Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Megastore Recommends: the too much food edition.

1. Leftover roasted vegetables. The people, we had a party on New Year's Day. It was wonderful. This historian's daughter, out of kind concern that I may possibly, sometimes, overreach in my menu planning, which makes the dinner potentially glorious but also exhausting, suggested that we have what Tom Haverford calls "apps and zerts"--appetizers and desserts. It was great.

"What are you making?" my daughter asked me, meaning for the party.

I said, breezily, "Oh, I'm keeping it really simple. I'm mostly laying things on trays. I'm putting out grapes, apples, some really good cheese and fancy crackers. I'm making this bean dip with really good chips. Creminelli salami and some olives and dolmathes and artichoke hearts. Also this thing my mom makes called Josefinas? that you spread on slices of baguette and toast? And roasted potatoes and roasted green beans. And for dessert lemon squares and these pecan squares and this ricotta tart I found on Martha Stewart? And ice cream cones for the kids."

She laughed. "Doesn't sound so simple to me."

I literally canNOT resist overdoing it. But it's true that the party was in fact a little simpler because I didn't have to cook so many things, as in: I had to turn on the oven fewer times.

these are the beautiful potatoes I
roasted. Or like unto them.
But because I made too much food, there were leftover roasted potatoes and roasted green beans. Roasted vegetables, leftover, are a boon when it's dark outside and you're hungry. So last night we had straight up leftover potatoes and green beans and olives, and it was delicious and perfect. I mashed a little gorgonzola and--let's be honest--butter into the potatoes. I roasted them in the first place with garlic and rosemary and olive oil and plenty of coarse salt. Delicious. And tonight, I turned those potatoes and some broccolini into a frittata with some raw baby Swiss. Perfection.

see? so pretty! and crunchy!
2. Leftover raw vegetables. I forgot to add to my overkill list of apps and zerts that I also cut up the prettiest array of raw vegetables that you ever did see and put them in a pretty dish surrounding a bowl of peanut pesto, which is very, very good. (Peanut pesto: either peanuts or crunchy peanut butter, some minced garlic, soy sauce, a drizzle of sesame oil, some honey, a little hot water to thin it down, and some black pepper.)

Orange, yellow, red, and purple carrots. Raw turnips. Fennel. Celery. Sweet peppers. There were, of course, plenty of these left over. Which I have been eating for lunch every day. At work, in the movies, at home. They are lovely, crunchy, delicious and virtuous. I defy you to find many foods that fit all of those criteria.

I may have a small categorical issue here.
3. Leftover bacon. In the category of "things I overestimated," you can add "the number of breakfasts I might cook for all the people during the holidays." This overestimation meant that I had a leftover package of very good bacon, just sitting there in my refrigerator, saying in all but words, what're you going to do with me? Aren't you people vegetarians? Well, that package of bacon had clearly not heard of my Bacon Exception. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. When you like bacon enough that you have a bacon policy, it's kind of nice to occasionally have a little at home, so you can make...

an excellent Rico's tortilla will
up the awesome in your already
princely breakfast. true fact.
4. A breakfast burrito. What with your small handful of leftover roasted fingerling potatoes and your stash of eggs, some grated Monterey Jack Cheese, and that bacon burning a hole in your pocket, you can make yourself the king of breakfasts, the breakfast burrito. Quick and easy, too. Just fry that bacon, drain the fat, slice up a couple of teeny potatoes, give them a good toss in the hot pan, then beat your egg with a little cheese and scramble it to the side of the potatoes. When it's all cooked, slide a spatula under the eggs and potatoes, and put your tortilla in the pan. I happened to have really good tortillas on hand (see "things I overestimated" and "the number of breakfasts," #3 above). Heat the tortilla. You can press it down with your hand and hear the fat in the tortilla sizzle as it heats. Flip it and heat the other side. Lay the eggs and potatoes on the facing-up side, and crumble the bacon. Slide the whole shebang onto your plate and add a little salsa. This is a breakfast that will stand you in good stead for the day of syllabus-consideration and instructional-activity-devising.


  1. This makes me want to overdo all over again.

  2. Yes to bacon. Yes to the breakfast burrito. Dr. Write and I complain that SLC doesn't have a robust breakfast burrito / breakfast taco scene.

  3. Now I have to go to the grocery store. I want those carrots! And those Josephinas. In August, in Flagstaff, the chiles come in from Hatch, New Mexico. At our local little market, they have these big roasters that roast the Hatches for you. You can buy a whole case. We do and then we freeze them. I do not need to go to the store to make Josephinas--which I've never heard of but now will embrace like a true convert. (Well, I need Monterey Jack).

  4. I need you to guest-lecture in my FOOD class, HT. :) I will help make the snacks.

  5. I just finished all the leftovers and lo my fridge it is barren!!

  6. Your hairdresser is also a mostly-vegetarian with a Bacon Exception. I make him run the fan in the kitchen to air out them smell.



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