Residual Oddments and A Fish Pie

… l’art d’accommoder les restes ….”  Christian Louboutin

Leftovers – in some circles a dirty word – can be wonderful, tasty, and invaluable to the conscientious culinarian.  Most of our weekday lunches are day-old or two-day-old leftovers camouflaged so as to reemerge as other than a redux of a prior meal.  Saturday’s pretzel rolls and “come back” sauce were used in Monday’s lunch of chicken salad following Sunday’s roast chicken.  I whipped up a lovely chicken salad with the leftover chicken (diced), celery, onion, grated carrot, and mayonnaise, added 2 tablespoons of the “come back” sauce to the mix, and plopped it on pretzel rolls with some hand-sliced Jarlsberg and lettuce (also from Saturday’s oyster po’boys) that had been washed and stored in paper towel to absorb any moisture.  All the rolls, but for one, were now gone, the sauce was substantially reduced (we finished all but a tablespoon or so of the sauce by serving it up alongside our Monday night frittata), the lettuce was gone, and the chicken was no more.  😊  Hubby even ate that last roll with his frittata. 

This morning with my coffee, I enjoyed the last slice of Monday’s “Perfect Pear Cake,” and for lunch today, we finished off the last two slices of last night’s frittata with the rice remaining from Sunday’s dinner.  I chopped up the last of the frittata and “stir fried” it in a little olive oil with the rice for lunch today.  That and some apple slices made for a yummilicious meal.

Today there was vegetable broth simmering away on the stovetop in preparation for tonight’s fish pie and Thursday night’s butternut-pear soup.  I had a head of Napa cabbage that, on its arrival last Thursday, was looking a tad sad.  I bagged it and put it in the fridge and, when I checked on its welfare this morning, it was looking even more forlorn.  ☹  So, before all was lost, I cut it up and tossed it in with the celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic cloves, and parsley that is my veggie broth combo.  WOO HOO!  No waste!  😊  Not sure about others, but I always do my stock/broth in my pasta pot.  It has the removable insert that is so handy for draining even non-pasta, and I don’t have to strain it through a colander or sieve and into yet another something.  I’m always delighted with just one pot! 

Tonight’s fish pie is my adaptation of the “Easy British Fish Pie” found at The Spruce Eats: https://www.thespruceeats.com/traditional-british-fish-pie-recipe-435284.  I do add chopped hard-cooked egg to mine, dice up a couple small gold potatoes, and use puff pastry for the top.  If I have shrimp shells in the freezer, I’ll make a seafood stock but, more often than not, I use a quick and easy veggie broth to make this dish.  One time I completely forgot about whipping up some potatoes for the topping and turned this into an awesome seafood chowder with the addition of a little bit of heavy cream to thin (but not too thin!) out the creamy base.  SO GOOD!  We’ll have the fish pie tonight with zucchini sliced and sautéed in ghee until the slices caramelize. 

As you plan your menu, do you think about how to use up those residual oddments for another meal?  It’s taken me a while and, if I’m honest, I’m still learning all the various parts of creative culinaria.  😉 

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.  He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”  Proverbs 18:8-9

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