Typically on Fridays when I open my refrigerator, leftovers from the week have filled the shelves. What to do with all that good food? None on its own is enough for a meal but definitely too good to throw out. The challenge is always “How to breath a new life into leftovers?” Here are a few suggestions and I am sure you have ideas to share too. Each one of these ideas start with “Leftover”
· Fried rice
· Everything soup
One idea to use up leftovers with the least amount of effort and time is to have a couple of sauces stored in the fridge. Use one sauce of choice to dress up a few odd leftovers so they come together in a seemingly more elegant way.
To make sauce or dressing that you would enjoy, take an inventory of your palette both in your preferred tastes and most likely you would have ingredients in your pantry to suit your tongue. For example, my taste buds love sour tastes either from citrus of all kinds (lime in particular) or vinegars. Because of my love of vinegars, and I have tried as many as I can get my hands on, I often thought that only rice wine vinegar made Asian food “Asian” and there could be no other substitute. Since moving to Central Victoria where fruit vinegar is ubiquitous, I have started to appreciate the quality and the freshness of apple and pear vinegar made here, just a few kilometres away. So, if you would keep a secret I proudly own up that my ‘go to’ vinegar is no longer rice vinegar but instead apple cider vinegar. Each month when I take my 3L flask to get a refill I delight in using locally brewed vinegar supporting a local business while simultaneously thankful that this vinegar can help make my sauces tasting as good as it can be. Good food is as good as the quality of its ingredients.
Here are a couple of easy recipes for sauces that safely keep refrigerated for up to a month.
This dressing dresses up steamed or stir fried vegetables. It is also perfect for coleslaw or any combination of salad veggies to accompany your BBQ or leftover roasts.
· 1 cup apple cider vinegar
· 4 tbsp local olive oil
· 1 tbsp roasted sesame oil
· 5 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
· 1 tsp salt
· Freshly ground pepper to taste
· Sugar or sweetener to taste (use sugar, honey, syrup, agave or stevia)
o I hesitate giving a quantity of sugar because I personally don’t like sweet dressings. A friend of mine, a fabulous cook, uses up to 5-6 tbsp of sugar for this recipe. So try adding it a little at a time until it suits your tastebuds.
o This dressing keeps in the fridge for up to a month but mine never lasts that long before being eaten.
Put everything in a food processor or blender and whip them until well blended. Taste and adjust until it brings on your smile.
No cook Peanut Dressing
This heavier tasting dressing is perfect for leftover pasta, rice or any left over meat or tofu. Its strong character dominates the flavour and claims it to be its own dish.
· A quarter cup good quality smooth peanut butter (can substitute with roasted cashew butter)
· 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
· 2 tbsp mild tasting oil (rice bran oil or mild olive oil)
· 2 tbsp soy sauce
· Chilli sauce to taste
· ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
· Sugar to taste
· ¼ cup water
Place everything in a blender and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust until satisfied.
Keeps in fridge for up to month.