Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I have a thing for leftovers. There’s something appealing about the convenience of the microwave safe dish full of something I’ve already eaten and enjoyed. My father is also a leftover fanatic, and having him visit is pure joy for Stresch—he cleans out the fridge. My favorite leftovers are the ones that ripen overnight, whether it’s a congealing issue or a marination process, some things are just better the next day.

Tofu. Tofu with any kind of sauce or marinade. There’s a Moosewood onion glaze recipe that works wonderfully with tofu. It has molasses, soy sauce, rosemary, and mustard, a wonderful combination that compliments the flavor of toasted sesame oil (next time you make rice noodles, add a dash of that after the rinse and toss it—flavorful and helps prevent clumping) as well as anything you’d eat beside steak sauce. Tofu fried in that glaze is wonderful cold, especially a day or two later.

Pasta. Perhaps this goes without saying, but the only bad thing about leftover pasta is that rubbery thing the microwave does to the ends if they’re not covered in enough cheese or sauce. Penne with pesto is especially good cold with some shaved parmesan over the top. Since it reheats so well, save that one for a summer day when hot food sounds terrible.

Beans. Stresch has a marvelous marinated bean thing that she does, and with any luck, she’ll share it.

Mmmm… leftovers.

The best leftovers to be eaten cold (besides hangover pizza):

Mustard greens fried in peanut oil with garlic and tamari, served over rice.

Wash, de-stem, and drain or spin-dry the greens. Slice a clove or two of garlic, depending how much you like garlic and how large your bunch is, and fry the slices in hot peanut oil until they’re gold brown, then get them out of the oil and set aside. Throw the greens into the pan and toss them until they’re cooked but not mushy. Toss the garlic with the greens and a few tablespoons of tamari and/or rice vinegar. Serve over rice. Brown rice.

Save enough for lunch the next day.

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