Leftover meals are some of the best food, some people say and I agree! There is nothing better then a fried tamal the day after Christmas, or reheated chilaquiles for lunch (chilaquiles are a breakfast meal). These are one kind of leftovers but there is another kind of leftover food that forces me to be creative with dinners.
Towards the end of the week, when almost all my groceries are gone and I don't feel like going grocery shopping, I have to use the little pieces and bits of leftover produce, cheese and sauces that are in my fridge. I don't know why but at the end of the week, I always end up with little containers of tomato sauce. Plastic bags that store a piece of vegetable or three or four green beans, or a very small amount of cheese but I don't have any tortillas to make a quesadilla and there are no more leftovers from last night's dinner. This is when I ask myself; What should we have for dinner? It is time for the other kind of leftovers.
Here are two very good dinners that I made with leftover food. They turned out very nice!
2 thin slices (length wise) of eggplant
4 T of cheese mixture (ricotta, parmesan, egg, crushed red pepper, and black pepper)
1/2 c homemade marinara sauce (this is what made this meal special!)
2 slices of mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350°
Blanch the eggplant slices in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl full of cold water to stop the cooking. When cold enough to handle, spread 2 Ts of cheese mixture on each slice of eggplant, form into a roll and place in an ovenproof dish. Pour the sauce over the rolls and bake covered for approximately 15 minutes. Top each roll with 1 slice of mozzarella, and continue baking until the cheese melts. Serve hot.
Gilled Cheese Sandwich and Veggies
(with leftovers cheeses, green beans and fennel)
For the sandwich:
1 Ciabatta bread, sliced
2-4 slices of cheese (my leftovers were colby jack, fontina and ricotta salata)
3-4 spinach leaves
Spread the inside of the bread with as little or as much mayonnaise as you like, top one half of the bread with layers of cheese, spinach and more cheese and cover with the other half of bread. Grill in a panini press or a griddle until the cheese melts. The ricotta will not melt but it gives this sandwich a very nice salty flavor.
For the veggies:
1T olive oil
1 handful of green beans, trimmed
1/4 head of fennel, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
salt and black pepper to taste
In a shallow pan, heat the oil, add the veggies and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness (I like them crunchy). Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy.
Para leer en Español pulse aquí: La Otra Clase de Sobrantes