Easter Leftovers III: Soup Time

Leftovers often mean soup. Any time there’s a big portion of meat served, it’s almost a guarantee that soup will be one of the eventual leftovers.

Soup went two ways with this ham.

First, I went with split pea soup. It’s pretty traditional to use ham with split pea. I used ham stock that I made from the ham bone, plus I sauteed pieces of meat that then boiled in with the peas.

The last time I made split pea soup, it came out much thicker than I like. This time? It came out thinner than I like. I’m still learning. To compensate a little, I chunked up the soup by  adding some mixed vegetables near the end.

I’m very proud of the other direction I went with soup leftovers. This was a riff on a “Portugese Kale and Sausage Soup” that I’ve made many times. The soup works well with basically any smoky meat and any dark green. I’ve used sausage, kielbasa, and now ham, and I’ve used kale, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, and beet greens.

I sauteed onions and the ham, added spices and broth, and added the greens… and then the secret ingredient that really makes this soup special: brown mustard. If you’re looking for more of a zing, you could add hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or even horseradish. We tend to leave it to the individual servings to spice up.

Both of these soups freeze & reheat well.

Easter Leftovers II – Fried Rice

This one is a recipe we just used fresh in our house – the only leftovers went with my husband to work the next day!

I used the basic fried rice recipe found here.

I actually didn’t change anything, except that I had a bag of “mixed vegetables” in my freezer, rather than just peas and carrots.  I also added scallion microgreens, in addition to the fully-grown scallions that the recipe calls for. It was delicious.

Easter Leftovers I – Breakfast Muffins

I had a very large quantity of ham left over from Easter, by design. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been cooking for a few additional people outside of my family, and due to the logistics of handing off the food, I’ve been utilizing a lot of my freezer-friendly recipes. This is one of them.

These  “Breakfast Muffins” are basically mini crustless quiches. Here’s what you do:

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Then place any of the chunky fillings you intend to use – in this case, ham, but it could be sausage, mushrooms, potatoes, onions – in each of the cups.

In a mixing bowl, beat some eggs. I used 10 eggs, which actually turned out to be a little too much. For a standard-sized tray of muffin tins, 8 is probably the sweet spot. Add some milk – non-dairy works fine if you’re avoiding dairy – and any spices you wish to add. Then, whisk in any cheese you plan to add, as well as any greens you wish to include. In this case, I used kale that I froze back in July.

Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tins and bake at 375 or so for … longer than you’d expect. I checked these three times before they were really done. Depending on how evenly your oven heats and whether or not your add-ins were frozen, the range could be from 20 to 40 minutes. Eyeball it. Check with a knife – if it comes out clean, you’re good. You’ve got this.

Once they cool, these muffins can be eaten right away, but I like to wrap them up and freeze them. They’re super convenient for mornings where you’re in a rush but need a hearty breakfast.

I somehow managed to fail to get a picture of the finished product, sorry! Next time.

Peanut Slaw

At some point during the summer, we got some red cabbage, and I finally tried Thug Kitchen‘s Creamy Peanut Slaw recipe. It was heavenly. Peanutty without being sticky and cloying. A welcome change from a mayo-based or yogurt-based slaw.

I was faced with a choice this week, as I stared at this beautiful, HUGE head of Napa Cabbage that came in our share.

I could do the tried-and-true thing and make my own summer rolls or egg rolls. I could make my own Pad See Ew. Or…. I could make a twist on the peanut slaw. The choice seemed pretty clear, especially with these beautiful scallions we also received:

First, I thinly sliced the cabbage

And the scallions

We haven’t talked about stock yet, but when you’re cutting most vegetables, particularly varieties of onions and garlic, you can save the scraps to make your own (healthier, basically free) vegetable stock for cooking. My ultimate reference point for vegetable stock is here, on Eileen’s blog. You’ll notice, as she recommends, that I did not set aside any of the cabbage. Adding cabbage to your stock is a one-way ticket to Stinkytown. I save my cuttings in gallon-sized plastic bags in the freezer and make stock mostly as needed. I’ve been known to can it when my freezers (3 of them; I’m ridiculous) get too full.

That’s all I used for veggies – if I’d had sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, or radishes hanging around, I would have added them, but I did not. I then made the sauce as per the recipe – peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, warm water, lime juice, ginger – and mixed it in with the cabbage. It always shocks me how much coverage you get out of what looks like such a small amount of sauce!

I added some sesame seeds for good measure, and ta-daa! A delicious side.

I had a ton of leftovers (it was only my son and I for dinner last night, and cabbage is one of the few things he’s not interested in… which I’d say is not surprising or terrible at three), so I got creative one more time this afternoon for lunch. I boiled up some tofu shiratiki noodles and made a cold noodle bowl with some of the slaw. I added some extra soy sauce to help the noodles to stop sticking together and distribute evenly, and then I decided to add some Sriracha for a kick. Hot sauce is actually in the original dressing recipe, but I omitted it out of toddler-mom-habit, not thinking about the fact that he would likely not eat the salad anyway.

I was not disappointed in my experiment. I would’ve liked some peanuts to top it with, but the whole point was that I was just working with things that were on hand, so beggars can’t be choosers.