Cooking in the time of Covid-19: Left Overs, Left Overs, Send TJ Right Over.

Remember the school yard game Red Rover? I was thinking of that when I was saying the words left overs. I think my husband has come a long way with food. He was never too crazy about left overs and that kind of drove me crazy because in a Trini’s mind, food is food oui, and you should not fuss when you are hungry – just eat. He has gotten more creative and the rare occasion when we have left overs, he comes up with some tasty creations. Tonight it was do something with that plain penne, left over pizza sauce and some cooked ground beef from two nights before.

It’s a simple game plan. Combine meat and pizza sauce and place in a small baking dish. Shred a little mozzarella and mix in. Lastly, top with a bit of 4 year old cheddar and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese crusts. Promise your wife you’ll only eat half the dish then break said promise because it just tastes oh, so good.

 

This pandemic has been difficult at times but it has provided us with some good laughs too. It is really cool to be able to spend more conversation time with our most current man child in his chrysalis state. He is funny, nutty, and does not come from a place of judgement. Mind you, there have been moments when sharing a space have led to some moments where we butt heads but we also have been able to talk things out and get back to a civilized place lol. We have had moments that could have been disastrous but luck was on our side – note here Tom’s singed goatee from a pizza oven incident. He didn’t know the extent of it until he wondered why he was smelling something like burnt pizza crust and realized he was actually smelling burnt beard.

    (Tom has singed body hair before. He has singed arm hair a couple times and most recently after this goatee episode.)

Back to left overs. Sometimes I don’t remember what I have bought and shoved into the freezer in the basement. My latest over purchase over the last 4 months has been cauliflower and broccoli. We have managed to use up all the broccoli and Tom, who re-organized the freezer, in his controlled frustration simply said to me,” Please do something with all this cauliflower,” So I present to you, my attempt at cauliflower fritters.

In a food processor or blender pour in about 6 cups of cauliflower florets. Once they are ground up, add 4 eggs and a 1/2 cup of flour and to keep them light and fluffy I added in a teaspoon of baking powder.

Add the seasoning of your choice. You can use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, or powdered Italian salad dressing or like me you can try buffalo-ranch powdered seasoning. I also added in a pinch of garlic powder and onion powder and sriracha powder (you know how I feel about giving food flavor). Blend it all. If it seems too wet, add in a bit more flower. The consistency should be sticky, not drippy. Cover the bottom of a skillet with olive oil or any oil of your choice (I like using a monosaturated fat). Heat the oil and once it is hot enough, place a heaping table spoon of batter into the oil. Fry on oneside until golden brown then flip and repeat on the other side.

Drain on paper towels. I shredded a little 5 year old cheddar and Parmesan over them and placed them in the oven to keep warm, Served them with last night with steak, corn on the cob and garlic bread bites, to use up a couple left over hot dog buns sitting in the fridge. Of course, Adam, who has his own place and basically sees us as Skip the Dishes during this Pandemic, was upset that it was not steak frites. To give him credit, he did try the fritters – he ate one of two I served him  – left one in tact to make his point and made me promise steak frites on Monday, no variations.

Everyone else who didn’t feel the need to protest, enjoyed the fritters. They were light and tasty and went well with a tangy dip Tom made. I say choose your fave dip and enjoy.

So, in this time of pandemic lockdown, I urge you to try new things, create new recipes by using your noggin and combining ingredients that you think can work together well. But do stay safe. Try not to burn anything, cut anything or break anything. remember, no one really wants a trip to the ER in these germy times and the medical staff already have their hands full. They don’t need more work, so be kitchen and outdoor cooking careful. Stay home. Stay safe. Use up your left overs. ~Daniella and family

 

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