Do you sometimes find your refrigerator is filled with the past week’s leftovers, but not enough of any one thing to really make a meal?
As long as the leftovers are fresh, you don’t want to throw them out. That’s not only a waste of food, but a waste of money too.
If your family tires quickly of leftovers then it’s time to get a little creative and see what you can prepare from what you’ve got left. With a little imagination and the leftovers, you soon have a new dish to serve your family.
I gave this a try recently when I found a leftover chicken croquette in the refrigerator, but not enough for a complete meal. Checking further I found I had my usual stock of staple ingredients: minced garlic, celery, and onions. I also had a small portion of leftover mashed potatoes.
As I was putting the food out on the counter to see what I could pull together, I decided to add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of mixed vegetables. Looking over the ingredients I wasn’t sure what I was going to put together and then it came to me — my own take on Chicken Gumbo.
I started by crumbling the chicken croquettes I had into small pieces. Next I cut up a rib of celery into large dices about 1/2 inch or so and a 1/2 cup of onion. The onion dices were about 3/8-inch each. I put a skillet on medium heat and added about 2 tablespoons of Canola oil. I sautÃ©ed the celery about a minute and then added the onion and sautÃ©ed for another three minutes. I added a pinch of fresh ground kosher salt to the onions and celery while it was sautÃ©ing.
Next I added a tablespoon of minced garlic (I use Spice World brand), a can of diced tomatoes (I didn’t drain these), a 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and the crumbled chicken croquette. I gave all that a good stir and added 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of powdered chicken bouillon, a can of mixed vegetables (didn’t drain these either), and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
I stirred all this together, making sure it was well incorporated and then I let it simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. I checked it often and gave it a stir. It ended up cooking for about 30 minutes total.
I poured the gumbo into bowls and topped it off with shredded Mozzarella cheese. Shaved fresh Mozzarella would have been great on it, but unfortunately there wasn’t any in the refrigerator. I also served it with a couple of slices of toasted cheese bread, about 1/2 inch thick. The bread really isn’t necessary, but we found that it was a great way to make sure we got every last drop of the gumbo.
This recipe of mixed leftovers is a good way to use what’s in your refrigerator and have a delicious meal too. You take a few leftover items, combine them and ‘awesomize’ a new dish.
Do you have a gumbo recipe you’d like to share? What do you do with your leftovers or do you even have leftovers?
Thanks for stopping by.
Serves: 4 servings
- 1 Cup chicken croquette, crumbled
- ½ Cup mashed potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Canola oil
- 1 Rib of celery, diced into large cubes
- ½ Cup chopped onion (approximately ⅜ inch)
- 2 Cups water
- 1 Can (14½ oz) mixed vegetables
- 1 Can (14½ oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pinch of fresh ground kosher salt
- 2 Teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- Crumbling the chicken croquette into small pieces. Next I cut up a rib of celery into large dices about ½ inch or so and a ½ cup of onions in ⅜-inch dices. Heat a skillet on medium heat and added about 2 tablespoons of Canola oil. SautÃ© the celery about a minute and then add the onion and sautÃ© for another three minutes. Add a pinch of fresh ground kosher salt to the onions and celery while it sautÃ©s.
- Next add a tablespoon of minced garlic, a can of diced tomatoes (don't drain), a ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and the crumbled chicken crochets. Give all that a good stir and add ½ cup mashed potatoes, 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of powdered chicken bouillon, a can of mixed vegetables (don't drain), and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
- Stir all this together, making sure it is well incorporated and then let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check often and give it a stir. Can take up to 30 minutes depending on stove temperature.
- Pour into bowls and top with shredded Mozzarella cheese and serve with toasted cheese bread.