Friday, August 27, 2010

The Leftover Dilemma

As you may or may not have noticed, fat is a recurring theme here. I'm only echoing what thousands of years of culinary tradition over many cultures has taught us- fat is delicious. Take that, Lean Cuisine. This post is no exception.
Like most other housewives, I end up with a refrigerator full of leftovers quite frequently. Why does this happen? Nobody actually likes leftovers. Who wants warmed over, two day old meatloaf. Ick. Plus, I get bored easily. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of meals I've fixed more than one time in the five years I've been married. So the idea of eating the same thing for dinner and then for lunch the next day is not particularly appealing. For some reason, though, I can't stand the thought of throwing out "perfectly good food." Instead I wait until it's no longer perfectly good. Makes sense, huh? Yeah...
Well, fat to the rescue! I've figured out what to do with leftovers. This also solves the pesky problem of wasted bread heels or the last lonely hamburger bun. You coat leftovers in breadcrumbs and pan fry them. "Gross," you say, "That will never work!" Au contraire, mes amis! Got leftover mac n' cheese? Ball it up, coat it in crumbs, and pan fry it! Deeee-lish. They serve this at some restaurants. Rice and beans? add an egg and some cheese, ball it up, coat it in seasoned crumbs, and pan fry it! Voila- Tex Mex/Italian fusion arancini. Cauliflower (assuming the last bits *don't* get snarfed at the table on the first go. Who doesn't like cauliflower? Har!), chop it up, add an egg, crumbs, and cheese; ball it up, coat it in crumbs, and pan fry! I'm pretty sure all kids will like this, even the 35 year old adult male kind. If the leftovers are too dry and crumbly to ball up, add egg and/or cheese. If it's too soupy, add bread crumbs. I can't think of anything at the moment that this wouldn't work for. It ain't healthy, but it's practical. I wonder how much money and food could be saved if we would repurpose leftovers more often.
Props to Darrin- I thought of this because of an absolutely incredible appetizer he and his lovely bride served us a while ago that was veggies, cheese, and bread crumbs pan fried. It was amazing.