So remember that obscene amount of Romesco sauce I had in leftovers? Well, not to worry, I have become a master at leftovers (and, subsequently extra ingredients that were bought and not fully used for recipes…but then again, quarter-life retirement = time to figure out what to do/use said items…I digress…). The best thing to eat Romesco sauce with in Spain? Charred calçots, something like a giant green onion. Well I live in Michigan where those aren’t available! The second (a very close second) best thing? Grilled artichokes. Oh wait Erica, you don’t have a grill. That’s ok, YOU HAVE A MICROWAVE!
Sidenote: photo of my mom (and a fraction of my sister’s left side) in Barcelona eating calçots and artichokes with Romesco sauce. They give you paper bibs and plastic gloves because charred vegetables are MESSY. You wear them proudly and then stuff your face. Notice in the foreground the delicious glass of Cava. Also, a lone carrot.
So I finally stopped at The Produce Station here in Ann Arbor and Jesus Christ do the amazing food places to shop here ever end? I knew I could make great use of the Romesco sauce with some cooked artichokes. They had 2 choices: normal artichokes at $2.99/each, or baby artichokes at $3.99/lb. I went with 4 baby artichokes for about $4.50. I also picked up a hard cider from Vander Mill that caught my eye. Go figure. And guess what was right next door that I’d never been to either: Biercamp. A somkery/meatery/artisan sausage place. goddamnitsogood. So naturally I had to pick up some turkey jerky. And beef bologna (and for those of you who turn your nose up at bologna, you’ve obviously never had a slice from a non-oscar meyer loaf). And McClure’s Dill Pickle Chips. The best part? My total at Biercamp was only $8!
So onto leftover dinner:
- Small white containers = leftover Romesco sauce, cornichons (mini gherkins) and kalamata olives (the olives are actually leftover from the lasagna, did I just blow your mind?).
- Marble cheese slicer = ricotta salata (from the Romesco sauce meal)
- Red plate = artichokes bought earlier; leftover tomatoes from the Romesco sauce, oven roasted (actually, I didn’t roast them long enough, and they are store bought and non-flavorful, so INGORE THOSE), turkey jerky, and beef bologna.
- Green place = Toasted Zingerman’s Paesano bread
And to go with it: Vander Mill Cider’s Totally Roasted. A hard cider made with cinnamon roasted pecans.
I was super excited to have this. I’ve never been too interested in cider in the past because once you have a Woodchuck cider at any point in your adulthood you’re ready to throw in the towel. Too sweet. Overpowering. Gross. But over the past few years I’ve really gained a liking for hard cider. When made right it’s almost like a dry effervescent white wine. Effervescent.
This was nice and non-overpoweringly-sweet, but…I was expecting more spice. You can notice it in the aftertaste, but not so much in the actual…taste. It’s still a great cider, but after reading the description, and being told when I bought it “it’s like spiced apple pie” (side note: I’m more of a chocolate and/or coconut pie lady myself…perhaps an upcoming post..?…), I was a little let down. I’m actually attending a Vander Mill hard cider tasting next Thursday, so I’m going to reserve my final judgement until the conclusion of the tasting. But hey, I’m still enjoying this bottle (that’s right, still, I’m typing this with my left hand as I effortlessly sip Totally Roasted with my right…).
But, in essence, the art of leftovers is to take what you have, and try to maximize it with minimal additional purchases. If you have a great example of transforming leftovers, I’d love to hear about it! (for example: leftover chicken into chicken salad, I WANT A CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE!)