Samantha Food Geek versus the Refrigerator

I’m pretty good at moving our leftovers out of our refrigerator, but every once in a while, a monkey wrench gets thrown into my system and before you know it, I have a glut of leftovers in the refrigerator. Today was such a day. I came home with the weekly groceries and opened the fridge to find it crammed full of bowls, tupperware and other containers with food from last weeks dinners. I know everyone has this problem so I want to tackle this problem and post some of my ‘impromptu dinners’. Hopefully, I can instill some confidence and inspire your creativity so you always know how to make a delicious dinner out of leftovers- without having it taste like leftovers!

Here’s what I found in the fridge today:
- mashed black beans with sofrito
- 6 ounces of grilled flank steak
- corn tortillas
- slightly soggy cabbage and cilantro salad
- raw red onions on the verge of going bad
- cotija cheese
- a jar of neglected Frontera roasted tomato salsa
- grilled corn on the cob

I decided that I would make a casserole that mimicked an enchilada. I added some water to the salsa and warmed it. I sliced the red onions and caramelized them and added the soggy cabbage salad and set it aside. I heated the tortillas, cut the corn from the cob and I also hardboiled some eggs. With all my ingredients, I started assembling my casserole, I dipped the tortillas in the salsa and lay them onto my lightly greased casserole. I spread the mashed beans on the tortillas, sprinkled some salsa and cheese them proceeded to the next two layers- moving onto the flank steak, the cabbage and onions and the hardboiled eggs. The last layer had the final dousing of the salsa, the cheese and some dollops of sour cream I found in the depths of the refrigerator at the last moment. Viola! My funky enchilada casserole. I covered the dish with aluminum foil and baked it until it was bubbly hot, then cranked up the heat and left it uncovered until the top became crusty and mottled brown. I served it with a green salad and both husband and baby geek loved it. I was also satisfied that I took some sad leftovers and with a little ingenuity and love, I made something delicious without any waste.


Barbara Byars

Posted October 15, 2011

I am in complete awe of your wisdom! Thanks, Samantha, for sharing so many of your tips, as well as your obvious stellar knowledge, and you have done this all with such ease and humor. Although you say you are not a journalist, you obviously have a knack for writing, and have accomplished all masterfully. You have put a smile on my face and empowered me to do a better job in the kitchen. After visiting your blog, I am inspired and think it will all make a difference in my confidence level in preparing food for my family and friends. Bon Appetit!


    Posted November 08, 2011

    thanks for the kind words! please visit often!


Posted January 10, 2012

thanks very much. I’m glad you found my website helpful. Please visit often or consider subscribing to the site. Thanks.

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