Repurposed Leftovers OR How I Deal with Leftovers

As today is Monday,  I went grocery shopping this morning for my family and for my clients. Then I came home and found myself faced with the prospect of putting the groceries away. This is normally a pretty simple task, but I face it with a bit of dread. In order to make room for the NEW groceries, I have to make use of last week’s groceries- peeled onions, the handful of lemon and lime halves, chicken carcasses, pieces of cheese, nubs of butter, cooked rice, sad vegetables, etcetera. The frugal cook in me would never allow for waste so I clean out the fridge of all the odd bits and decide what becomes Monday-night dinner and what can be ‘repurposed’ into something delicious. This week was no different. I had the following in the fridge:

  1. three lemon and 2 lime halves
  2. pieces of chicken carcass
  3. half of a red onion
  4. half a dozen egg yolks
  5. leftover toast from Sunday breakfast
  6. wilted carrots and celery
Here’s what became of the assorted food:
  1. I juiced the lemons and limes and made a citrus vinaigrette.
  2. I sauteed the chicken pieces and added water and simmered it for an hour to make a fast chicken broth. I added another leftover onion along with some sad carrots and celery to add more flavor.
  3. The red onion was sliced thinly, crammed into a jar along with salt, peppercorns, a cinnamon stick and vinegar to become pickled onions.
  4. I mixed the remaining lemon/lime juice with an egg yolk, whisked in some canola oil and made a quick mayonnaise.
  5. The toasted bread got pulsed in the food processor and became toasted bread crumbs. The breadcrumbs along with the mayonnaise were mixed with some canned wild salmon and became salmon cakes for dinner.
The rest of the egg yolks would become ice cream later this week, or maybe fresh pasta, who knows. Now, I don’t expect that everyone will have time to do all this with their refrigerator leftovers, but I hope this has inspired you to repurpose your sad food.

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