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planning backwards


OliverB
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I was just reading in Nancy Silverton's Sandwich book, which is full of very tasty looking recipes. I generally am not a friend of left overs from dinner, I usually don't want to eat the same thing again for lunch, no matter how good, but this book just gave me the thought to reverse the planning: Pick a great looking sandwich recipe, say something with pork loin (or what ever) and then plan backwards to a dinner to have the day before. Make the pork/chicken/what have you in a way so it will turn out like the meat ingredient you need for the sandwich, and create a dinner around that preparation.

I've never thought backwards like that with food, made me curious if others do that? Plan a dinner with a more or less set left over recipe already planned for the next day?

And if so, what might be an example? Especially if your planning started with the dish made from left overs from dinner you made with the idea of making dish #2 the next day.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Hmm, that IS an interesting way to think about it...

The only example I can really think of is with risotto - I make a soup that has risotto stirred into it, so I cook risotto the night before then use a bit of it in the soup. I guess you could just add raw grains into the soup and cook them off but I do like having it ready, and it probably improves the taste a bit.

Actually, now a few others are coming up.

Polenta - I have made a batch of loose/soft polenta to go with dinner, but taken out a portion with less liquid to chill, then slice into pieces and panfry. It's only a bit different, but I do like it fried with crispy edges so it's different enough in my book to look forward to. And in fact I have done the same thing with risotto as well, forming cakes to fry up (and if you put a bit of cheese in the middle it's gooeylicious).

Oooh, and i have made a great Moroccan marinated chicken that I decided I wanted to put in wraps, so I made a lot of it and had great leftovers! Again, it's not really changing the form, since the chicken tastes the same each time, but it's with different sides and feels a lot more casual in the wrap... and i guess with all the salad it's lighter than when served with a sauce and cooked veges.

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I usually plan backwards for a nice dinner of fried rice. I like to give the rice a day in the fridge to cool down and make it easier to separate and cook with the following day. So if I want fried rice on Tuesday, I will make rice and beans or a stir fry on Monday.

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Good question. I like the day after a big turkey more than the day of, but never plan for it that way.

Hmmm . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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If I want chilaquiles for breakfast, I need sauce. So, I'll make up some enchilada sauce so I can make enchiladas. And to make the enchiladas, I need some chicken. So, I roast a chicken.

dinner one day.. Dinner another.. then breakfast. Works out. :)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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With most roasts (beef, pork, chicken, etc.) I have something in mind for the next day. Same with BBQ, which can easily be incorporated in different dishes, or even just sandwiches the following day. I almost never serve unadulterated leftovers, since I, like Oliver, don't much care to eat the same thing two days in a row. But if it can be transformed into something new, I'm a big fan.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I remember some of the mainstream 'women's' magazines - perhaps Woman's Day or Family Circle - used to publish a monthly dinner menu plan...perhaps they still do. They often would re-purpose leftovers from roasted poultry, hams, etc. later in the week.

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Since I usually cook for myself, I'm always thinking of different things to do with leftovers so I don't get bored....and the "next day" plans often strike me 1st.

I'll usually plan something oven-oriented if I want leftover baked potatoes to make home fries.

If I don't have stock frozen, and I want to make chicken soup, I'll usually roast a chicken, then make stock. (I know I could poach the whole chicken to make broth, but I usually find leftover roasted chicken easier to use than leftover poached chicken). Same thing when I want to make shrimp stock.

The other day, I roasted a half turkey breast (much more than I needed) because I wanted to make turkey pot pie. Ate a turkey dinner the 1st night, then made the pot pie the next day.

(Incidentally, I used to love reading the menus in Women's Day, Family Circle, etc. when I was little!)

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Fun stuff! I always dream of making a plan for the whole week, go shop for that and go with it. Of course, that has never happened so far :laugh:

Made some bbq chicken last night, but we ate it all, so I have to come up with something tonight. Oh, wait, there's still some tomato sauce in the fridge, I guess we'll have pasta tonight! The kids will be happy :-)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I always think like this. I do plan grocery trips with multiple meals based on previous items. Something can always be stuffed or used in another fashion to keep the item moving forward. Then at the very end, like that other thread we had, it is jambalaya, fried rice or a soup.

I make tomato sauces, stocks etc all neutral so that I can use them in a variety of ways. Tomato sauce might be italian the first time, but in creole the next time. Leftover sausage from the spaghetti and shrimp from creole become jambalaya later.

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I dutifully do what Doodad does (say that three times fast!). Also, why bake only two chicken quarters when you can bake six or eight at the same time and use the extras for all kinds of other dishes later? I do the same thing with baked potatoes. Oh, yeah, I'm always thinkin' about tomorrow!

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Oh, absolutely. A few examples:

Pot roast with veggies shows up a day or so later as vegetable beef soup.

Any kind of chicken or pork is reincarnated in fried rice, which of course also necessitates cooking extra rice ahead for something else.

Leftover meat loaf gets crumbled into beef and barley soup.

Any grilled or Mexican-seasoned meat becomes the centerpiece in quesadillas.

Leftover baked fish becomes a fish croquette (think the salmon or tuna croquettes of your childhood)

Odds and ends of veggies get frozen in a special container which gets dumped into the vegetable soup.

There are two of us at home, and one of us is a 20-year-old, which means I often cook just for myself. I take lunch of leftovers most every day to work, but that's still not generally enough to deal with what all is left. So "repurposing" the entree and/or sides is a critical part of meal planning for me.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Doing it again today. Watching football and cooking.

Last night's pot roast is meatpies today.

Tonight's fish is partially dinner but will be thai fish cakes with tomorrows asian dinner using up another set of leftovers.

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Today I roasted a whole chicken with the express purpose of using the leftovers for chicken stew and dumplings, and for stock. I also have a large piece of salmon in the freezer that I am going to poach sometimes soon. One portion will be for dinner immediately, but my real purpose is to make a salmon pie with the leftovers.

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