I have become somewhat obsessed with leftovers these days. Not just finding ways to use them up but finding ways to use them up in ways that are delicious and that I get repeat requests for.
We end up with a lot of leftover cooked veggies. Mostly because my partner loves his slow cooker meats. With these meats I usually cook onions, carrots and potatoes so I am forever looking for ways to use up those soft, cooked vegetables.
Enter latkes, also known as your standard issue potato pancakes. This recipe is best with soft, overly cooked savory vegetables. You can even freeze the leftover vegetables and thaw them out when you are ready to make the vegetable pancakes.
The recipe is a bit freeform because the type of veggies I have will vary from batch of leftovers to batch of leftovers but the technique is the same and it always results in delicious vegetable pancakes. Like latkes, you can top them with sour cream or apple sauce.
2 cups of cooked vegetables, mashed well
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: grated cheese, about 1/3 cup
Mix all the ingredients well, adding a bit more flour if needed. Go for a sticky, slightly lumpy texture that holds together. Chill for 30 minutes and then fry in a shallow pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil at high heat until crispy and there are bits of crunchy brown bits on the outside. To finish, you will need to place them in a 350-F deg oven for about 20 minutes.
A fist full of stems from fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, mint, etc.)
Good quality olive oil to cover at least a cup
Clean the stems well, wash and dry well. Snip them into smaller pieces a few inches long at most and place them in a clean glass jar. Cover with olive oil and let steep out of the direct sun on your countertop (or in your pantry) for at least a week. Two weeks is better. Fish out or strain the stems and use as a finishing oil. Many high-end restaurants create their finishing oils this way. Very posh and absolutely delicious.
Any Fruit Hand Pies
2 cups leftover fruit (apples, peaches, plums, etc.) diced small
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Prepared pie crust, puff pastry or even canned biscuits
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Macerate the fruit in the sugar and cinnamon for 10 minutes, drain if too soupy. Cut the dough into hand-sized rounds and spoon a generous spoonful into the middle of the dough. Fold over and seal with a fork. If using biscuit dough, sprinkle a bit of flour on your counter and roll out the dough until about a third of an inch thick. Repeat the instructions above, sealing the dough with a fork. Brush pies with heavy cream and bake until browned and crispy in a 350-F deg oven. About 12-15 minutes. Let cook before eating, the fruit on the inside of the hand pies will be very hot. You can also sprinkle sanding sugar over the pies before baking.