Saturday, May 22
Serving Leftovers with Flair
When the weekends arrive, we are usually left with a few leftovers. Rather than re-heating the same and serving them up, I try to be creative, or should I say recreative. Last week, we had a fridge that included spiced, sauteed chicken filling for tacos, cherry tomatoes, rice, pasta and a pantry full of the usual suspects. Wanting to make some form of Mexican rice, the internet seemed to suggest that onion, cumin, garlic and beans were the integral ingredients. So, I sauteed some onions, added cumin, threw in the chicken, sprinkled garlic powder, a can of black-eyed peas, cherry tomatoes, chilli powder and finally the rice. As a side dish, opened up a can of refried beans and heated it up. I grabbed a handful of cilantro (coriander) from the backyard, chopped it up and threw it on the rice before turning it off. Note on cilantro, do not overcook, and do not cover the dish after adding it. This is my mother's advice when cooking Indian food. 'Cause if you do, it turns bitter.
A family favorite is a re-hash of leftover pancake batter. The one-cup flour recipe I detailed last week shouldn't leave a family of four with leftovers, but doubling the recipe might... So, my solution is to make my version of Okonomiyaki - a type of Japanese pancake with vegetables and a tasty dipping sauce. Please see link for an authentic recipe: http://japanesefood.about.com/od/holidaytraditionalfood/r/okonomiyaki.htm
Okonomi literally means "as you like it" - quite Shakespearean... Yaki means fried. It usually comes with a thick dark sauce and some mayo and is covered with fluffy bonito flakes - flakes of dried tuna. My version lacks all the above, except for the Shakespearean title. It originates in Osaka, which is where I had my first Okonomiyaki.
Here is my recipe for leftover pancake batter:
1. Make pancake batter from "Lemony Pancakes"
2. Saute one of the following veg combos-
*sliced cabbage and carrots
*leeks and ham
*onions and spinach
with garlic powder, soy sauce,salt, and pepper
3. Prepare sauce of soy, sesame oil, and Chiu Chow Chilli oil (or any Chinese chilli oil).
4. Add sauteed vegetables to batter and mix well. Make small pancakes and serve with sauce.
It's a great way to get kids to eat vegetables! I hope you enjoy it.