Friday: Rotisserie Chicken Leftover Pasta Improv

This Murray’s rotisserie free roaming herb chicken that I bought at Fairway Market is something else: The skin is crusted with a coarse lemon pepper blend, the cavity stuffed with fragrant sage, rosemary and whole garlic cloves that imbue the whole bird with seasoned goodness. That’s a whole lot of bliss for $7.99.


Since I had some leftover saffron pepper fettucine from Wednesday, I decided to improv:

photo-3After sauteing some sliced red onion, I added to the skillet about 1 cup of cold, leftover noodles, which actually improved in the pan, crisping up a bit on the edges.

Next, I added shredded chicken and chopped flat leaf parsley, and when everything was mostly heated, at the last minute I added two handfuls of fresh spinach leaves.

photoOnce the spinach was wilted, I turned it all out into a bowl, topped with the baked garlic cloves from inside the chicken cavity, drizzled with E.V.O.O. and a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.

And, voila, a quick, balanced, well-seasoned meal, requiring nothing more than a few leftovers in the fridge — fridge scrounging at its best.


Dinner: Time for a Round of Kitchen-Sink Leftovers (aka the “English Breakfast Sausage/Fried Rice Experiment” Post)

photo(4)Finishing the feast we ordered on Sunday from Sammy’s Noodle Shop & Grill was never even an option, although we gave it a good run:

— har gau, steamed crystal shrimp dumplings (4 ct.)
— pork and shrimp shumai (4 ct.)
— roast pork, Cantonese style
— roast duck, 1/4 duck
— house fried rice (chicken, beef and shrimp)
— sauteed mixed vegetables

By Monday night, the only remnants of the feast were the fried rice and the last of the sauteed vegetables, the perfect contestant for a game of … (drumroll, please) Kitchen-Sink Leftovers! Also known as: What Else Is Hiding in that Fridge?

photophoto(2)What happened to be hiding was a package of English breakfast sausage from Meyers of Keswick, a British specialty foods store in the West Village that makes sausages and other pork items (i.e. pork pies) that are so, so good. If I had to rank my favorite foods in the city, these are Tier One-caliber goods. Lucky day! Also, some loose leaf spinach, half a zucchini, eggs, the end of a bag of frozen peas.

photo(3)In the end, we had: Fried rice spruced up with peas, English breakfast sausage, fried egg, and tossed with the fresh spinach at the absolute last moment. Plus, a side of warmed, saucy sauteed vegetables, to which we added the end of the zucchini, which was spooned over bowlfuls of rice. Absolutely delish.

The final score: Five stars: I’d make it again, on purpose. In Kitchen-Sink Leftovers, you can’t get a higher mark than that.

Dinner: The End of Last Week’s Food Bounty (The Adrienne’s Leftovers Post)

Digging around in the fridge I found this lonely, last little stuffed shell leftover from the feast that was Adrienne’s Pizzabar last week. And I ate it. Along with the end of the mixed salad, which was mixed with the last of the fennel.

photoIt’s funny how food carries the imprint of an emotional memory. Readying dinner, I was struck with vivid memories from the excellent meal the week before, as well as memories of other dishes made with the greens — in particular, one day last week I made my first attempt at an omelette in just about forever, and it turned out spectacularly. The olive oil that I drizzled all over the dish (and which is nearly gone, too) is remnant from my article on olive oils that I wrote in February.

For some reason, tonight, everything had a memory.

Saturday: Now This Is Being Resourceful (the “Leftovers Utility” Post)

To anyone who read Friday’s dinner blog post and hazarded a guess to the multiple choice question I posted, the answer is: c.) get motivated to go out with friends and eat again later.

photo-1Now, Saturday’s challenge is, what to do with the second half of my club sandwich, picked up from Green Kitchen in the Upper East Side at about 12:30 am on Saturday morning? 

The first step is to identify what’s usable: The fries, clearly, are not fresh anymore — although I did have half a notion to dice them, fry them in a pan with some onion and bacon, and make a faux hash, to go with eggs.

But I was in the mood for something fresh, so I didn’t try it. 

Instead, I disassembled everything, setting aside workable goods. I had the makings of a small salad here, exactly the post-dim sum, pre-dinner with friends snack that I was looking for. 

photo-2photo-3photoThe romaine, tomato slices, chicken and a few non-soggy triangles of bread, further brightened up by radish slices and thin slices of a white onion, became a really lovely, simple salad, which I dressed with truffle oil-flavored olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Really, even I didn’t think it’d turn out this good …

Breakfast: It’s Back … (aka the “Wiener Schnitzel Leftovers” Post)

photoHot damn, that Wiener Schnitzel sandwich made such a good breakfast. All I wanted, exactly: good source of protein, on some sort of bread/roll, spicy mustard. (Spicy mustard in the morning is a real kick-start.) 

I was going to save this for lunch, paired with a side salad from a deli, but this perfect-breakfast-size dish never even made it back into the fridge … who wants breakfast proper when you can have this, is my feeling. (Told you that you’d see this again.)

Lunch: Making Something Out of Nothing (aka the Classy Croissant Sandwich Post)

I truly foraged along Eighth Avenue at lunch today:

photoStart. It began with the scavenged remains of last night’s antipasto feast, frisee and a bit of arugula tossed in a sweet balsamic vinegar; a couple of roasted pepper slices; a couple of slices of salami. Out of this bedraggled mess I saw the potential for a sandwich.

Stop no. 1. A local deli salad bar, Amici 36, which, by 2 p.m. the offerings here are looking pretty sorry themselves. I scavenged some red onion slices in a pesto sauce, some roasted asparagus spears, more roasted peppers, two fresh mozzarella slices, fresh greens and a few other stray vegetables that looked appealing. ($2.25) The deli was out of croissants.

Stop no. 2. Hot & Crusty for a croissant, the last in the case. I asked the clerk if she could slice is lengthwise, “like a sandwich.” No plastic ware is going to slice through a delicate, flaky thing like that and not rip it to shreds. ($2.20)


Finish line. Back at the office, some assembly required, but look at the beautiful sandwich I turned out. A foraged masterpiece.