Sunday, January 14, 2007


I have a friend who always throws all the leftover food away at the end of dinner. Whaaaaat? I look at that chicken and those veggies and rice, and I see days of food being tossed. As a busy single woman with a career, I know that I don't have time to cook every night. I thrive on leftovers, and find that you can create fabulous dishes out of leftovers. More evidence that one man's trash is another woman's treasure!

So here's what I did recently with some leftover steak that my neighbor gave to me. (He knows I deal in leftovers!) This is just one option. Next time I'll discuss another direction you could take.

Cubed remains of steak. (Or chicken. Or pork.)
1 onion
1 TBS garlic
2 tomatoes, or small can of diced tomatoes. (It's OK if they're flavored!)
2 red potatoes, cubed and microwaved for a minute.
1 C fresh mushrooms (Portabellos are great. If not, choose brown ones over white
1/2 lb. green beans
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
1/2 bottle of red wine
1 1/2 C beef broth (or chicken). Preferably low sodium.
1 TBS brown sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
1 TBS (or more to taste) Hungarian Paprika. (It has more bite!)

Sautee onion on medium heat till it starts to turn carmel colored. Add garlic and meat, lower heat and continue to sautee for about another 5 minutes, stirring. Add potatoes, tomatoes (if using fresh) and mushrooms, stir for another 2-3 minutes. Add wine, broth, sugar, salt, paprika and thyme, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered. If you're using canned tomatoes, then add them with this last batch of ingredients.

Set a timer for 45 minutes, and relax. All you need to do is adjust the seasonings at the end.

Remember that this is about leftovers. So if you don't have any green beans, but you've got leftover broccoli, then use it! No potatoes, but winter squash instead? Great! Not a wine drinker, but a beer lover instead? Use the leftover beer in the cans or bottles that your friends had last night. It doesn't matter that it's flat. It's liquid. And it doesn't matter if you don't like beer. If that's the liquid you've got, use it. It won't taste like beer when you're done.

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