Sunday, March 17, 2013

What to do with those St Patty's leftovers?

If you were like us, you enjoyed one of the culinary pleasures given to us by our Irish brothers and sisters- corned beef. My darling wife, being of Irish descent, requires this to be on the menu every St. Patrick's Day. Not that this is any great hardship on our family's part, as we usually fight over who gets the last piece (like a good Irish family). So what do you do if there are any leftovers?

Other than the usual repeat of the meal, (which is a fine option) what else can you do with it? Here are some tips I have come up with that I hope you can use.

Corned beef- there is always the favorite, corned beef hash. I actually enjoy this very much and love it with an over-easy egg. Simply pulse the corned beef through a food processor for a few seconds until it is chopped fine but not mushed. If you don't have a food processor, simply chopping the corned beef with a knife will suffice. Add some small diced potatoes, ground pepper and some of the leftover juices from when you originally cooked the meat (not too much- add a little at a time). The added juice will help make the hash not so dry.

Another idea is panini sandwiches. Put a couple slices of the corned beef on rye bread, add some grainy mustard, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, 1000 island dressing, toast in a panini press and you have yourself a Reuben sandwich.

If you had buttered potatoes with your corned beef and cabbage dinner like we did, instead of just reheating them for another meal, try disguising them a bit. Make mashed potatoes from them by simply heating them up with a bit of milk and then mash once they are heated through. Your butter is already added so just put in some sour cream, salt and pepper to get the correct consistency you like. Jazz them up with some garlic powder (for garlic mashed potatoes) or some shredded cheese.

Okay, on to the cabbage. I liked stuffed cabbage but the thought of rolling all of those leaves makes me shudder. One dish I made awhile ago was "un-stuffed cabbage". What I did to save time was I made a lasagna out of the stuffed cabbage ingredients. Sauce the bottom of a lasagna pan with tomato juice or crushed tomatoes. Add a layer of cabbage leaves. Add a layer of cooked ground beef and rice that has been mixed together prior. Then repeat 2 more times. Finish the top with a layer of cabbage. Cover with tomato juice, sauce or crushed tomatoes. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes if you used cooked cabbage or 75-90 minutes if you used raw or blanched cabbage.

I hope these ideas help you stretch those food dollars a bit more and helped get the wheels turning for you to come up with new ways to reuse those leftovers.

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