Kitchen Magic

To Turn Left-Over Pot Roast into Winter Stew

Kitchen magic pic

1. Slice all left-over vegetables and any left-over meat into stew-sized bites, but leave them all in your crock/stew pot along with all the left-over stock and juice from the original roast. The latter will be most of your flavor base.*
2. Add any assorted other left-overs you might have on hand that sound good in a soup. The Equuschick dumped in some left-over french green beans. Not her favorite for a soup, but left-over green beans only last so long.
3. If you didn’t have left-over meat in your roast but do have some other meat (raw or cooked), slice it and mix it in. If you don’t, skip it and go vegetarian.
4.If you’re going vegetarian, you could add some rice or barley.
5. Add a can or two of tomato sauce and your assorted soup-like spices.
6. Still need stretching? Slice and add an extra potato or two.
6. Add enough water to bring it to a soup-like consistency and put it back in the crock-pot on low until all ingredients are warm and cooked through.

What To Do When You Have Left-Over Eggs From Breakfast & Left-Over Chicken & Rice From Lunch

1. Slice and add assorted vegetables. (Carrots, celery, peas if you insist, but The Equuschick can’t stand them.)
2. Fry it all in a skillet (in sesame oil if you have some, if not move bravely forward anyway) and top with Soy Sauce, or better yet,Bragg Liquid Amino – 32 oz – Liquid.

How to Turn Chicken Noodle Soup Into Chicken Pasta Salad

Ok, admittedly this one is a bit odd. You might be thinking, as one thinks when confronted with many magical tricks, “But what on earth’s the point of this exercise? In what context would this be a handy thing to know how to do?”

Well, it actually did come in handy once last summer, when a few days after a summer head cold that had called for chicken noodle soup struck, a heat wave rolled in that definitely called for more of a cold meal. (Besides, it is also handy for those moments when all you have is left-overs but you’re bored, and want your left-overs to taste like something else.)

1. Drain the soup in a colander or sieve, taking great care of course to save the broth and freeze for later use.
2. Chill the chicken and noodles.
3. Add mayonnaise or salad dressing and any vegetables you may like in a chicken pasta salad.

Voila. You’re a magician.

*A Note on Flavor Bases

The Equuschick read somewhere once about how they reused absolutely every stock/flavor base/etc. in the middle ages, and how they almost always cooked everything in one huge iron pot, to conserve water as well as the rest of the ingredients. We are blessed these days and we don’t need to go unhealthy lengths to conserve water, but it got The Equuschick to thinking that perhaps, in addition to saving and reusing broths and stocks there were more flavour bases she could start reusing. It does save a bit of money on spices and such (in addition to conserving all the fatty nutrients), but if you are a cook like The Equuschick it also saves time.

Because, see, The Equuschick works her way around way way around the kitchen by way of smells and tastes. She is completely incapable of following a recipe from beginning to end. She is by nature a a dumper and a mess-around-er, and this is the sort of cooking that finds things like the grease of the butter and lemon juice the salmon was baked in to be invaluable. (She often mixes it in spaghetti sauce, for a bit of flavor and a nutrient boost. Or she’ll use it in a rice casserole or something.)

You probably don’t cook like The Equuschick, because most people don’t. Most people can follow recipes methodically and intelligently, unlike The Equuschick. But nonetheless, try saving your flavors, to save on spices.

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2 Comments

  1. Cindy Watson
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I cook the same way. Following recipes exactly is so difficult! My mom is a recipe follower and will often ask for the recipe for something I made and my vague answers of “a little of this and I think some of that ” doesn’t fly well with her.

  2. Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    We had a very similar situation to the chicken noodle one strike, in that the beef and vegetable soup that someone had brought by for a nasty stomach bug was immediately followed by a heat wave in which none of our still-tender stomachs could bear the thought of hot soup. I gave up and went to the store for cold cuts and crackers, but I salute your efforts. I am usually a more devoted leftover magician myself . . . my favorite is shepherd’s pie from roast/potato/miscellaneous veggies, and I also love the fried rice. (Though, alas, my kids do not, for some reason.)

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