Watcha Gonna Do With All That Meat?

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Forget summer weather or movie premieres. We ES-ers know that Memorial Day is the official start to one thing and one thing only: BBQ season!

Admittedly, some of us tend to get a little over-excited when it comes to how much meat is needed for one BBQ event. For others who find themselves headed into the first week of summer with an excess of leftover grilling, we’re very pleased to share this recipe from Andres Fernandez, the Executive Chef at the very delicious Morgan’s Barbecue in Brooklyn.

Andres’ recipe takes leftover BBQ brisket — whether from your own grill-out, or from roadside BBQ –and turns it into an amped-up sloppy joe.

Leftover Brisket Sloppy Joe

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Stuffed Pumpkin 5.0: Bacon, Egg and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and those loyal ESers among you may have been wondering—what is Miss K going to cook inside a pumpkin this year?  (Or perhaps you had forgotten this annual tradition.  That would be understandable.  After all, it has been a whole year.)  Whether you are new around here or just want to refresh your memory, you can read about my other stuffed pumpkins here, here, here, and here.  For my pentannual pumpkin post, I decided to go in a different direction, mealwise.

Inspired by Mike’s round-up of butternut squash recipes, I recently made a butternut squash gratin, which bore a striking resemblance to my family’s typically breakfast casserole, but, you know, with squash.  As I was eating it, I had three thoughts: 1) I cut these potatoes too big. This has been a common problem for me lately.  More on that another day. 2) This would be better with bacon.  3) Aha!  I have discovered the secret to this year’s stuffed pumpkin!

And so, without further ado, I have just the recipe you need to impress your in-laws on the day after Thanksgiving.  That is, if everyone hasn’t already, at that point, vowed to eat only green leafy vegetables until Christmas.

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Bacon, Egg and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin

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Eating Down the Fridge: Leftover Turkey Parmesan

I did not make a turkey this Thanksgiving.  I let someone else tackle that particular beast. And thus, my dear husband, suffering from leftover deprivation, cooked a whole gigantic turkey on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I am not sure if it can even be called leftover turkey if it never hit the table in the first place, but in any case, come Monday, we had a whole fridge full of the stuff.  I am always trying to eat down the fridge, but I was particularly avid this time because there was no room in our itty-bitty freezer for 10 pounds of bird. If you need ideas because you’ve still got turkey sitting around yourself (or if you have the type of husband who makes a second turkey after Thanksgiving) here’s what I’ve been doing:

Round one (Monday):Barbecue Turkey Pizza.  The dough was homemade, the sauce was Sweet Baby Ray’s and the cheese was Aldi shredded mozzarella.  I promise not to judge you if you use Pillsbury crescent rolls in place of the homemade crust.

Round two (Tuesday):  Turkey Tacos. As you know, Tuesday around here is Taco Tuesday, and I would have hated to break with tradition.  For the meat, I shredded 2 c. of turkey, then put it in a pot with  1 T. chili powder, 1 T. cumin, 1 T. oregano and 1 t. salt + 1/2 c water.  Stir, simmer, enjoy with tortillas, etc.

Round three (Wednesday): Turkey Parmesan. This was the final day of the turkey takeover, not because we actually used it all, but because we just couldn’t take it any more.  What a way to end, though.

Leftover Turkey Parmesan

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Cheesy Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Browned Butter Sage Sauce


Well, hey there Endless Simmerers!  Hope everyone had a fantabulous holiday last week and enjoyed copious amounts of leftovers.

I don’t know about you, but it is getting cold up in my neck of the woods.  Time for comforting, bubbly, cheesy foods.  AmIright?

Katt brought you some classic stuffed shells earlier this month, but now it’s time to get a little crazy. This meal was based purely on cleaning out the fridge.  I had some ricotta from my first attempt at ravioli making (not exactly a fail, but not exactly a win) and some pumpkin from Thanksgiving-y things.

So, this love child was born.

Enough chit chat.  Let me show you how this came together.

Cheesy Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

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Taking EDF to the Next Level

As you may have noticed from my various posts on the subject, I am in a constant state of eating down the fridge and/or cabinets.  One key to doing this successfully, I have found, is to keep a few interesting ingredients on hand, lest eating down the fridge become an exercise in tedium.  The ideal add-ins are shelf-stable, or at least will stay good in the fridge for six months or so.  A well-stocked spice rack is a good first step.  I am realizing, though, that there is a whole other category of these add-ins, a top shelf, if you will.  A jar of  capers or sundried tomatoes in oil, for example.

One way I have identified some of these premio foods-to-have-on-hand is by checking out some favorite food blogs and cookbooks and noting things that seem to pop up again and again.  The latest addition to the fridge door is  white miso paste, purchased at Korean Korner.  My new go-to food blog, Everybody Likes Sandwiches, features it often, in everything from tofu glaze to coleslaw.

Also, once you have miso paste, making miso soup is about as hard as boiling water.

Easy Miso Soup

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Eating Down the Fridge: Egg Foo Young

Lately, when it comes to reconstituting my leftovers into dinner, it seems that there has been an “Asian-inspired” theme.  (I say “Asian-inspired” so that I can sidestep any claims about the dishes’ authenticity.  I made it from stuff I found in the fridge.  I know it is not authentic.)  Whether it’s a weekly dose of fried rice or a bowlful of curry, I have definitely been getting the Far East vibe when I open my refrigerator door.

The other day, as I contemplated dinner, I spied a half-empty bag of bean sprouts in the vegetable drawer.  I knew at that moment that I had received my mission.  Here’s why:  Once every few months, I go to my favorite cheap, exotic produce shop, LA Mart in Silver Spring.  I marvel at how inexpensive everything is, fill my cart with vegetables, and spend less than $30.  Without fail, a bag of bean sprouts materializes in my cart.  I take it home, use half the bag that night, and forget about the rest until I find the sad little sprouts, brown and slimy, in the bottom drawer a week later.  But no!  This time, I have seen them in time.  I would not let them go to waste.

I like bean sprouts a lot.  My husband is a bit more iffy.  Thus, I needed to use lots of them without serving something that appeared, despite whatever delicious dressing I concocted, to be just a bowl of bean sprouts.  Enter egg foo young.  A childhood favorite of mine, it is the perfect EDF dish because once you have bean sprouts and eggs, the rest is quite flexible.

Egg Foo Young

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