Wednesday, April 6, 2011

UnRecipe: Puttin' on the Ritz With Franken-Leftovers

What a kooky post title, right? But I just didn't know how else to describe these bizarro creations composed of bits of leftovers from different meals. I really did feel like Gene Wilder's Dr. Franken-SCHTEEN, piecing together Peter Boyle for an off-the-cuff performance of Puttin' on the Ritz. (if you didn't get all those Young Frankenstein references, shame on you!)

Thai Fried Rice anyone? I literally made it up on the spot - Photo by Wasabi Prime

Have you ever heard of Pad Thai Fried Rice? Me neither. And it should probably just be Thai Fried Rice, as I think "pad" means rice noodle, and there was no noodly appendages to be found in this dish. As this is my typical UnRecipe post, where I maddeningly leave no exact measurements to be found, this funky dinner basically came out of me having just enough leftover Pad Thai sauce to make a big wok-ful of the stuff, and a mish-mash of ingredients that excluded the main component, which is to say rice noodles, so I had to sub them out with brown rice. I had a container of extra-firm tofu, one red bell pepper, unsalted peanuts and fresh pineapple. Behold, the randomness of my refrigerator and pantry. I always have eggs and fresh garlic around, which was also added to the dish. I made this the way you'd make any fried rice -- chop up everything small, toss it about with oil in a hot wok, pour in the sauce and mix until combined before mixing in the cooked rice. Because I had fresh pineapple, I threw that in last, as I didn't want it to cook down into mush and it added a nice acidic bite to the dish. Crunchy, spicy, sweet, savory and sour -- all the flavor of Pad Thai, but in a pineapple fried rice setting. Weirdly delicious.

What a fridge/pantry raid yielded - Photos by Wasabi Prime

An older Franken-leftover I made back around the holidays was sort of like a Thanksgiving Pizza. It was neither Thanksgiving, nor was it all that pizza-like, but it's the best way to describe it. We had many servings of our New Year's Eve Thanksgiving-themed dinner lingering in the fridge for the month of January and I still had some unusual holiday ingredients that needed to be repurposed, namely a sheet of puff pastry dough. I had bought a package for a holiday dish and you always wind up with the spare puff pastry sheet, as these buttery bro's come in two. I cut up the sheet into little Pop Tart-sized pieces and would bake them off individually, topped with some of the Thanksgiving leftovers. This also included a few slices of Brie. Why? Because I had it. Open-faced Thanksgiving sandwich? Thanksgiving tart? I have no idea how you'd want to spin a fancier name for this, but it was tasty enough to make me happy for several lunches. I enjoyed the savory, rich topping sitting on a buttery, flaky crust -- who wouldn't? I discovered our pantry had some yams that were starting to go bad, so I lopped off the soft parts (yes, Mom, it's fine to do that), sliced them super-narrow and oil/salt/peppered them up and made baked fries to go along as a side dish.

High-falutin' dining this ain't, not that I ever claimed it was. I just think it's kind of interesting to see what can get thrown together when little to no organized meal planning is involved and ingredients are starting to go past their prime. No leftovers left behind!

The holiday meal that came, went and sort of came back again - Photos by Wasabi Prime

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  1. Your unrecipe cracks me up! I actually have some thanksgiving dinner left in the fridge (from this weekend, not last year of course). I think I'll try something similar like a turkey cranberry stirfry. Not as good as an open-faced thanksgiving sandwich.

  2. Looks gorgeous and tastey! Mouth watering left overs, whoddah thought?

  3. Sometimes fridge leftovers beat the flavor of the first-time-around originals. Now if I just had a larger refrigerator!!!!


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