Monday, November 16, 2009

Leftover Tips - Potatoes and Gravy

We're roundin' the corner to the holiday season. And it's time for a reminder to make good use of those leftovers. I just pulled together a quick Shepherds Pie with some goodies out of my freezer. After the holiday's you'll be grateful for any quick fixes you can scrounge from your freezer.

Multi-step dishes become a lot simpler when you simply defrost some of the steps. Save all your gravy, no matter how little you think you have. Even a small amount will make a good base for more gravy or sauces.

Any mashed root veggies freeze well and you can use them as toppers for casseroles.

For my Shepherd's Pie I used some leftover Chicken and Turkey Gravy. I wanted to empty out some of the leftovers out of my freezer before I start piling in new leftovers from the upcoming holiday meals. Even though I'm using ground beef, these gravies will still work. I added a bit of Worcestershire sauce and the leftover gravy into the pan where I had browned the onions and beef. I heated it until it bubbled and thickened a bit more. I would have mixed some cornstarch with a bit of water if it was too thin but today that wasn't necessary.

I used leftover mashed potatoes, potato scooped out to make double stuffed potatoes and leftover potato parsnip mash for the topping for my pie. Defrost and mix them together. I used a frozen mix of veggies; broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas and corn for the middle. So the only real work I had at prep time was to dice the onion and brown it with the ground beef.

You could also use any leftover beef bits you have instead of ground. That's how the dish was originally made. Sometimes you get tired of eating the leftovers. That's when it's time to freeze what's left. You can do this pie with beef or even your leftover chicken, turkey or pork. I'm telling you now, come those cold January nights you'll be glad to have these comfort foods to throw together a casserole. And if you cook like I do, you'll have make one to eat now and one to put in the freezer for another night!


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Tanya said...

Do you think cooked squash leftovers will freeze well enough to eat by themselves when defrosted?