When are leftovers given new life?
March 10, 2010 2:25 PM   Subscribe

What are some meals that depend on what you cooked the night before?

Allow me to clarify. You want pea soup? You pretty much have to cook a bone-in ham first. Not absolutely necessary, but one generally leads to the other. Hash needs cold potatoes from the night before. Chicken soup often begins with a roast chicken dinner. Christmas turkey becomes turkey tetrazzini.

I'm just looking for some other examples where you use leftovers to create an entirely new, unique meal. Bonus points for examples of this from world cultures, or it can be something you only do in your family.
posted by Brodiggitty to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe this is too simple, but my family always had a variety of turkey soups and sandwiches that we would never otherwise eat, in the week following Thanksgiving.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:28 PM on March 10, 2010

My family makes some awesome roasted potatoes where basically the only seasoning (besides salt and pepper) are the fatty drippings from a hunk of oven-roasted lamb. Similarly, Yorkshire pudding can be made without the drippings from some roast beef, but oh my god it is so much more delicious with those drippings.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:29 PM on March 10, 2010

Fried rice requires cold, cooked rice from the night before, along with soy sauce, various chopped vegetables, leftover meat and and a scrambled egg.
posted by Wroksie at 2:30 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

leftover risotto = arancini
posted by booknerd at 2:30 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bubble and squeak!
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:36 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Similar to the arancini, when polenta cools, it congeals into a form that is slice-able and then you can fried it and top it with cheese/butter/oil/etc.
posted by mmascolino at 2:37 PM on March 10, 2010

Pizza di spaghtetti.
posted by sickinthehead at 2:39 PM on March 10, 2010

Shepard's Pie (and other potato-on-top casseroles) can be made with freshly-mashed potatoes, but is much easier to throw together from whatever meats and starches you cooked the previous night.
posted by muddgirl at 2:39 PM on March 10, 2010

All good. A lot of these are new to me. I guess what I didn't specify earlier is, you should be anticipating the second day's meal while the first is still cooking. "Sure the roast is good, but I CAN'T WAIT for the Yorkshire pudding we're going to have tomorrow!" This is how I get with ham/pea soup. However please don't let this limit your answers.
posted by Brodiggitty at 2:40 PM on March 10, 2010

Roast beef -> rissoles

Cabbage / brussel sprouts -> Bubble & Squeek

Roast Lamb -> sandwiches (cold roast lamb is too nice to do anything else with)

Leftover sausages -> a bastardized version of cassoulet (self-link)

Roast Chicken -> paella

The wife claims that Christmas Dinner (or Thanksgiving for Americans) becomes Christmas Dinner soup, where turkey, veggies, sausages, stuffing, gravy, and bacon rolls all get stuck in a blender with some stock. Thankfully I've never witnessed this horrific sounding dish.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 2:42 PM on March 10, 2010

The other anachronism gets quite put out when delicious roasts do not become delicious pies. No matter what I cook with leftover roast, if it isn't pie, it isn't good enough.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:43 PM on March 10, 2010

I think "rundown" dishes in Jamaican cuisine are sometimes made with leftover stuff.
posted by Madamina at 2:47 PM on March 10, 2010

Not a tradition anywhere outside my own kitchen, but the leftover broth from corned beef /New England Boiled Dinner is a really good base for a vegetable soup made with beans and cabbage. I like the "Peasant Vegetable Soup" from The Silver Palate Cookbook, but it's a pretty basic winter vegetable soup recipe. White beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, leeks, parsnips, garlic, and a ham hock (which can be omitted when corned beef broth is used) - or substitute your favorite hearty soup recipe. I actually like the soup better than the corned beef.
posted by Quietgal at 2:49 PM on March 10, 2010

Leftover white rice --> fried rice

Leftover chicken (especially roast chicken) --> chicken pot pie
posted by DrGirlfriend at 2:51 PM on March 10, 2010

Recently every Wednesday the Boston Globe has been running a "Sunday Supper" column, where they give you a shopping list, a main recipe and a recipe or two utilizing the leftovers.

This week it was meatloaf: shopping list | recipe | leftover recipe

There's not an easy way to browse them, but here's the Sunday Supper Search
posted by FreezBoy at 2:52 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kind of an obvious one, but the corned beef that's brining in my fridge right now will be great for Reubens and corned beef hash the day after I make the St. Patrick's day corned beef and cabbage.
posted by crLLC at 3:11 PM on March 10, 2010

Taco meat --> yummy breakfast burritos.

Take leftover taco meat from dinner, mix with scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon, and whatever else floats your boat. Wrap in a tortilla for a yummy breakfast treat.
posted by tryniti at 3:56 PM on March 10, 2010

I roast a chicken or some beef just about every week in a cast iron pan on a big bed of thinly sliced onions and shredded veggies (usually carrots, maybe some parsnips or beets). Not only is this a tasty side-dish (especially in chicken weeks, when it's schmaltz city), it's easy to clean up versus your standard roasting pan. I love using up the leftover roasted veggies in various ways.

1) I adapt a spinach souffle recipe similar to this by adding the veggies and getting more of a pudding texture than a souffle.

2) I use the veg mixture instead of cabbage in faux-colcannon. This was especially nice when I used beets and got pink potatoes.

3) I mix the veggies and cooked grain to make a patty, then gently sauté in a covered pan with an egg on top. You get a crunchy patty and a softly steamed egg.

4) Leftover roast and the veggies, plus potatoes, make an even easier shepherd's pie.

5) Most recently, I made Yorkshire pudding muffins by putting in in about 1-2 tablespoons of rich veggies from a roast chicken into each cup, then poured in the batter. This source of schmaltz made an interesting variation on your typical beef-drippings Yorkshire.
posted by maudlin at 4:11 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

You already mentioned hash, but whenever we make any kind of roast meat (chicken, beef, pork, turkey, etc.), we put it in a large roasting pan on one of those roast holder-upper things, and put all kinds of veggies under it - potatoes, of course; red/green/yellow peppers; carrots; turnips; rutabagas; leeks; onions, etc.; season the whole thing, and let it cook. It's a good one-pot meal the first nite, and then the next nite we cut everything up into bit-sized squares, mix together, season everything again to taste, and roast till it's warm through. My husband looks forward to the hash more than he enjoys the roast the first nite. And even though we make this for dinner, I make a shallow well in the top of the casserole when it's all warm and break a couple of eggs into it. The heat of the hash cooks the eggs, or you can also put it back into the oven to cook them some more. Serve with an unbroken egg on each plate; when you stir everything up, the egg adds good flavor and also binds everything together nicely.

Using the same basic principle, we also turn the above into pot pies (as mentioned above) and quiche (the 70's are calling!)

Using just the meat, we also make stir fry (the veggies really need to be fresh for a good stir fry), burritos, tacos, and for a variation on sandwiches you can put the sliced meat into pita bread with chopped lettuce, tomatos, hummus, and really anything else that sounds good (just like sandwiches).

Also, whenever we make baked potatos I make twice as many as we need, because I really look forward to twice-baked potatos, which are richer and more fattening and altogether more delicious than the original baked potato, even if the original has butter and sour cream.
posted by cookiesncream at 4:26 PM on March 10, 2010

All soups, risottos, and other grains-based dishes for me. Because ZOMG homemade stock.
posted by desuetude at 4:35 PM on March 10, 2010

I'll make a mustard'n'bacon covered pork roast one night then leave the leftovers in the crockpot with some cider vinegar and bbq sauce overnight. Makes the most awesome pulled pork ever. Oh man... I might have to buy a pork roast this weekend.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 4:52 PM on March 10, 2010

1st night - tacos, and I make extra taco seasoned ground beef
2nd night - shepherd's pie, with taco-flavored beef, a 1:1 mixture of creamed and kernel corn, topped w/ mashed potatoes & cheese.

1st night - roast chicken and grits
next breakfast - thinly sliced leftover grits, fried in corn oil till golden and crispy

1st night - meatloaf
next lunch - meatloaf sandwiches, with good mustard

1st night - beef stew
later that week - hash made from the leftover potatoes in the stew
posted by theora55 at 5:01 PM on March 10, 2010

Roast duck --> duck fat roasted potatoes
posted by deludingmyself at 5:08 PM on March 10, 2010

Already mentioned, and not a meal in itself, but bears repeating: stock.

After a roast chicken or roast duck, keep the carcass and make stock. Then you're already 90% of the way to a nice soup.

Although, to tell the truth, we don't have roasts very often, so I tend to do it the other way around. I buy a few kg of chicken wings or drumsticks, make stock with that, and use the left-over meat to make meals for the dog.

Once you have made your own stock, you'll never buy commercial stuff again.

(Oh, and I was typing this I was eating a roast lamb sandwich with the left-overs from Saturday's dinner, so there is always that too.)
posted by damonism at 5:13 PM on March 10, 2010

Everytime I roast a chicken, I ALWAYS make chicken pot pie with the leftovers. We both actually like the pot pie more than the actual chicken.
posted by kerning at 5:14 PM on March 10, 2010

Creamed chicken on biscuits or over noodles. Roasting a chicken is just a means to this end.
posted by drlith at 5:34 PM on March 10, 2010

I always just reverse engineer it with a kitchen clean up.
There are few things that can't be turned into a frittata, served with a fried egg and/or cheese, or thrown in a wrap, turned into soup, etc.
posted by cestmoi15 at 6:22 PM on March 10, 2010

I asked a question a while ago about meals that use a basic starting ingredient in one or two additional meals after that. I got some great answers, and you will probably find food that fits your criteria there.
posted by Miko at 6:43 PM on March 10, 2010

I'm not sure this counts, but older bananas become nice banana bread.

Similarly, stale bread becomes "pain perdu" or French toast.

I can imagine thinking, "Oh, boy, those bananas and that bread aren't going to be so fresh anymore tomorrow! Goody!"
posted by amtho at 6:49 PM on March 10, 2010

Almost anything is fair game for scrambled eggs. Leftover meats, cooked vegetables, beans, extra nacho toppings... all are given new life in the skillet with some eggs and hot sauce.
posted by scose at 1:28 AM on March 11, 2010

Roast lamb -> the best moussaka in the world
posted by primer_dimer at 2:11 AM on March 11, 2010

Chicken Parmesan can be made with cutlets right after they're cooked, but it's always been a leftovers thing for me. Also, stock is made with the leftover bones and whathaveyou from roast chicken, beef, etc.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:27 AM on March 11, 2010

Not the night before, but in my family if we have grits and bacon for breakfast, we will later have spoonfuls of the leftover congealed grits fried in the leftover bacon grease, like hushpuppies. Yes, they are probably horrible for you, but by the piglets of Hestia, they are wonderful.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:34 AM on March 11, 2010

Oh man leftover braised short ribs the next day can be used for:

- Eggs baked in restes
- Beef stroganoff
- Short rib grilled cheese sandwich with pickled caramelized onions
posted by AceRock at 7:02 PM on March 11, 2010

Thanks again for all the answers. I'm definitely going to try Pizza di spaghetti and work my way through the rest of the list.
posted by Brodiggitty at 5:06 AM on March 12, 2010

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