Are there dishes that you don't like as leftovers?

ritaweedaAugust 13, 2014

We don't mind leftovers and have them frequently but occasionally I make something that doesn't taste good reheated or just don't want to eat it again, period. (Mainly seafood.) But tonight I had leftover chicken/cornbread dressing casserole and it wasn't very good. And I don't know why, it was delicious yesterday. I'm also not a fan of leftover hamburgers, steak, pork chops, etc.

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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think most people reheat leftovers in the microwave and that is typically horrible. For dishes that are intact, aka lasagna, I always prefer the oven.
Instead of thinking of food as leftovers, I like to think, What can I make with the cooked pork chops? Chop it all up and put it on a bun with some bbq sauce or dice and put in eggrolls? etc.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:50PM
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I don't like leftovers in general but I don't like leftover re-heated fried chicken, I would rather have it cold. Chicken and pork cooked in some kind of liquid or sauce is fine reheated. Pasta dishes heated in microwave at half works for me. Hamburger is ok but not quite as good as day of. Steak is never as good second day (but I am not going to pass it up)!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:40PM
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I, too, cut up leftovers to turn them into something else. My mother is famous for pooh-poohing a Julia Child recipe for a paté because it starts with cooking the meat and ends with appetizers, but my mother said that she forgot an important step: Feed pot roast to family for dinner. That is, the meat was cooked just like a pot roast. Which means you could make pot roast and make fancy French pate out of leftovers. :)

Crumble leftover hamburgers into soups, chili, barbecue beans (towards the end since they're already cooked). If you steam meats to rewarm them they're nice in sandwiches. And, of course, they can always be used with leftover veg to make all kinds of delicious casseroles.

The hard part is how to salvage a casserole that just wasn't that great to start with. What was wrong with it? Was it bland? Too acid? Too bitter? Too sweet? Wrong proportion of meat to cornbread? If there's something that just tastes off, or if it's too salty, you're better off tossing it. If it's too salty, you can try making it into soup. That won't work for everything, but a lot of casseroles are made out of stuff that's good in soup. Cut it small and break it up into water. Simmer for at least half an hour or until all the ingredients have absorbed as much water as they're going to. Taste the broth. If it's still too salty, add more water. You can add cornmeal if it's too thin, or some more meat and veg if there isn't enough. You can also use stock instead of water if it's homemade and has no salt in it. If a soup doesn't taste great to me, but has all good stuff in it, I usually add a generous amount of turmeric. It seems to make it better. :)

I generally plan dishes specifically to have leftovers and/or freeze meals. Leftovers are convenience foods. I don't much like leftover turkey, but I'm not a big turkey fan. That's better for sandwiches, salads and hash, than slices on a plate.

Sometimes, however, I just can't face 'em. There will be a perfectly nice piece of chicken left in the fridge and I just don't want it. That's when it's time to make chicken salad or an omelette, or something else it can be cut up in.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:43PM
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We make salad often, either with dinner or for dinner, and I can never eat leftover salad the next day. Chicken salad, tuna salad, pasta salad yes but not any type of regular salad. I don't mind using leftover salads in a sandwich the next day thought so I will often do that or DH (Chris) has no problem eating any type of leftover food. He hates to see things go to waste. Also mashed potatoes - I don't know why I always make too much and cannot stand to eat it a second time. Casseroles and such I never have a problem eating a second time especially when they are good. Meats or fish I generally try to just cook what we will eat, it helps with waste and portion control - if I only make 2 pork chops then we will only eat one each, where as if I make 4 we will probably eat all four or at least 3....
I think a lot depends on how good the original dish was. If it was only passable the first time and you are hungry you won't mind eating it once, but twice probably not. Dh's mom has been staying with us off and on since the passing of her husband in March. We decided to make youvalakia (meatballs with rice mixed in and an avgolemeno sauce.) Well with three of us in the kitchen all competent cooks the sauce was more like a soup and not very good. (too many cooks in the kitchen...) Its not been touched by us since we ate it that first night and the dogs have been very happy with their dinners lately.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:56PM
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The only thing I will eat "leftover" is my shrimp fried rice and egg foo yung. DH is in charge of cleaning out the fridge. He doesn't let anything go to waste.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:21AM
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That's why they invented Fried rice, pizza, meatloaf, meat ball, -------------------, to use up leftover food.

I find it very interesting to turn leftover into gourmet new dishes.

Cinderella transformation.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Stir Fry does not reheat well, so I try to make just as much as we will eat for one meal.

However there are many dishes that I will intentionally make extra of so that I can freeze half for a quick weeknight meal.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:21PM
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We love leftovers. Either created into a new dish, or the same thing over again.

I find burgers do reheat well, and taste just as good as the first time.
Obviously some dishes taste better the second time......scalloped potatoes being one. They just taste better when they're re-heated :)

I can't think of anything that doesn't reheat well, offhand, but I know there are some.

Even though there are just the 2 of us, I tend to cook more than we eat at one meal. Everything just grows. Thank heavens we love leftovers.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:25PM
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we have been grilling, smoking or rotis every weekend since the last snow fall early spring. With a big wood fired side box we cook for the day, Saturday, and use the fire space for meals for the week. I don't consider them leftovers as they are part of the creation of various meals. Garden in full production now i decide what will become what...fresh corn and lots of it is grilled in husks at the far end and becomes corn salsa etc and enjoyed that evening...salsa for salads all week. Smoked or rotis chicken makes a great chicken salad either Asian with toasted sesame or lots of veg and grapes, apples, olives.
I always add an extra salmon fillet when we smoke on cedar planks with lemon and dill for Sunday morning leftovers. Love it warm, love it cold. A mixed seafood grill, if a prepped lemony fresh dressing is ready for tossing and chilled, is a lovely cold salad.
A classic Italian seafood antipasto.
Our burgers have improved since grinding our own and i will grill 4 and prep two for 'leftovers'. Enjoyed cold the next day. (never thought they would be good) but delicious though different. A bit like a great meatloaf sandwich with fresh tomato salsa and i've been making my own mustards.
I always re-heat in the oven, covered to braise, then open to roast things like a half rotis chicken.
I have created some failures, but solved that by adding something fresh like lemon and fresh herbs or any type of moisture when re-heating.
If i'm clearly cooking for a later meal for tomorrow or a day or two later, i take it off the heat early, the grill, smoker, rotis, ...get it chilled as fast as possible knowing it will get a full cooking later. Avoids the drying out and over cooking 'leftover' taste.
A braised and lightly smoked pork tip becomes shredded and sauced for tacos...

If i have no plan i foodsaver and freeze it for an easy meal some stressed work day dinner. Then those 'leftovers' become a decent lunch over some sprouted mixed grains i've been consistently making once a week.

I suppose my point is...if you have oven or grill space and have an abundance of produce...go ahead and cook more than you need for that evenings meal, but take off half of it early and toss it in a fresh marinade or fridge it. For a cold dish or a re-heat in the oven will 'finish' the cooking time. A squeeze of lemon works wonders on many dishes.
Steak or a pork chop left over i would slice really thin and toss in a cucumber tomato salsa with some basil or coriander and fresh corn cut off the cob. Over a salad of garden greens....yum. (a bit crazy garden year...just picked my last big fat pea pods and sliced them thin, pods and all, and into a salad 'pickle' for the next week of lunches. With lemon cukes and early carrot.)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:28AM
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There are many kinds of leftovers that I like, and I purposely make extra of some dishes so that we will have a second meal from them, but ...

Two items that I don't like as leftovers come immediately to mind: Chinese take-out foods or homemade stir-fry, and dishes made with fish or seafood. It doesn't matter that I loved them the first time around. I think it has more to do with the smell than the taste, and it's a visceral response to the *thought* of the smell (IOW, I can just imagine it, and I know I don't want it). So those dishes are always saved for my DC (cousin). Like Mikey, he'll eat anything!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:26AM
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There are very few dishes that I will eat as leftovers. REgardless of how good they were the first time around. I know many think that stew is better the next day. I don't . It tastes like leftovers. I never make meals ahead to freeze for the same reason. They taste like leftovers.

Exceptions are homemade meat sauces, like Bolognese. I'll freeze extra. I like leftover chicken or turkey to use in sandwiches, hot or cold. But NOT to revamp into a pot pie. If making a chicken pot pie, I'll cook the chicken fresh just for that.

Leftover Mexican. Like beans, and salsa, will get used in another meal.

Fish and shellfish, have to be fresh, cooked same day, and if there are leftovers they get tossed.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:22AM
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I can't think of anything I won't eat left over. Shoot - I eat a lot of things cold! Grosses my family members out, lol. I do try to re-imagine things. Just the other day I braised chicken thighs and then used the leftovers for enchiladas on another night.

I will agree that salad is probably my least favorite the next the point where it might end up as compost if I'm not in the mood to worry about how wasteful it is. I try to make sure that there isn't any to save.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:41PM
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