What to make with leftover braised chicken and short rib taco filling?
October 5, 2014 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I have a LOT of leftover braised chicken and guajillo-braised beef short rib (no bones) taco filling from a catered party two weekends ago. I froze it immediately so that's not the issue; figuring out what to make with it is. Please help!

My difficulty here is I can't use any grains (with an additional limiting factor being the prominent "taco-ish" flavor profile.) That means no rice, no tortillas, no bread for sandwiches, no pasta with sauce, etc. So far I've thought of taco salad without the taco shell, or over lightly sauteed greens. But then I'm stuck. Anyone have any other ideas? All foods/ingredients except for anything grain-based is on the table. Thanks for any ideas!
posted by hapax_legomenon to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
Taco beef is delicious with mashed potatoes. What about a taco-adjacent sheppard's pie?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:20 AM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry, I should have specified no potatoes either. In addition to the grains I'm trying to go low-/no-starchy vegetables. But thank you for the suggestion!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 10:24 AM on October 5, 2014

You could try lettuce wraps: Get a head of romaine, and use the leaves in place of tortillas.
posted by ceebee at 10:35 AM on October 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

You could make the braised chicken into a delicious soup. Sweat some onions and garlic, add some green peppers and tomatoes, then add some cumin and coriander and some smoked paprika (or chipotles, or any smoky, fruity pepper flavor), and when the spices are toasted and fragrant add chicken stock and warm the braised chicken in the soup.
posted by Lycaste at 10:38 AM on October 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I eat low-starch, and the taco-salad-without-shell idea is a standby of mine. Here are some more ideas:

-taco-bowl over cauliflower rice (also works with black beans, if they are not too starchy for you)

-breakfast taco bowl (taco meat, scrambled egg, salsa, sour cream, avocado). Layer it all and dig in. Great for dinner too!

-lettuce taco wraps (get some large Romaine leaves and use them to wrap up small portions of taco, like this. Don't be tempted to assemble a bunch at a time, though! The key to good lettuce tacos is making and devouring them one at a time, otherwise the lettuce sogs out :l)

-taco-bowl over calabacitas con elote (zucchini + corn. Go easy on the corn, as the recipe does (or just make it without) so it's not too starchy.)

-green chile taco casserole (make it like this (green chile instead of tortilla) or like this (squash instead of tortilla). I think the meat should be fine with half an hour's baking in a moist casserole...)
posted by grey_sw at 10:50 AM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Make nachos without the chips. Cheese, salsa, beans, peppers, etc.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:18 AM on October 5, 2014

I think either would make a nice filling for stuffed peppers or stuffed zucchini. I've also heard you can also use thick eggplant slices prepared variously (some recipes involve baking, others involve pan frying) as a substitute for bread in making sandwich-like things. I've got no specific experience/recommendations there as I'm not a big eggplant fan.
posted by drlith at 11:21 AM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would cook some beans and onions and peppers and make some kind of improvised chili.
posted by thug unicorn at 11:56 AM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Saute some green peppers and onions, add the meat and make a fajita bowl. Make some pico de gallo on the side and add some sour cream/guacamole/cheese/ready-made salsa and you're good to go! No wraps or starchy foods necessary. I do it all the time with leftover chicken.
posted by atinna at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2014

With the chicken, make a quick and dirty kelaguen mannok!

Cube your chicken, add chopped fresh onion, scallions, shredded unsweetened coconut, and hot peppers as you fancy. Squeeze some lemons or limes in, along with a few glugs of soy sauce, toss and refrigerate for a few hours. I like mine in a pita, but it's awfully fine just eaten with a fork, too.

Is it as good as chicken that you marinated overnight and grilled over a flame? No, but it's super fast and easy. (And a great use for grocery store grab-and-go rotisserie chickens.)
posted by mumkin at 12:57 PM on October 5, 2014

My partner is paleo. I am not. But tend to use that as a challenge. With meat like that you can totally throw it into eggs to make an omelette or toss into a crockpot with beans/lentils and veggies for an easy stew. You can also use that in a deep dish casserole dish and layer with other things you would use to make a lasagna, but use eggplant instead of pasta and tomatoes sliced instead of sauce (otherwise there is too much moisture). I love using mushrooms, onion, steamed spinach and fresh rosemary and basil. Oh, and lots of cheese. :). If it's a little too goopy, thickening with a little nutritional yeast goes a long way!
posted by floweredfish at 7:24 PM on October 5, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone for the suggestions. Even those I didn't mark as best answer helped me think about combinations to try so were equally useful!

Tonight I made a taco bowl/nacho-eseque combo and it is freaking delicious.

Layer 1: Cauliflower "rice" (or really just mashed steamed cauliflower with a tiny bit of butter)
Layer 2: Leftover short-rib meat
Layer 3: Black beans
Layer 4: Queso Fresco
Layer 5: Sauteed/charred zucchini and red bell peppers
Layer 6: Roasted chipotle salsa and sour cream

I'm not missing rice or tortillas at all. Win!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 6:54 PM on October 7, 2014

« Older Outlook 2013 - Shortcut to dashbord metrics on...   |   Pants! (Both kinds) Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.