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.

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.)

Breakfast/Lunch: Oh, Glorious Leftovers! (aka the “not brunch” post)

photo-34Too late for breakfast, too early for lunch, I just don’t have the heart to call the chicken and coleslaw leftovers from the feast at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que that I plowed through in about five minutes flat at 11:30 this morning “brunch.” 

First of all, brunch is such a civilized affair — yes, even the boozy ones, at least initially. Friends, families, others, set dates, pick restaurants, come together to indulge in the weekend’s leisurely pace, talk, laugh, otherwise socialize, simply enjoy a good meal and good company. 

Secondly, isn’t brunch a weekend thing? I mean, if Friday was one of my “days off” (it’s not) I might consider calling a late morning/early afternoon brunch. “Might” being the operative word there. 

Let’s call it a truce, shake hands and move onto what has the potential to be a very interesting dinner …

Missed: the How-To Make a Leftover Salad Better Post (Friday Lunch)

I just couldn’t get to it yesterday, was too busy. But still really worthwhile content, so here it is: 

Say someone, let’s call this “someone” a “coworker,” offers up a take-out container of spicy Thai chicken salad, which is sort of along the lines of what you’re in the mood to eat, anyhow. 

photo-1photo-2It’s not beautiful, but it’s not wilted. Kind of smells good (spicy). And you just spent $6 on breakfast. Do you take it? Yes. Do you eat it right then and there out of that container? No! Rule no. 1 about leftover salads is you don’t eat them beyond a few hours of original prep. Rule no. 2 is, make it better. 

photoHow? By adding in fresh greens and maybe a little extra protein, to start. Also pick out any unsavory parts, such as soggy wonton noodles, or bits of lettuce that are starting to turn already. 

Combine in a fresh container (KEY), and shake. Don’t worry about the dressing; salads are perpetually overly-doused with dressing, so there will be enough on the original salad to gently flavor the additions.