I think that part of being a good cook comes from being able to repurpose leftovers, either to make a mediocre or unexciting dish better, or just to reinvent them as something else. I have a staple asian noodle soup recipe that I use pretty regularly with extra chicken, beef or pork. It’s got lots of celery, onions, carrots, dried mushrooms and whatever else I feel like putting in it (i.e. spinach). The asian flavors like soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, ginger, chinese 5 spice all make the broth flavorful and hearty.
This is what I planned on doing with the leftover red chili paste marinated flank steak, but two things changed my mind. 1) My youngest daughter doesn’t love this or so she claims verbally (you wouldn’t know it from the way she eats all the goodies and noodles) and 2) I had a couple links of cooked italian sausage that I thought I could toss in. I also had some other random vegetables around like 1/2 a green pepper and some both cooked and uncooked broccoli.
As I expected, it all worked out well. The flavor was bold and the soup hearty.
1/2 cooked marinated flank steak, sliced thinly in bite size pieces
2 cooked italian sausages, sliced thinly
1/2 box spinach fettucini
1 medium onion cut in half and sliced thinly
2 celery stalks sliced thinly (I used a mandolin for the celery and carrots)
3 carrots sliced thinly
1 large tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper cut in half and sliced thinly
1 cup broccoli cut into small florets
3 cups beef stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cups water
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Adobo and cracked black pepper
1. Steep dried porcini mushrooms in hot water for 5-15 minutes
2. Heat pot on stove and add olive oil
3. Add onions, celery and carrots, saute 1-2 minutes
4. Add garlic, Adobo and pepper to taste
5. Add in steak and sausage, saute 3-4 minutes
6. Add beef stock, mushrooms, steeping liquid, chicken bouillon, water
7. Add green pepper and broccoli
8. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes
9. Add fettucini and kidney beans and cook for additional 6-8 minutes
Leftovers are just another creative outlet for cooks. I like the additional options having leftovers allows me and my family. I’m so glad they are open to whatever it is I make.