Of all the shameful things a home cook can do, the most shameful is letting leftovers go to waste.
I’ve been guilty of this; maybe I’m craving sushi instead of yesterday’s lentil soup, and the lentil soup sits, gathering mold over the weeks, and getting tossed when it might’ve provided a perfectly satisfying second night dinner. But lentil soup is one thing, meat is another. And when you have leftover meat, you have absolutely no excuse not to make a sandwich.
So remember a few weeks ago, I made that lemon butter chicken with white beans?
The next day, I bought bread and made a pretty killer sandwich. Here’s how I did it: I put two big spoonfuls of mayonnaise into a bowl and added a big squeeze of lemon juice. I called it “lemon mayo.”
I spread that on to the bread and topped it with chunks of leftover chicken, pulled straight from the carcass; then topped with homemade pickled Fresno chiles (a recipe from my cookbook, out September 4th, but you can always Google a recipe for that) and then a good amount of grated Fontina cheese:
I closed up the sandwich, pressed it tight, and then heated butter in a skillet. When the butter was hot and foamy, I added the sandwich and pressed it down like I was making a grilled cheese (which, in some ways, I was; just with chicken, chiles and mayo added). When the bread was toasty on both sides, I cut the sandwich in half and served it up with leftover beans and a lemon wedge:
That looks nice, right? Makes you hungry? And to think, some of you might’ve thrown that leftover chicken out. For shame!
With the leftover Smothered Pork Roast, I had a very clear vision in my head: a Porky French Dip.
I mean, think about it: you have meat, you have gravy. What’s a French Dip if not meat and gravy? So I bought a baguette, sliced it in half and sliced each half through the middle to open it up for meat. I put it on a cookie sheet and popped it into a 400 degree oven until the bread was toasty; meanwhile, I took my leftover pork shoulder, sliced it thin, heated up the leftover gravy and added the meat to the pot to warm up:
I slathered each piece of bread with spicy French mustard, then piled on the meat. I was generous with the sauce too so it would soak into the bread:
And that’s how I made the Porky French Dip you saw at the top of this post. Let’s see it again:
I won’t lie: this was happy groan-inducing. Crusty bread, spicy mustard, tender meat and rich, garlicky gravy? I mean, once again, can you imagine the person who’d let that meat and gravy go to waste? That person is no friend of mine!
So the next time you make meat for dinner, make a little too much and buy bread for tomorrow’s sandwich. In fact, if I had a band, I might call it Tomorrow’s Sandwich. Anyone know a drummer?