Friday, February 12, 2010

The "L" Word

I have a friend whose son, now in his 20s, will not eat leftovers. He calls them "old food," as in "I don't like old food."

I, on the other hand, have always loved leftovers, though growing up in a family of five (parents, myself, two younger brothers) there wasn't a whole lot left over after dinner, especially when those boys became adolescents. Not that they were grabbing food out of my mouth, mind you, but because I did some of the cooking I made sure to make things they felt were a little questionable. Like straying from their strict "meat and potatoes" regimen and using vegetables and spices, thus assuring myself of plenty to eat plus leftovers. Diabolical, no?

So when I was stuck for something to make for dinner recently, I did what I always do: open the refrigerator door and scan the shelves and bins, looking for inspiration. Kind of like Lynn Rosetto Casper of The Splendid Table does with her "Stump the Cook" segment, where she has to come up with a dish made from five ingredients given to her by a caller.

The five ingredients I found? Chorizo sausage leftover from pizza-making, leftover duck and part of a pork chop from a terrific birthday dinner at Alba Osteria, rice and smoked chicken stock. All I had to do was add some saffron, onions and garlic and I had the makings of a fine paella.

What five ingredients have you used lately to make an inspired dinner? Leave your solutions to this age-old conundrum by clicking on the Comments button below!

Photo of salametto piccante from Fra Mani Handcrafted Salumi. Great product, btw!

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