Well here we are folks: Day 7 of our Week of Leftovers. I’ve managed to post every day for a week, which is a small miracle in itself; and I’ve managed to come up with some inventive ways to fashion a week’s worth of meals out of celeriac soup, slow-roasted beef and a pot of beans. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into my leftover-obsessed fridge.
A week out, the last of the beef has gone into chili, the last of the soup went into the freezer, and the last of the beans went into today’s dip. But it’s never really over: there is still lasagna and chili that will feed us for days; there are still a couple of non-chipped-up corn tortillas on hand for chili-snacking duty; there is still that bean dip, which will be enjoyed until we’re tired of it, and then probably make its way into yet another recipe incorporating leftovers. And that’s just the point; if you get used to thinking in terms of meal components, that can be mixed & matched for a variety of tasty dishes, just like classic wardrobe pieces can be mixed & matched for a week’s worth of fashionable outfits, you’ll find there is always something in the fridge that can be tossed together to whip up a good meal.
Enter my late lunch of chips + dip: leftover blue corn tortillas were quartered and fried in oil ’til crisp; the last of the beans, a bit of celeriac soup, some onion, parsley and lemon were buzzed in the food processor for a quick bean dip. It’s not the most attractive dip I’ve ever made, but it was tasty and filling and has made sure those last, lingering beans in the fridge didn’t go to waste.
The average American household throws away 1½ lbs of food every day. That represents energy equivalent to 350 millions barrels of oil per year. It’s an appalling figure in an era when energy costs go up & up and 50 million Americans go to bed hungry each night. Don’t be part of the problem: be the solution. Love your leftovers!
Leftover Love is a series in which I enthuse about the joys of having a fridge packed full of rich & varied meal components – a.k.a “leftovers” – to aid you in making easy and delicious meals all week long.
- Leftover Love, Day 1: Celeriac Soup
- Leftover Love, Day 2: Slow-Roasted Chipotle Beef
- Leftover Love, Day 3: Blue Corn Tortillas + Chipotle Beef Tacos
- Leftover Love, Day 4: Swiss Chard Lasagna with Celeriac Bechamel
- Leftover Love, Day 5: Huevos Rancheros
- Leftover Love, Day 6: Beef & Bean Chili Jacket Potato
- Leftover Love, Day 7: Chips + Dip
- leftover corn tortillas
- safflower oil, or other neutral vegetable oil
- sea salt
- In a large frying pan, add oil to a depth of about ⅛ of an inch. Heat over medium-high heat until oil temperature reads at least 350 degrees F (oil is shimmering, but not smoking). Stack the tortillas together and quarter into wedges. Add in batches to the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry about 45 seconds per side, until you see the tortillas crisp up and begin to brown at the edges. Pull out with tongs, shake excess oil into the pan, and lay on a paper-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt. Return the oil to 350 degrees F in between batches.
- 2 cups cooked beans, divided
- ½ cup celeriac soup
- ½ of a small red onion, quartered
- handful of fresh parsley leaves
- juice from half a lemon OR ½ a preserved lemon, pulp + rind
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine 1 ½ cups beans, celeriac soup, onion, parsley and lemon in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil until the dip looks smooth and creamy. Turn off the motor, taste, and adjust seasonings. Add the remaining ½ cup of beans and pulse lightly to break them up, leaving some texture to the dip. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Aleppo pepper or cayenne would spice things up a bit.
- If I hadn’t been impatient, I would have roasted a head of garlic to add to the dip.
Refrigerated for up to 5 days. Flavor and texture of bean dip will improve over time.