Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Magical Transformation!

Leftovers have a horrible reputation. Quick: go take a peek in your fridge. Have you stored any leftovers in there? Most of us are really good at storing our leftover foods, but really, really bad at using them up. And who can blame us? Crispy egg rolls go soft. Fresh salads go limp. Breads dry out. Meat loses tenderness and flavor. Cheeses develop weird crusts. Who wants to eat something warmed over and substandard when we can make an entirely new dish instead?

My in-laws left today. They're wonderful about storing leftovers. They always take home doggy bags from the restaurant. But they're never keen on eating what they store. Therefore, a quick inventory of my refrigerator reveals the need for a few back-to-back leftover revivals. This evening, I performed magic as I transformed leftover minute steaks (a horrid cut of beef, avoid it), fettuccine, a bit of cream, a bit of leftover cheese, and a few other ingredients into a dish fit for a romantic dinner for two, complete with salad and bread. I completed the meal with strawberry shortcakes, all from leftover ingredients.

Eat your leftovers. They're practically free foods! And they don't have to be limp and lifeless. See what you can do?

What I had to work with: from left to right: Parmesan cheese, leeks, cream, fettuccine, and steak
More leftover foods: from left to right: Mozzarella, minced onion, tomato, salad, garlic toast

Enough lefotvers for dessert! Fresh whipped cream, strawberries, and little cakes!

Leftover Makeover: Fettuccine with Steak in a Creamy Leek Sauce with Bruschetta
Serves 2

What You Need:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • steak: I used three small minute steaks. These need to be cooked and cut into 1" pieces.
  • fettuccine: Cooked. Enough for two people.
  • 2 leeks, cut into rings
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsely, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • for the bruschetta: sliced garlic bread (1 per person), sliced, seeded tomato (1 slice per toast), shredded mozzarella (1 Tbsp per toast)

How it's Done:
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Toss in leek rings and saute a couple minutes. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds. Quickly add cream and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cook and stir until bubbling and thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add steak slices and heat through.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare bruschetta. Place a tomato slice and a tablespoon of mozzarella on each slice of garlic toast. Broil until browned and bubbling.
  5. Back to the main dish: Stir in mozzarella cheese until melted.
  6. Toss pasta and parsely with sauce. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on top.


Erica Davis said...

great ideas looks yummy

Roxanna said...

Now I am hungry LOL I am really trying on not just throwing away left overs it is honestly such a waste of $$$

The Manintvelds said...

What a brilliant dinner! I love doing this with my own leftovers!!!

heather said...

great job!

and we always eat our leftovers here, but im not usually creative enough to reinvent it!

Jenn said...

Great ways to use all that leftover food. I think I'm getting better at cooking less so we have less leftovers, but it's always fun to see what you can make out what you have in the fridge! The meal looks fantastic Michelle!

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

ugh!!! I am awful about leftovers! Usually, I make Dh take them to work for lunch. LOL. This stuff looks great though- and not at all mushy or stale.

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