in the freezer right away. I’ll think of something. I made some pretty awesome white beans with the ham. Boiled the heck out of the ham bone and misc pieces and froze the broth for future beans.

  8. Nonita Yap
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I have just been given this wonderful link. Thank you.

    We had a 16-lb turkey for the 3 of us because nothing smaller was available (at the local health food store). I braised the turkey stuffed with glutinous rice and Chinese mushrooms. Because it was sealed tightly it cooked nicely in 3 hours rather than 4. We also prepared 3 pounds of mashed potatoes – to save energy.

    After the Christmas meal, we deboned the leftover turkey, low boiled the bones to get a broth with a lot of nutrients, put the bones in the municipal compost, froze some of the boneless meat. I have served my family left over ‘Christmas meal’ only once in the last 8 days to maintain their appetite. But I have since used
    - the broth to cook rice, giving it a very nice flavour
    - the leftover mashed potatoes with nicely spiced ground beef, covered with gravy from the original meal.

    I plan to make ‘turkey a la king’ with the rest of the turkey. That will be our lunch for at least a couple of days. I expect my colleagues at the university to comment on the wonderful smells of our lunches as they always have. As usual I will tell them “that is the nice smell of leftovers”.

    Nonita

  9. Posted January 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Renee–Brothy beans? Sounds like you’re onto something. Now add some butter and Katy will be happy.

    Nonita–Those were some seriously savvy moves with your Christmas meal–I hadn’t thought of using broth to flavor rice. And I love that you’re a leftover proselytizer. Preach on!

  10. Renee
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Can’t believe you haven’t heard of cooking rice or beans in broth! Just use it in place of water. (For beans, discard soaking water once or twice. Cook with broth and whatever seasoning/vegies you usually use.) Beans come out especially well when done in a pressure cooker. Enjoy!

  11. Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    My brother got all the left over turkey from Christmas eve but inthe past I’ve made mini pot pies and froze them to enjoy in the deep of winter. Then the ham bone from Christmas and I made a wonderful lentil soup and used the crudite from New Years Eve for the vegetables. Recently I’ve been eating so many clementines that I wanted to find something to do with the peels so I am currently soaking the rinds to “eventually” make candied peels dipped with chocolate. Hope someone finds these useful…

  12. Posted January 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Renee–I’d cooked rice in broth, but never beans. I’ll have to try the pressure cooker route. But I must confess: I’m often seduced by the convenience of canned beans. And while I’m confessing: I also prefer flour tortillas to corn. I know that both are the “wrong” choices, but we’re all human…

    Sage–Sweet idea on the chocolate dipped clementine peels. You’re that much closer to having your own fancy candy store. Marmalade is another option…

  13. WilliamB
    Posted January 5, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Brothy beans are nice but I find it not worth it: for me, the beans don’t absorb enough of the taste for me to waste the broth on it. But rice, couscous, and pasta cooked in broth is great stuff, especially if your broth is too salty – the starch sorta soaks up the salt and it all comes out tasty.

    My favorite for cooking beans is salsa juice – the liquid that puddles at the bottom of the salsa, salsa fresca, or pico de gallo bowl. My usual source is Whole Foods salsa fresca: I don’t like the spicy watery liquid in my dip, but I love it to cook beans. I drain out the liquid with a colander, and save it in the freezer till I have enough for beans. You can also add salsa juice to bean dip.

    My second favorite for cooking beans is beer. Even old, flat, dull beer makes great bean-cooking liquid. Shhh: I’ve even used half-drunk beer. Most beers make good beans for any purpose, but at the edges it can get weird. Frex, don’t use stout for tex-mex beans, don’t use chili beer for hummus.

    For Xmas this year I had plan-overs for my several large houseguests. Ham hock simmered to make stock for the Xmas gravy; ham hock meat shredded to make ham-white bean-corn casserole for Boxing Day. Mashed potatoes as Xmas side; thinned mashed potatoes to top the Boxing Day casserole. Cheddar cheese as appetizer for Xmas; shredded cheddar to top the taters for the Boxing Day casserole. The Xmas ham bone will, of course, become stock & meat for split pea soup and white bean-chard soup. The leftover Asian Succotash (corn, edamame) has me stumped: the flavors are wrong to add it to domburi (liquidy Japanese omlet, served over rice); maybe another casserole.

    Egg nog ice cream.

  14. Posted January 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Wow–what a wealth of ideas, William!

    I love the image of you snagging some floaters (half-drunk beers) at the end of the night to create a bean-cooking liquid. That is downright Scroungeresque! And I suppose if you boiling said beer broth, you’d kill off the germs…

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