The first leftover dish was a lunch of deviled crab. I'm not sure what made it deviled, but that's what the January 2008 Gourmet Magazine recipe called it. In any case, it was a tasty lunch. It was like a deconstructed crabcake. As you can see, I didn't bake it in individual portions, but I like the idea of serving it as an appetizer in a scallop shell.
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 stick unsalted butter
3 slices good-quality white bread
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne
white pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook onion over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Tear bread into very small pieces, then spread in single layer in a shallow dish. Pour onion and butter mixture over torn bread and let stand for 15 minutes.
Add crab, egg, cayenne, salt and pepper and toss gently. Divide mixture among scallop shells or ramekins and bake until crab is starting to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Notes: I didn't use quite that much butter and I didn't use 1/2 tsp of cayenne; I used a dash of cayenne and 1/2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning. It would have been a spicy dish with that much cayenne. The cayenne that I have in my spice cabinet seems especially hot, so I'm careful with it. If I had used the full amount, it would have been deviled for sure.
Salt Cod Fritters
I had a filet of salt cod, already soaked, that I decided to use in a Spanish tapas dish from Penelope Casas. This dish is somewhat similar to the Jamaican salt cod fritter known as "Stamp and Go" that I once made as an appetizer for a jerk chicken meal.
I was excited to use my little 1950's-era deep fryer that my grandmother gave me 20 years ago. I once used this deep fryer for a sixth-grade class project. My math teacher, Mrs. Ip, who is Chinese, taught us how to make fried won tons.
Bunuelos de Bacalao con Alioli
1 lb. boneless salt cod
2 tsps. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb. baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, separated
1/8 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsps. minced parsley
Oil for frying, preferably mild olive oil
Alioli and/or salsa romesco
Soak cod according to instructions, 12-24 hours. In a small skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil and the garlic and sauté slowly until the garlic just begins to color. Reserve.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Remove the potatoes from the water, bring the water to a boil again, and add the cod. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the code flakes easily. Remove and drain the cod and chop coarsely.
Transfer the cod to a processor and blend until very finely chopped. Add the potatoes, the sautéed garlic (with the oil), the flour, egg yolks, baking powder, and parsley and blend well.
Salt to taste.
In a bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add to the cod mixture and pulse to blend.
Pour the oil into the skillet to a depth of at least 1/2 inch (or better still, use a deep fryer) and heat until the oil quickly browns a cube of bread.
Drop by tablespoons into the hot oil, and fry until golden on all sides. Drain on paper towels and serve with alioli and/or romesco sauce.
Notes: We really enjoyed these fritters. I didn't exactly make an alioli sauce, but I did add a little Pimenton de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika) to some mayonnaise, which worked well as an accompaniment. It was fun to use the deep fryer and the fritters did not turn out at all greasy. Using a deep fryer with a thermostat makes it easy to fry at the correct temperature, which is the key to frying food that doesn't absorb too much oil.
Goose Pot Pie
I have been making the Martha Stewart Chicken Pot Pie for about 5 years now. I think it is an excellent recipe; I love the thyme in the filling and the crust. I use the Martha recipe as a guide, but usually substitute some of the ingredients with what I have on hand. I don't start out with a whole bird for this recipe; I usually make it with leftover chicken. I make a turkey pot pie with my leftover Thanksgiving turkey, so I figured that a goose pot pie ought to work well, too.
This was a true leftover version using things from my fridge and pantry:
- a single sweet potato found in the back of the pantry
- the leftover creamed spinach from Christmas (perfect since both the creamed spinach and pot pie have sort of a bechamel base)
- a few red potatoes
- corn from a single cob of corn
- meat from 1/2 roast goose
- goose stock made from the carcass of roast goose
Notes: I added 1/3 cup cornmeal to a standard pastry crust, which made a nice crunchy crust. I saw this idea in a recipe for a duck pot pie, and will definitely use cornmeal again in a crust like this.
This was a quick weeknight dinner using up more leftovers and pantry staples.
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1 stalk celery
3/4 cup cooked cabbage
1 can cannelini beans
1 qt. frozen chicken stock
ditalini and riso pasta
salt and pepper
Saute onion and celery. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and tomatoes and cook until almost al dente. Add beans, cabbage and parsley and cook until pasta is done. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Notes: Making my own chicken stock is one of the biggest improvements to my cooking in recent years. This soup was hearty and nutritious, but it wouldn't have been delicious if it were made with a quart of water or canned stock. I need an entire blog entry on chicken stock -- coming soon. I used some already cooked leftover cabbage, which worked well. I think that adding the cabbage already cooked was a good idea since it added another vegetable component without making the broth taste cabbagey. I used two kinds of pasta because I had small amounts of each and they both had an 11-minute cooking time.
We have been enjoying the frozen rolls from Alexia. They bake up like fresh bread, and the ingredient list is fairly healthy.