Tag Archive | potato

Preventing Waste Means Enjoying Creative Leftovers

I am blessed with a husband who doesn't mind eating leftovers the next day even if they are not creatively changed.

 

Last night we had chicken fried steak and white gravy, English peas with onions and butter, and garlic and onion mashed potatoes. Tonight he ate exactly the same thing and even heated his own plate of leftovers in the microwave. It happened that way because I got hungry before he did, we were just having leftovers anyway, and I decided I would eat the leftovers from two nights ago. By the way, because the chicken fried steak meal is one of hubby’s favorites, we’ll have leftovers from it again tomorrow night without any creative changing needed. We’ll just need to fix another can of English peas. Do you think maybe I cook enough food for more than one night on purpose?

I don’t like to waste food! The leftovers I ate tonight were a combination of black-eyed peas, ham, jalapeno deer sausage, one small new potato, and bits of onion and cabbage. If those leftovers were going to be eaten, they needed to be eaten tonight because part of that meal actually started 3 nights ago as boiled cabbage, onion, and ham served with cornbread. There was some left, but not enough for a meal,  so I got creative with the leftovers and added jalapeno deer sausage that I sauted, canned blackeyed peas (because I didn’t think ahead and cook any of our frozen ones from the garden), and canned new potatoes (again because it was spur-of-the-moment). Tonight, I took  the solid food, which I wanted, out of the soup/water which I did not want, and by the time I reheated it again, any cabbage and onions in there were little mushy bits — but good flavoring!!

Another way I don’t waste food is by feeding scraps to my dogs and cats…….there I admitted it and I don’t advocate doing that. But, I do take some care with what I don’t feed them. I don’t feed them onions, because I’ve read they’re not good for them. I don’t give them bones. And, I don’t give our black lab Buck flour products because he has a skin allergy to wheat. I don’t give them very spicy foods. We eat quite a bit of spicy foods.

One more recent example, hubby cooked a pot of homemade chili several days ago, and we ate it that day with cornbread. The next morning, I fixed scrambled eggs with some chili on top, refried beans, and corn tortillas — one of my all-time favorite breakfasts! I was born and raised the first 12 years of my life in San Antonio, Texas. I had been hungry for Mexican food, and now I had leftover refried beans, corn tortillas, and chili, so for supper that night I fixed cheddar cheese and onion enchiladas with chili on top, refried beans, Spanish rice, and chips and salsa. Hubby preferred and ate just the last of the chili and leftover cornbread. The next day I still had leftover refried beans, Spanish rice, and corn tortillas, so I had soft tacos with shredded cheddar cheese for lunch.

I mentioned white gravy in the first paragraph. A few days ago, in a “Cooking” post, I explained how I make gravy. I use a small, plastic coated whisk. I have only had one, and often it’s in the dishwasher when I want to use it, so I’ve been looking at stores but couldn’t find one….small and plastic coated. Today, I found one here>>>

http://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Whisk-Set-Miles-Kimball/dp/B008E05UMQ/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=molder-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=YZ4IQ3K32DLKLWRO&creativeASIN=B008E05UMQ  [This link is not supposed to be this long, but it works. I told you in the beginning I’m technology challenged. lol   But, I’ll learn.]

Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and English Peas

Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and English Peas

Boiled Cabbage, Ham, and Onions

Boiled Cabbage, Ham, and Onions

Creative Leftovers - Jalapeno Deer Sausage added to Cabbage

Creative Leftovers – Jalapeno Deer Sausage added to Cabbage

Homemade Chili

Homemade Chili

Eggs and Chili

Eggs and Chili

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili, Refried Beans, Spanish Rich, Chips and Salsa

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice, Chips and Salsa

Soft Tacos with Leftover Rice and Beans

Soft Tacos with Leftover Rice and Beans

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Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Batter

Good evening!!

We had such a good supper! As you will realize, we really like fried foods. Tonight I fixed pork chops with a spicy flour batter fried in bacon grease [the rather large amount of bacon grease that is always in a ceramic container in my kitchen will be the object of a different post],

garlic & onion & butter & sour cream mashed potatoes,

flour & milk gravy from the sucs or fond and deglazed with milk and a small amount of the bacon grease, and

English peas with butter & onions.

I used hubby’s “secret herbs & spices” (pictures below)  in flour for the batter. [He mixes most of the spices that we have in the kitchen together in a plastic bowl with a lid and puts some in a shaker bottle. This started for use on his delicious ribeye steaks, but now we use them for many dishes.]

Hubby is very helpful and peals and cuts up the russet potatoes and chops an onion. Any extra onion I keep in a zip lock bag in the freezer and add to it or use it, as needed.

I saute’ enough onions in enough butter in the sauce pan to be used for the English peas for both the peas and the potatoes. When the potatoes are boiled and done and drained in a separate pan, I add some of the onions and butter to them and leave some of the onions and butter in the English pea sauce pan and add the English peas and heat. I keep minced garlic in the frig and also add a little of that to the potatoes, as well as sour cream or milk.

I like to put a little cold bacon grease in a cold stainless steel skillet and get it very hot but not smoking before putting in the meat. This technique helps to keep the meat from sticking. The same thing can be accomplished by putting cold oil in a hot skillet and adding the meat immediately if the skillet is hot enough that the oil gets very hot immediately. When frying a piece of any meat that’s relatively flat and thin, I turn it when red blood begins to come out the top. That traps the juices inside.

When the meat is brown on both sides and done, I put it on paper towels to drain. With the skillet and grease not very hot, I mix flour left from the breading process into the grease in the skillet and mix with a whisk [essential to me] until it is smooth. An estimate of the ratio is 1 Tbsp flour for each 1 Tbsp of grease to 1 cup of liquid, but I add more of any one of them, as needed. The flour and grease are easier to manage if initially they are not very hot and not thin but not at all thick. The thickening comes after it cooks in the milk. I gradually add milk while whisking and continue whisking until smooth. Then I whisk occasionally as the gravy begins to gently boil and thicken over medium low heat. If it gets too thick, more milk or hot water can be added and whisked. When taken off the heat, the gravy will thicken some more, so don’t make the consistency too thick before taking it off the heat and declaring it “finished”.

Pork Chops Fried                Bon appetit!!27 Spices 122614 27 Spices