The more recipes for leftovers there are, the better. If you're like me you prepare food the way you pack clothes for a vacation: too much is just enough, just in case. You love a bargain, buy those giant bags of onions, potatoes, and dried mushrooms at the warehouse store, yet hate waste. You recycle. And you have lots of leftovers.
Now, if you're talking about large amounts of leftovers
from, say, the company BBQ that got rained out, local soup kitchens and
shelters are always pleased to have safe donations that have been stored properly. But if you just
can't get out of "cooking for teenage boys" mode, there are more
practical things to do.
Eat them, of course. As a rule, though, it's not that you have too much food left over, but that you don't have enough of it for another whole meal for everyone. There are two ways around that:
1. Make the leftover food go farther.
Add this to that and make something else. There are so many good recipes for leftovers; you can recycle, repurpose, and restore those leftovers to their former glory. Think soups, salads, sandwiches, casseroles, frittatas, stir-fries, sorbets, and pudding.
2. Open Chez Leftovers "Restaurant"
This is a fun, fun, fun idea from the Family Fun Cookbook. They called it Mom's Restaurant:
If you have guests for even a few days, the leftovers can pile up quickly. You hate to prepare another meal from scratch knowing that it will only add to the pile. Open the restaurant, instead. This works for guests as well as it does for family, making leftovers a bucket of fun.
Just click the menu for a template of it that you can download to get you started.
Some of the recipes here are party-size, but you can resize
them as necessary.
Stir-fries defy categorization; they fit in no one category simply because they could go in every category. So I'm sticking them here, giving them their 15 minutes of fame.
Leftover bacon grease (drippings):
Or, you can make a delicious roux from it for thickening stews, gravy or gumbo. (The directions are in the "Options" section.)
Fish and Seafood
Bread, Rice and Pasta
There are some really good ideas from readers here for leftover butternut squash, in the Comments section.
Leftover cranberry sauce:
Eggs and Dairy
Leftover egg whites:
Leftover egg yolks:
You can always add any extra egg whites or yolks to scrambled eggs, before cooking them, of course.
Here's a great leftover wine idea:
Chez Leftovers Menu Template