Sunday, September 23, 2012

Variations on a Meal or, Upcycling Leftovers



Sometimes we need lunch NOW. What's easier than green olive focaccia, store-bought but sublime hummus, pre-rinsed baby arugula and a spice-dusted thigh cut from rotisserie chicken?

After removing the skin we finely chopped the breast meat from our multi-use rotisserie bird to make Cafe Drake's favorite fast chicken salad. To the chopped poultry add: 1 small minced red onion (or 2 shallots), about 4 t. minced cilantro, a T. of best quality curry powder, a few dried cherries, salt, pepper and equal amounts of yogurt and mayonnaise (to your taste). Stir well and eat.
Now the OTHER thigh gets served, again on top of baby arugula.
Cafe Drake loves roasted tomatoes so we created this new version to bring a bit of variety to our meals. Start with 5 or 6 nice sized plum (Roma) tomatoes. Slice each horizontally and place cut side down in a casserole dish. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Now sprinkle with 3 T. brown sugar. Not to worry, the tomatoes won't be particularly sweet; the sugar merely compliments nicely their acidity. Tuck between the tomatoes a few garlic cloves, slices of ginger and small green chilies. If you only have larger ones simply cut into slivers. Sprinkle all with some panko bread crumbs and drizzle with just a bit more olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or so. Delish hot, warm or cold.

Tomatoes repurposed alongside the following evening's meal of turmeric rice, raita and Saag Aloo. Yup, we diced those previously roasted and leftover potatoes and tossed them with a seasoned spinach puree.

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