Arline’s Hot Pockets from Smoked Ribs (can also use other smoked or grilled meats like chicken, turkey, and even leftover steak)
My tips for reinventing leftover meat: As delicious as smoked and/or grilled meats are, if you have a grill master that loves to have a big amount of meat, try to think of ways to present this delightful meat in many different, reinvented ways to have an easy new meal. It will seem entirely different but not taking up all your time in the kitchen and who doesn’t like food in a nicely wrapped package like a hot pocket.
Additional tip: My husband used the bbq sauce Sweet Baby Ray’s and I used some of the sauce I made for the shrimp salad which was over the top for these hot pockets. You can look back at the shrimp salad post for this recipe.
If I don’t get to post the next way to finish off those luscious ribs, and I say they are the best ribs he has made, I will give you a hint. Think of stew beef! I will take and cube the rest of the ribs, add some onions and some broth and seasonings and stew it for only a few minutes. Once I have the onions and rib meat flavors married, I will add two bags of Success Rice and allow them to combine and wallah, a quick new meal in minutes.
I would love to hear from you on how you reinvent a certain leftover. There are more ways to cook than to start all over again. You will change the mind of a person who makes the statement……I hate leftovers….to…..How are you going to reinvent this meal?
Until we Cook Again……Happy Meals……..Reinvention Queen…….Arline Miller
(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced, if known, to original location/author for credit reference.
Yesterday, we were the recipients of one of my husband’s long time friend, David Fletcher who is an avid gardener, first bounty freshly dug new potatoes and awesome fresh garden grown onions. I was over the moon with the sight of the vegetables and I washed them off and thought of my childhood. Before I share both of my dishes, I thought I would reminisce a little.
When we were little, times were not easy but they were good. I don’t have a memory of a horrible childhood but rather a time much simpler than all the craziness in the world. We had neighborhood playmates and if we could be called a gang, it was an innocent one, and we now call ourselves the Willow Street Gang. One of those neighbors is smiling if he is reading this, as Duane Tucker and I jokingly refer to our days on that little street in my hometown of Douglas GA. Now, for the background story of the new potatoes or potatoes in general. To say our Mother could stretch a dollar for a mile, would be to insult that crafty lady. How she could make a meal out of almost no cost is still a mystery but one I remembered after I became an adult.
We may not have had a bounty of food but she always had just enough to feed us all. There were four children and two adults and one can of salmon would feed us and we left full. A mess of potatoes and we had the creamiest, tastiest, and filling meal. She would make bread to go along with it and sometimes if a neighbor had surplus and we got vegetables, oh yeah, we ate well. As I stated, she could make enough for us growing children to leave the table satisfied. When I made the fresh new potatoes, I was smiling while cooking them. Now, let’s move on to how I made two meals from this yumminess.
Arline’s Stewed Potatoes:
Approximately 2-3 lbs of potatoes (new for me but regular russet potatoes can be used)
1 large onion preferably sweet Vidalia or similar sweet garden variety chopped
1 large box chicken or vegetable broth (chicken used)
1 stick of salted butter
Mixture of garden herbs with more dill than others
3 Tablespoons of Flour (either type, SR or AP)
3/4 cup – 1 cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T Onion Powder
Scrub potatoes and cube into large bite size pieces. Place them into large pot with the broth. You can use some water in addition to broth if you need to fill to above potatoes. Add butter cut into cubes with crushed or finely chopped herbs as stated above. Cook until potatoes become fork tender on medium heat.
In a small cup, place some of the broth and flour and whisk until flour is dissolved. Add to pot and mix together. Add cream to potato broth with salt and pepper and onion powder and turn on low heat. Cook until they are very tender. Turn heat off and let the potatoes soak up some of the thickened liquid. (Tip: If liquid is not thickened enough, you can add a small amount of corn starch or mix small amount of flour to thicken to a sauce of richness.
These were so delicious that I almost didn’t make the next dish from the leftovers but I couldn’t resist the reinvention from them to the easiest clam chowder I have made. I made my simple but you can go wild with carrots, celery, whole kernel corn and use canned clams. The possibilities are endless but this one was put together in a couple of minutes with the biggest task of opening cans.
To the pot of new potatoes, I opened three cans of Bar Harbor New England Clam Chowder but may I say, there are numerous brands of canned great chowders on grocery shelves so I used what was in my pantry. I added some celery seeds, garlic salt, mushroom seasonings, oyster sauce, and some Old Bay Seasoning to pump up the chowder flavorings. This I leave to all of you fine cooks, use your creativity. You can make it spicy and/or hot, but I go the middle of the road.
In a few minutes, I have a new meal so that it doesn’t reflect leftovers. This morning, I will return the chowder to the stove top and cook it very low and slow for all of the flavors to blend and when it is lunchtime, it will be Chowder Time at Millerville. All of this done with very little effort.
Until We Cook Again……Happy Meals……Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.
(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if used and original location and author are known, it will be sourced for credit reference.
Join me to learn how the vegetables and herbs make a delish meal and for those who are following to see what I will do to the leftovers if there are any, is I will add some flour and panko bread crumbs to stiffen cold squash and fry the fritters for a bright new taste. Nothing magical except the results.
As a cook I don’t like to waste food of any kind especially fresh vegetables so when my squash said “Cook Me” I listened. I didn’t take a lot of photos or videos as it is pretty cut and dry. I did a few things differently than my usual squash casserole and it was delicious. Here is the recipe and my notes on how to prepare it:
Arline’s Squash Casserole
6 medium fresh squash (cubed)
1 Vidalia or Sweet Onion (chopped)
Fresh herbs from garden crushed (dried parsley and Italian Seasoning
if fresh are not available) Dill, chives, flat parsley were my choices
1 stick of butter
2 TBS bacon drippings (Use vegetable oil or EVOO if you do not have bacon drippings)
¾ cup of Chicken Stock (or vegetable broth if you do not want chicken stock)
Place squash and onions in heated seasonings, drippings, and broth after it heats up.
Cook until tender (about 10 minutes) and sprinkle Paprika to taste with Salt and Black
Pepper. I added Garlic and Herb Seasoning and allowed the liquid to cook out. I left the leftover butter/seasoning liquid in pan after I slot spooned the squash/onion mixture into buttered casserole dish.
I mixed the following in a bowl and added to squash/onions in casserole dish after it was creamy:
1 cup mayo (Hellman)
½ cup sour cream
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 sprinkles Onion powder
2 sprinkles Garlic Salt or Powder
1 beaten egg
4 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
4 oz Mild Cheddar Cheese shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sprinkle of Paprika
I crushed 2 short sleeves of saltine crackers and add Cheddar Cheese Sour Cream crushed potato chips into a bowl (other favorites will work). Pour 2/3 stick of melted butter and the leftover liquid from squash pan and stir until crackers/chips are covered. Place on top of the mixture in casserole dish.
Place in preheated oven 375 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes. If browning too fast, check at 30 minutes and slide a piece of aluminum foil over the top and continue baking until bubbly.
Note from Reinvention Queen: When I cook, I cook volume amounts of meat and sometimes vegetables so I can rearrange the sides to freshen the meals. I found that if I change flavors it seems like a brand new meal. Until We Cook Again……Arline Miller
(C) Copyright 2012- 2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, is sourced if original location is known for credit reference.
REINVENTION QUEEN TRANSFORMS THE MUSHROOM LEMON HERB ANGEL HAIR PASTA INTO MEATBALL MUSHROOM SPAGHETTI:
REINVENTING THE SAUCE INTO FRESH SPAGHETTI SAUCE:
Removing the lemon herb mushroom sauce that was leftover and placing it into a bowl with 2 jars of good quality Spaghetti sauce, 1 small can of tomato paste, 2 small cans of v-8 juice, with 1 jar of filtered water and mix well.
In a large pot, add 1 pkg of frozen or thawed meatballs.
Add the combined sauces to the meatballs and stir.
Add some seasonings like oregano, basil, dry Italian seasoning, garlic herb seasoning, minced onions, and whatever you like in homemade spaghetti sauce.
Top with fresh herbs for enhanced freshness (this is the difference by adding that fresh pop—also you can cube fresh garden tomatoes toward the end of the cooking with enough time for them to cook but maintain a fresh taste.
Take a look at the photos above and you will see the amount of herbs which can be adjusted to individual tastes.
I will top the angel hair pasta with a wet paper towel in the microwave for 60 seconds and it freshens up nicely.
This is the way I do it. I don’t want to spend my Saturday cooking from scratch for dinner. Add a salad and bread if you desire for a meal that usually takes a long prep time. Enjoy and please comment if you like the reinvention idea.
This is the original post for the Mushroom Lemon Herb Angel Hair Pasta.
My husband is a carnivore and loves his meats at a meal. Some time ago, I began doing some lighter pasta dishes and he hasn’t missed his meat for the meat. I don’t add any bread and serve the pasta with fresh grown herbs and we have enjoyed this lunch as a very tasty dish.
You see the title Reinvention Queen and may wonder what this dish has to do with that subject but already, my mind is working on what I can do with the leftovers to provide a fresh meal with new flavors. Keep this in mind as you will see how i got that title soon.
This meal was easy but it tastes as if I stayed in the kitchen for hours and in reality, I was only in the kitchen about 15 minutes. Now, for full transparency, I had onions cut up, I had the herbs minced, lemons out for zesting and juicing. Once I started composing the dish, it was easy to complete in the amount of time the angel hair pasta required cooking.
Here is the recipe I came up with today. I wish I could tell you I go by certain amounts and/or ingredients but I am a cook/chef that makes it up as I go. A lot is determined by what I find in my pantry. It is as follows:
Reinvention Queen Mushroom Lemon Herb Angel Hair Pasta Recipe
Angel Hair Pasta (1/2 pkg) cooked and drained
Fresh Herbs (variety of your preference chopped) 1/8 – ¼ cup
2 Lemons (zested with lemon zest saved) squeezed into bowl
½ onion chopped or thinly sliced
1 pkg fresh mushrooms (can use preferred type)
1 stick butter (softened)
1 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
¼ cup sour cream
3 to 4 garlic cloves (or use equivalent amount of minced garlic)
1T minced ginger
Charlie’s Choice Seasoning 1tsp.
Lane’s BBQ Garlic Herb Seasoning ½ tsp.
Onion Salt Sprinkle of ½ tsp.
Red wine vinegar 1 T.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 T.
Splash Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Peppercorns (Use preferred amount)
Watch Video for step by step instructions using the ingredients listed.
My tips shared on the video:
I use my grater to zest lemons and/or oranges
I clip my fresh herbs and allow them to semi dry on a paper plate. Once they are not moist, I mince them and place in a zip loc bag. I use one bag and make a combo of several herbs. I will separate others that I allow them to completely dry.
If I am in a hurry and if I need softened cream cheese or butter, I place in a paper bowl and place in microwave for thirty (30) seconds. Instant softening.
I keep fresh garlic and it is the best way to cook but if I am in a hurry, I keep a jar of minced garlic and I keep minced ginger in a jar too.
This is not my idea or tip but one I saw that works when cooking pasta on high temperature is to lay a wooden spoon on top of the pot to prevent boil overs.
I am sure I have more tips and will introduce you to them. Use what you want, discard those you would never do. It’s your kitchen, do what you will when you are in your own kitchen. Limit yourself to your particular taste buds and eating style.
Happy Meals to You Until We Cook Again…..Reinvention Queen, Arline Miller
(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if origination is known, is sourced for credit reference.