I know that the word “Leftovers” conjures up images of gross slimy stuff which has been sitting in your fridge for days, or longer. The “Fridge Flavor” is one of the most feared extra flavors I have heard of among friends and family. And that’s for those of you who even keep their leftovers, that is. Plenty of people I know consider each meal to be a one-shot deal, and anything which is not consumed is thrown away, or fed to the dogs. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Leftovers are a great source of food, and in some cases, even better than the original meal. Have you ever noticed that Tuna Salad is actually better the day after you made it than it is on the first day? Or maybe an Avocado dip, like guacamole, is better after an hour in the fridge than if you had served it immediately? There’s a reason for that – provided you kept them in a properly sealed glass container, where the flavors of the food can mature itself, without any of the added “Fridge Flavor” people so carefully avoid.
Well, take a look at what I served up last night for dinner, and tell me that you wouldn’t want that served to you? Everything on the plate is a “Leftover” from a previous meal; either extra food made for the sole purpose of leftovers, or extra un-prepared vegetables, stored properly, to be used at a future date.
The ground beef was amazing. I originally cooked it in a touch of bacon grease with mushrooms, and seasoned it with just a pinch of sea salt, some ground turmeric, and some thyme. Across the back of the dish you can see the cucumbers I use as a functional substitute for chips, basically something delicious in its own right, but which can be used to pick up my dip. The baby carrots in the middle were steamed. I have to admit it: occasionally I am lazy enough to use “baby carrots” rather than full-sized ones… Usually if I get home late and need to put together a meal quickly. And on the right is the Cilantro dip I made several days ago. As I mentioned above: there are things that turn out to be better the second time you eat them. This dip is one of them. The garlic in the original dip was almost as powerful as the cilantro, but a few days in the fridge helped the garlic mature in to the supporting role it was meant for. Similarly, when the dip was fresh, it was a little too much on the liquid side; but after some time in the fridge it thickened nicely.
Dinner was amazing! And there’s no reason “Leftovers” cannot become a gourmet meal.