We seem to always have them. Some people love them, most are OK with them, and some don’t like them ever. While researching how to cook roasts from the venison we got, I spent some time at Backyard Grocery which is Susan’s blog from our SOLE food challenge. She has amazing recipes for venison. Like this onion tart made with leftover roast.
I used to be one of those Hating Leftovers type of cook, either pitching fuzzy little containers from the back of the fridge or eating more than we really wanted because we made too much, and didn’t want leftovers. I don’t know when that changed. Maybe having our kitchen in our old townhouse remodeled and getting a microwave convection oven. It changed me into someone who learned to love baking fresh fish. Once I could bake it without it drying out, I used that convection oven all the time. Neglecting the one in the stove below.
That’s why my crockpot is also my friend in the kitchen. The new one, just as simple as the one that died a while back. An 18 ounce package of ground venison joined with about a quart of tomato sauce, a can of organic black beans, a container of oven dried paste tomatoes, a white onion, 8 ounces of roasted sweet peppers from the freezer, one roasted jalapeno from the freezer stash, and a whole bunch of spices. I used cinnamon, garlic powder, chili powder, cilantro, salt, cayenne and smoked paprika. Added a tablespoon of honey and a few drops of sriracha. Let it go all day.
Crockpot liners make clean up so easy. No caked on tomato sauce ring to scrub. I put items directly from the freezer into the pot. The tomato sauce, the peppers. No harder than opening that cardboard box from Marie Calender or Stouffer’s and nuking your leftovers. After all, they aren’t freshly made. They were cooked months ago and frozen. Same with that pizza. Warmed up leftovers.
I do get that people say they don’t like eating the same thing for days in a row. Neither do we. Which is why when I make some things in the crockpot I freeze a few. Like my turkey orzo soup.
Made with the turkey from Thanksgiving, this soup used up the drumsticks. We ate it once for dinner, once for lunch and this container became a freezer resident, to be taken out and heated up for lunch or dinner in the future.
One item indispensable to me these days is this industrial cling wrap from Costco. I use it in many ways. To cover plates in the microwave as it doesn’t rip apart like the other stuff. And, to individually wrap items like the huge hunk of tuna I got from Costco a while back.
When I purchased the ahi last month, I came home and processed it into serving sizes, wrapped each dinner in its own plastic and placed them all in a large freezer bag. It prevents freezer burn, and I didn’t need to buy one of those super expensive vacuum sealers. I have had much success with this method. Just be sure to wrap securely and to also get as much air out of that outer bag.
Right now, I have a refrigerator with a few leftovers in it. I will be busy the next few days and the leftovers will be dinner in some sort of rotation. Tonight the last of the ham and bean soup, and Monday the venison chili. Sunday is my favorite cooking day and it is also my Eat Local challenge day, so I need to get creative with the latest veggies the CSA sent us. I will see what sort of goodies I can pick up today at Breezy Willow, at their farm store where I will be getting the last of the stocking stuffers for a gift exchange.
And, it is pink ribbon weekend at TLV. Time to get that tree, to take advantage of the donation to the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center from proceeds at the farm today and tomorrow.
See, so much to do to get ready for the holidays. Having leftovers makes my life easier. Without resorting to those prepackaged frozen foods from the store, or grabbing takeout. I definitely like this way of cooking. Besides, soups always taste better that second day.