Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making Leftovers that Taste New

Yesterday I told you about the leftover Cornish game hen meat from Sunday dinner and how I planned to turn it into spring rolls. Well, mission accomplished, and they were terrific! We had them for dinner with some Asian vegetable broth. Simple, not heavy, and not something you get at home very often.

In these hard times leftovers are a more important part of a families overall weekly meal plan. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver a Sunday chicken always resulted in another meal during the week. Before this recession kicked in I wasn't very big on leftovers and since my husband enjoyed taking them to work for lunch it wasn't difficult getting rid of them. But now I have a different perspective and more time to think about it.

It isn't always necessary to get fancy with your meal as long as it looks fresh and delicious. Our Saint Patricks Day Corned beef was extended for two later meals. The first was a simple Corned
beef sandwich on rye with mustard, served with a crispy coleslaw, and dill pickles. The second was a Corned Beef Hash that I created using leftover cubed beef, a large mostly baked potato chopped into squares, chopped onion, and green pepper. To get the potatoes real brown and crispy I placed my cast iron skillet right on top of the hash in the pan. The whole thing was served with a poached egg on top. It was brilliant.

The recipe for the spring rolls is so simple I made it up. The frying is my biggest concern but I used as little as possible of lightly flavored olive oil in my cast iron pan. I also wouldn't hesitate to try an oven method with spring rolls. Once they've been wrapped up just spray them with a little cooking spray and bake until golden and crispy looking. You'd be surprised by how tasty and authentic you can make these at home.


12 Spring roll wrappers (I use Bahn Trang Spring Roll Skins from PCC Market)
1 cup leftover chicken chopped into little pieces
1/2 cup of sliced cabbage (like for coleslaw)
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 green onions chopped
1 T dried lemongrass
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Oil for Cooking (I use about a 1/4 inch in bottom of 9 inch skillet).

Mix together everything in a small bowl except wrappers and oil. Taste to make sure it is seasoned appropriately. Take 2 spring roll wrappers, soak in water to create flexibility, place on flat surface, put about a 1/2 cup of mixture on wrapper, and then roll. Be sure to tuck in the ends at the start of the roll to make it nice and neat. Repeat until mixture is used up. (The wrappers freeze very well).

Heat oil in skillet to medium hot. Place no more than 3 rolls at a time in oil and cook until golden and crispy. Place on napkin to remove oil. Heat up oil again and add remaining rolls.

Serve with Sweet Thai Chile Sauce. Makes about 6 spring rolls.

1 comment:

Robj98168 said...

I am not much for spring rolls myself but this recipe looks delicous. But first I have to thaw out the game hens and roast! :(