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Leftovers Transformed

Leftovers TransformationsLeftovers have fallen into the category of unusable scraps, when instead, they can be a wonderful second, third and even fourth meals. It takes an unhurried approach and a little imagination. When the time comes, remember to delay gratification by the building suspense around a final dish.


You have some exciting leftovers waiting for you in the fridge.  You’ re hungry, in fact famished.  But you don’t have a clue what to eat and you are tired of eating the same things again and again.


Challenge yourself to transport one ethnic dish to an entirely new region of the world.  Introduce an unexpected spice or herb.  Do not eat until you have an entirely new concoction assembled on your plate, ready to go.


You need only the basics (microwave and oven/toaster at a minimum.) Remember to use the microwave only as a preliminary step.   If you have a Panini press, all the better.


To transform leftovers, forget their origin, but do not try to rename your dish before it is completed.  For example, turkey enchiladas or chicken sloppy joes.  These combos are destined for redos.

  1. Get eye level with your leftovers in the fridge.  Move containers into single layers  to get a full view of the contents of the fridge.
  2. Pull the leftovers out onto the counter, then order them with the oldest in front.  Using the oldest first reduces waste, prevents fungus, and is a good discipline.  However, if you find yourself moving a newer box closer, go with it.
  3. Open the containers and peer inside.  Imagine them deconstructed.
  4. Mentally, transport a box to a new country.  Trade jungle for arid, urban for rural, and east for west.
  5. Bring out the fresh ingredients to kick up the leftover.
  6. Start leftovers on slow warmup’s in the microwave.  Do not overheat.  Just warm to the touch.
  7. Pop the leftovers into the toaster oven or over until a nice crust forms.  Use your Panini Press.  Get the most texture on the meal.
  8. Slice or cube leftovers.  Present with flare.
  9. Think of exciting new names that have nothing to do with their contents.

Turn up the volume of any electronics at hand and enjoy.

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