Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Foodiness

The Great Leftover Challenge: Take One

A blog I follow regularly, Danny’s Kitchen, posted a rather fun and interesting challenge that he is calling “The Great Leftover Challenge.”  The rules of the game are:

  • Start with a leftover ingredient in your fridge, freezer or pantry.
  • Create something new that you’ve never made before.
  • Don’t use a recipe, be creative and just “wing it” at that moment.
  • It can be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack and any serving size.
  • It can be savory and/or sweet.
  • Everyone is welcome so spread the word!

Well, how could I not try that? So, I scrounged around in my fridge and discovered the base for my first leftover challenge attempt: Mom’s meatloaf. I’ll tell you, it looks a little gross (cause leftover loaves of cold ground meat often do), but my mother’s meatloaf is probably second only to my own (I’m very, very proud of my meatloaf!) So this makes for a pretty delicious leftover.

Mmm, yummy!

I looked at this meatloaf and decided to attempt a soup/sauce/chili-like concoction. So I dug through my fridge, shelves and pantry to gather up these ingredients:

The ingredients for today's challenge

I started by sweating a little bit of red onion and a garlic clove in a splash of

Sweat it out (garlic and onions, that is).

extra virgin olive oil and then added some frozen broccoli and cauliflower that had been relegated to the bottom of my freezer. Once the veggies thawed out, I chopped up the meatloaf and added it to the pan with some more olive oil, salt and black pepper.

Next, I added the liquids: tomato soup (pre-made, yes, but the idea here was to use only leftovers or things

Added the liquid--tomato sauce and white wine

I already had on hand) and a (generous) splash of white wine, plus some more seasoning. Cook until everything heats through, simmering for a few minutes–also let it simmer to keep it warm/reheat it. I also had some leftover brown and basmati rice, so I mixed those together to serve the sauce/chili-like mixture over.

It came out looking pretty…mushy. And brown. It tasted good, but I don’t think I’ll be submitting this one to the contest. It just kind of looks, well…gross.  I think I was wrong to attempt to make meatloaf into something besides what it is–there are some things you just don’t mess with, and Mom’s meatloaf might be on that list. (Along with the leftover coq au vin in my fridge–that’s pretty much meant to be eaten straight.)

It kind of looks like chili, but kind of tasted like meat sauce. You know, meat sauce with meatloaf in it.

Not a bad quick meal, but not what I’d call a kitchen success either. Hence, this was leftover challenge take one. Must keep trying!

By the way, head to Danny’s blog to enter the Great Leftover Challenge yourself if you think you can whip up a mean leftover dish!

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10 thoughts on “The Great Leftover Challenge: Take One

  1. Have had many such ‘disasters’ in the kitchen! Never puts me off trying again though!

    • Nope, it’s just another notch on the belt. And, really, it could have been much, much worse. Nothing exploded, nothing broke and nothing had to get thrown out. It at least tasted pretty good and made a decent (if not slightly ugly) dinner. But, we experiment, and sometimes we fail. It’s part of life!

  2. Thanks for giving it a try and for spreading the word. You never know when that magic dish will come out 🙂 I have had my fair share of “disasters” 🙂

    • Thanks Danny! Don’t worry, there’s a part 2 on the way that I think is somewhat more successful than part 1. “Disasters” are a part of cooking, but like I said–it could’ve been much worse. At least I could eat it!

  3. Pingback: The Great Leftover Challenge: Take 2 « Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Foodiness

  4. It kind of looks like chili, but kind of tasted like meat sauce. You know, meat sauce with meatloaf in it.
    bahahahahaha
    favorite line of the week 🙂

  5. Cheers for linking to my left overs creation! Yours looked equally yummy.

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