Alas, we are now upon two more holidays that will undoubtedly plague us with a smorgasbord of leftovers. Lucky us.
I don’t know about you, but on Tuesday morning the last thing I wanted to see was a Matzo ball. And for those celebrating Easter this weekend, many will be stuck with 5 pounds of unwanted ham. Well never fear, I’ve got another round of leftover reinvention for you: Passover edition.
Three of the most common and inseparable dishes at Passover are Charoset, beef brisket and chicken matzo ball soup. I’ve got three easy dishes one can create from these leftovers that will in no way resemble their original form. Nobody will know they are leftovers.
Beef brisket easily becomes Shepherd’s Pie.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute 1 medium yellow onion and 2 carrots, chopped, for 2m. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 c chopped cremini mushrooms and a bay leaf. Cook until veggies are soft, and liquid is cooked off. Add 1 tbsp tomato paste and cook for 2m. Add 2 tbsp flour and cook for 2m while stirring. Stir in 1 1/4 c beef stock and 1 tsp Worcestershire. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook 10-15m until thickened. Add 1 lb cooked and chopped beef brisket to the gravy.
Preheat oven to 400F (205C). Grease a 8×8 baking dish. Pour mixture into dish. Cover meat and gravy with 3 c of mashed potatoes. Any kind will work. Bake for 10-15m until bubbly. This dish is killer.
Chicken Soup easily becomes Spicy Tortilla Soup.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped chipotle in adobo, 1 tbsp chili powder and 2 tsp salt until veggies are soft. Add 6 c leftover chicken soup base (sans matzo balls) and 1/2 c tomato sauce, bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 10m. Supplement with chicken stock, if needed.
Pull pan off the heat and stir in 1 c (or more) leftover chicken (from soup), 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 c cilantro leaves, 1/2 c corn and 1/4 c lime juice. Ladle into bowls and top with tortilla chips and avocado. Spicy and rich.
Charoset easily becomes Apple Almond Pie.
Charoset is a sweetened raw apple compote of nuts (in this case almonds), cinnamon and sweet red wine (Sherry, for me) that can marinate for several days. Yum-diddlyumpious.
For the crust, combine 2 c all-purpose flour with 1 tsp salt in a food processor. Add 1 c unsalted cold butter (cubed). Pulse until mix resembles small peas. Add 3 tbsp cold water. Pulse 3 times. Once the dough sticks together when squeezed, wrap in plastic and chill for 30m. If not sticking, add water 2 tbsp at a time and repeat.
Grease a 9″ springform pan. Once dough is chilled, split dough in two. Roll out both to a 1/4″ thickness. Take one piece and gently lay into pan. Be sure to lay dough into the corners. Dough should rise to 1/2″ from top of pan. Chill both pieces of dough for 30m. Preheat oven to 375F (190F).
Pour 6-8 c leftover Charoset without juice into the pie shell. Center top dough over pie. Trim around edges of pan, then gently crimp the top dough to the edges of the bottom dough. Whisk one egg with a pinch of salt and splash of water. Lightly brush the top of the pie with the egg. Sprinkle with sugar. With a paring knife, make a small slit in the dough for steam release. Bake for 45-55m until golden brown.
For more leftover reinventions, check out the Christmas edition.