I have been doing daily, hand to hand combat with leftovers this summer. It seems that I have been routinely cooking too much food, either by miscalculating how much my family would enjoy a meal or by how many people would be eating the meal. My refrigerator shelves are a maze of containers full of meat, vegetables and rice or pasta. It’s a daily dilemma deciding what to do with those bits & bobs of meals past.
Eggs are a great partner in the fight to use up food before it has to be thrown away. Today I whipped up a Southwest-flavored frittata for one. It was my lunch, but could easily have been scaled up to feed more people. Here’s my basic “formula” for creating frittata from leftovers.
1. Raid your refrigerator for leftover meats, vegetables and grains or pastas. Chop whatever you choose into bite-sized pieces, keeping in mind that the more ingredients you have the less you’ll need of any single item.
2. Heat olive oil or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add any uncooked ingredients, like meat or vegetables, and saute until cooked through. Add cooked ingredients (rice, quinoa, macaroni, cooked meat, grilled veggies, salsa, etc.) and heat until warm.
3. Meanwhile beat eggs. Two or three should be enough for a frittata for one person. Feel free to add a splash of water, milk, sour cream or even plain yogurt, along with salt and pepper.
4. Reduce heat to medium low and pour in eggs. Quickly stir to distribute the eggs. Cover and cook until top of eggs are set. Top with shredded cheese and recover to melt for a minute or two. Loosen the edge of the frittata with a spatula and slide onto a plate. Serve with hot sauce or salsa, if desired.
What is your favorite way to use up leftovers?