It’s taken me a minute to put 2 and 2 together, there is a reason it’s so damn cold. I actually witnessed a French couple in France ask for and get to-go containers!! Freaking plastic tupperware-ish containers!!
As you know, I have a long relationship with La France and never ever before have I ever seen anyone get to take leftovers home. And not just home—home in freaking tupperware!! (OK, more plastic, I hope they re-use it or at least recycle, but still) This is an absolute first. Pigs are flying, hell is skateable and Donald Trump must be president!!
I happened to notice that I have 24 unpublished drafts on my blog posting list. So I’ve decided to fill in a few empty spaces with some of these.
I first had this salad in Paris on my 60th birthday (now a distant memory), dining alone on a Sunday night. Sitting in a relatively charmless cafe on the street. Vinaigrette, shallots, celery, carrots and parsley. I served this to my French class on arugula. It was great, as usual. But the leftovers the next day were the big attraction. I love leftover salad.
I had a lot of tomatoes from various places. CSA, farmer’s market, neighbors and co-workers. Most were romas but I had a couple big ones that were pretty much becoming breeding territory for my vast collection of fruit flies. Fruit flies are not too different from begging dogs in my mind. Fairly innocuous but there when they want what you’re eating. Or more to the point drinking. They love red wine.
Anyway, I had to cut up these giant tomatoes, douse them with vinegar and put them in the refrigerator or there was going to be a population explosion. I added a little sliced onion since I was making a salad the next day for dinner with friends and thought I’d make a marinated italian kinda salad. It wasn’t half bad considering it had been refrigerated something that, to me, ruins tomatoes. There was a enough left over so I saved it and when the next night my niece Maureen came over and I added still more tomatoes, onions, green peppers and extra vinegar. There may have been some stray olives in there but I didn’t add any more because her boyfriend doesn’t like them. The leftovers from last night will be today’s lunch. It is a sort of gazpacho now. The tomatoes, onions and peppers have given up their juice and what remains is an extremely savory liquid with some vegetables into which I am going to add cottage cheese. This will undoubtedly gross out my co-workers. But it won’t be the first time.
My mother, who taught me to eat like this used to put canned tomatoes, canned spinach and cottage cheese together in a bowl and call it “poor man’s lasagna.”
For my “Mexican hors d’oeuvres,” among other things I am making assorted quesadillas. They work because I can make them in advance, even cook them, well, actually I am going to grill them, cut them into wedges and they can be eaten at room temperature. I had a lot of leftovers from the other night including a big chunk of pork. I put that, some leftover chicken, cilantro rice, even the remains of a tomato salad into the crock pot along with an onion and chili powder. Then I set it to fester on low all day long.
I will mix it with cheese, slap it on tortillas and grill them.
Last night I took the scraps from the chocolate malt cake I’d made a week or so ago and made bread pudding. I cut the leftover cake into cubes, toasted them lightly, then put them in a malt custard. I topped it with the malt crunch filling that was also left over. I served it with vanilla ice cream. It was over-the-top-delicious.