Monday, August 9, 2010

more uses for those leftovers!!

A couple weeks ago we had company for dinner and I made chicken. I'm not a big FAN of chicken so there was quite a bit left. I removed all of the white meat, chopped it up and put it into a freezer bag in the freezer. Last night I got out that bag of chicken, some leftover gravy and mashed potatoes, and some corn. I diced up a carrot and a regular potato and cooked them in the microwave until done.

Then, I took a package of prepared pie crust from the refrigerator. I've found that is one thing I like always to have on hand. There are SO many things you can do with it besides just make fruit pies. I took two "bean pot/French onion soup" dishes and buttered them If you're not sure, these are the type of soup "pots" you can place directly into the oven. I then took the two prepared pie crusts and placed them into each of the soup pots, letting the excess come up over the sides. Placing the diced chicken into the bottom, I then added some corn, some of the carrot/potato mixture, some diced small cubes of butter and salt and pepper. I topped them with some of the mashed potatoes I had warmed in the oven. I then folded the excess pie crust over the top and gave the tops an "egg wash" (brushing with lightly beaten egg). Into a 375 oven for about 35 minutes and they came out warm, bubbly and a perfect dinner for Bella and myself. The rest of the chicken is going to be made into a chicken salad (for sandwiches) today, with some chopped red onion, cilantro, and celery. Using up leftovers is, I think, one of the best and most rewarding things you can manage to do, especially in today's economy. If you can cook something for one meal, and get another (or sometimes two more) meals out of it...it's an awesome thing.

Today's food quote: "I was 32 when I started cooking...up until then I just ate" Julia Child

Recommended cooking tool: those little bean pot/french onion soup pots are AWESOME. You can do almost anything with them, and the fact that they can go directly into the oven and then to the table makes them convenient and versatile. I have even baked individual apple "pies" in them. Basically just some pie crust, butter, sugar, cinnamon and diced apples covered with that great refrigerated pie crust. To make it easier and even faster, you can simply core a whole apple, fill the core opening with sugar, butter and cinnamon and then cover that up with pie crust. It's a good idea to pierce the apple in a couple places to allow for steam to escape.
I like to make my own pie crust, but sometimes...if you have a quick idea you want to just whip up, it's good to be able to grab, unroll and get GOING!!

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