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Using food scraps and 'trash'


jgm
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I have a feeling this has already been covered in another thread, and the moderators are welcome to do whatever they think is best about it, if that's the case.

I just finished Jacques Pepin's memoirs, and was my interest was piqued by frequent comments he made about not throwing away anything. In fact, he said that the profit from his mother's restaurants, when he was young, was largely derived from making dishes from what others would often have considered to be scraps, destined for the trash.

Recently, I drained a couple of 28 oz. cans of San Marzano tomatoes, and was left with almost 4 cups of "puree" that I didn't know what to do with. I didn't want to throw it out, as I usually do. So at the suggestion of another cook, I reduced it, to use over pasta another time, except now it's really salty, and I'm going to have to deal with that.

I just think we throw away way too much, and I'm intrigued by using the last bits of stuff, such as the deep green parts of leeks, that would otherwise get thrown away. I need to know how to keep these items -- in other words, freeze them if possible; it's just my husband and me at home, and there's only so much we can eat in one week. I'd love to hear what you do in your kitchen with food scraps, instead of throwing them out. And if anyone knows of any cookbooks or other references that discuss it, please let me know!

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Scraps scream 'soup' to me. Most of them store well in freezer, but to my sad experience, must be VERY clearly labeled and perhaps even listed on the door. Sometimes I feel like an archaeologist when I delve into my freezer.

We occasionally use canned chicken for chicken salad (oh just shush now!) and I save the juice for use in place of other stock. Freezes into nice hockey pucks (good surface area for thawing), pops out of the bowl and into a bag.

The other thing odd scraps get used for is fried rice.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I save bits of cheese and cooked meats in the freezer for use in quiche.

Anytime a recipe requires half an onion or bell pepper, I go ahead and slice the whole thing and freeze them (double wrapped). Frozen bell pepper is fine in most recipes. When I have a lot of little bags of onions and bell peppers, I make fajitas.

Shrimp shells always get frozen until I have enough for stock.

Odd bits and pieces of bread get frozen until I make meatloaf or need bread crumbs.

I add a touch of vinegar to empty containers of srirachi, hot sauces and mustard, shake well and use in salad dressings. It gets every last drop out.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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