Leftover Magic

By | August 30, 2012

Well guys, if you’ve noticed that I’ve been posting more recipes after taking a break from doing that, it’s because I have a new-found love for my kitchen.

Maybe because it’s huge compared to my last kitchen.

Maybe because we have a brand new refrigerator that I love to fill up with delicious things. And a new oven that is begging to be used. Every night.

Or maybe it’s because we went a long time while we were moving and packing and getting ready to move when we were eating pretty much only frozen pizza, hamburger helper, and other not so blog-worthy meals.

Well, last night was going to be one of those meals as well.

See, we brought home some leftover cooked meat from the fair. Things like steak that had been sitting too long to served but still tasted fine, burgers and hot dogs that were leftover at the end of the night…you get the idea.

Leftovers…getting old. Taunting me every time I open the fridge.

Well, last night, we were going to use some of those up.

And I have a half-gallon of milk that’s going to go bad in a few days I wanted to use.

And we haven’t had zucchini in awhile.

So I planned out dinner to be pretty easy. I would heat up the steak to make steak sandwiches, make Kraft mac’n’cheese with the milk, and then something more creative zucchini.

Afterall, I cook with zucchini all the time so it’s really not a big deal to whip something up that makes the leftovers and plain, easy macaroni feel more special.

But then I added extra milk to the macaroni because I knew Hubs wouldn’t be home for awhile yet and it would start to tighten up and get too sticky if I didn’t put extra moisture in there early on.

And the milk made it extra extra creamy tasting.

So I added some fresh ground pepper, and some chives, and some parsley. And more milk.

And, oh my goodness, so creamy and delicious.

My mouth is actually watering just thinking about eating the leftovers for lunch.

And then I started to work on the zucchini. I had planned to make some sort of zucchini fries, like I did here. But then I saw this post from The Pioneer Woman (Do you read her blogs? You totally should.) and I wanted to add some lemon to the party.

So this is what I ended up doing.

Lemon-Crumb-Coated-Zucchini-Fries.

(Yes, that’s what I’m calling them.)

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs.

2-3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 packet of ranch seasoning

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 egg

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 average-sized zucchini, sliced into thin strips

Combine all the dry ingredients. I did this in my blender since I used it to make the bread crumbs anyway.

All in there, ready for mixing.

Combine all wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in zucchini pieces and toss to coat. 

I didn’t do a great job of cutting our fries in equal sizes…

Add in dry ingredients. Toss again to coat.

Spread the zucchini pieces out on a baking sheet. 

See how many crumbs? Crumbs=yum. In this case.

Then, since I had plenty of leftover “crumbs,” I didn’t want to waste them so I sprinkled them all over the top of the cookie sheet I would recommend you do this, too.

Then bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn them, and bake for 12 more minutes.

By this time, some of your extra crumbs will be brown enough to taste. Do that. Yum. 

Turn again and bake/broil until your desired level of “brown-ness.” (We like things a little extra crispy in this house.)

See what I mean about the yummy crumbies?
(I think of Monica from FRIENDS when I say “crumbies”)

Then you’ll serve them ranch dressing, or just plain, because I didn’t think they needed anything else, but Hubs loves his condiments.

They tasted so fresh and yet creamy at the same because of the lemon and the cheese and the bread crumbs and the egg. Sooooo good. I’m telling you.

In the meantime, Hubs came home from work and asked what we were having. He’d forgotten that we had decided the night before to eat the leftover steak. And that no longer seemed very exciting to him. So he said, “Ok, but I want cheese on mine.”

Then we talked for a little bit about how if we added onions it would be a cheesesteak sandwich.

So we did that.

First, we sauteed the onions in butter.

I think onions and butter may smell a little like heaven.

And he chopped up the steak.

Cold steak looks awfully dry and boring.

And then we added the steak to the onions and butter.

Yup. This is way better than what I’d planned to do for dinner.

And then we melted cheese on top.

Yes, I put some of the leftover crumbies on my macaroni and cheese. No, I did not regret it.

(I went without the top bun because I just didn’t want it. I would actually recommend some kind of hoagie roll for this, but since we were working with leftovers here, crumbly-sorta-old-hamburger-buns were all we had.)

Anyway, it ended up being a pretty spectacular meal.

And I was reminded once again, why I love spending time with the man I married. Because he’s fun. He’s creative. He’s spontaneous. He’s open to try new things. He will experiment with me. Play with me. Laugh with me. Eat ridiculously better than anticipated leftovers with me.

And then he’ll do the dishes.

Reason #47 husband roommates are the best.

5 thoughts on “Leftover Magic

  1. Donita

    I had forgotten how much I love your “food” blogs. It makes my mouth water and gives me a boost to be more creative! Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Laura

    I am the worst when it comes to eating our leftovers (of course, so is my husband). Whether it’s leftovers from restaurants or just whatever I’ve cooked for dinner they don’t tend to get eaten too often. I like the idea though of using the leftovers in a new way, I’ll definitely have to keep that in mind next time we’ve got something left in the fridge!! And the zucchini looks amazing… I think I need a trip to our local farmers market this weekend for some veggies!

    Reply
    1. melissashipman Post author

      definitely! I hope you make these zucchini fries! And good luck eating the leftovers! It’s hard sometimes, but we try our hardest to not let things go to waste.

      Reply

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