Oh the wonders of recreating leftovers!! I was taught by my grandmother, Lola — who had owned & operated two restaurants & a catering business in her lifetime — how to reinvent leftovers. She was the master (Or mistress, I should say) of this skill. Anyone could heat up leftovers, but she repurposed a dish to feel brand new & taste as if it was just made! It became a running joke in our family, when we all used to vacation together at the family cottage at the Cape, never to leave your leftovers around for her to see, because she would take them & serve them up as a new dish. Mind you, she NEVER did that to customers in her restaurant! It was just our family’s leftovers. Every time I serve a new dish from a previous dish, I am always reminded of her & thank her for the creativity. She must have learned that from the Depression Era. I, for one, learned to “waste not”. Thank you, Nana.
One such dish recently was nothing really extraordinarily special or too different from 2 days before that. I simply reheated homemade baked macaroni & cheese, but I decided to serve them in small individual sized ramekins & placed heavy cream on the bottom to soften it up again as it was dried out a bit (especially being a gluten free pasta). I also sprinkled the top with vegan parmesan cheese, s & p, plus a dot of butter, placed in a deep pan & placed in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes served alongside with (recooked in the oven on a cookie sheet) slices of leftover Irish Soda bread that a friend of mine made for me. I sliced the rest of the bread up, and placed dots of butter on that as well & put it in the oven for the last 5 minutes of the macaroni & cheese time. This was a delicious lunch for my family & me for our snowed-in day (we had a blizzard & everyone was home!). 🙂
What types of leftovers do you like to reinvent? Do you change a recipe up & make it different another time? Do certain recipes seem tastier for you the next day?