Sorting out what to do with last night’s leftovers can be quite the conundrum. That’s why, each night, uninspired leftover concoctions are served in homes all over the world. You know how it goes: Meat is hastily added to lifeless soups, and doggie bags become a mashup of drab warmed food. Rare is the kitchen creative who is able to invoke culinary wizardry and breathe new life into lifeless leftovers. How about a little help?
An expert way to revamp your leftovers is by focusing on their existing flavor profile and building upon it to intensify the taste. From there, one can reimagine the unimaginable. Here are some ideas to jump-start your kitchen creativity — specifically by using cannabidiol (CBD).
The challenge with fish is its texture changes after reheating and it can become tough and unappealing. A great way to avoid this and maintain its integrity is by reworking it into an elevated fish cake. Take leftover cod, tilapia, salmon, haddock, or bass and flake it into a bowl. Add finely chopped herbs, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, a small amount of mayonnaise, and an egg. Salt to taste. Divide evenly and make small cakes. Roll your tasty concoctions in breadcrumbs and fry until golden.
The beauty of this hack is that the leftover fish is not overcooked and maintains a great bit of moisture, while the outside gets the perfect amount of crunch to add a separate measure of texture. This introduces a completely different dinner experience.
Recommendation: Serve with a mixed green salad with a side of CBD infused vinaigrette. Or top off your fabulous fish cakes with a CBD enhanced garlic and herb aioli. It’s a great way to get the health benefits of both CBD and the fatty acids in fish.
With their specific melding of Italian flavors, meatballs can be a challenge to rework. To make them shine, you have to allow them to stay true to their roots. Break up cold meatballs and add more tomato sauce. Layer them between pasta sheets, a mixture of ricotta and parmesan cheeses, and roasted eggplant or sautéed spinach for a redefined lasagna. You can even toss the eggplant with leftover pesto for a more layered flavor.
Recommendation: Serve with toasted bread slathered in CBD butter.
Too often we leave the complimentary bread behind when dining out, fearing its demise in the transport from restaurant to refrigerator. However, the slight staleness of the bread can be an advantage to many dishes, including a reimagined panzanella salad. The easiest way to use stale bread: Cube the bread and toss it in CBD-infused olive oil. Salt to taste and bake until golden. While the bread is toasting, halve cherry tomatoes, slice up red onion, and mince a shallot and a handful of garlic cloves.
While your bread awaits reinvention and cools, add the minced garlic to a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar along with the minced shallots, ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and ½ teaspoon of anchovy and fresh basil. Mix in a blender while drizzling in the perfect dose of CBD evoo for creamy vinaigrette. Toss your toasted bread with the red onion and tomato. Finish with chopped basil, add the dressing and enjoy your bread all over again.
Recommendation: You could also add slices of avocado, roasted corn, roasted peppers, edamame, chopped mint, grilled zucchini, Persian cucumbers or Kalamata olives. Top your salad with a warm poached or soft-boiled egg.
French fries are the stubborn uncle of food. The one that bemoans change, but if coaxed properly, becomes your favorite family member. The problem with French fries is that once they lose their initial crisp, they kind of lose their glory. However, have you heard of Pollo Saltado? It’s a stirfry, it comes from Peru, and it can make leftover fries make sense again. Here’s how.
Sauté thin strips of chicken in a pan seasoned with CBD olive oil along with minced garlic, sliced red onion, and a seeded and diced Amarillo chili pepper. Add a few tablespoons of soy sauce and red wine vinegar. Throw in the chopped French fries and cook until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finish with chopped cilantro.
Recommendation: Saltado is traditionally served with a side of white rice, which makes this a perfect opportunity to perk up leftover takeout rice. You can also include a side of fried plantains for a sweet contrast.
The obvious solution here would be to create a quick stir fry by adding a few vegetables, a scrambled egg, soy sauce, and sesame oil. But why not be adventurous? A side of arancini and a great bottle of wine that has the potential to bring more than your leftover rice back to life.
Arancini, or fried rice balls, is a traditional southern Italian street food that’s most commonly made with arborio rice. However, if you amp up the flavor profile and prepare correctly, any rice can be used as a base — the end result is what matters most.
In a large bowl add a few warm tablespoons of chicken stock to your rice (you’ll need around two cups) to bring it back to life. Allow it to cool then add a half cup parmesan cheese, half cup bread crumbs, and a beaten egg. Roll the mixture into large, even-sized balls. Stuff each ball with a mixture of pine nuts, small-cubed mozzarella, and chopped parsley by pressing your finger into the center and filling each with a generous portion. Pinch the rice around the filling. Roll each ball in store-bought Italian bread crumbs (these can also be made using that stale bread we mentioned earlier). Set aside in the refrigerator for an hour then deep fry at a temperature of 350 degrees.
Recommendation: Serve with a side of CBD-infused marinara sauce.