How to use leftover meat from stock

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Hi, everyone! I recently read (and cooked) a recipeĀ  that used lots of chicken thighs to make chicken stock. I then discarded the chicken. Even the recipe creator said, I haven’t found a good use for this chicken. The issue is that when you boil the chicken, the meat loses all of its flavor (that’s basically how you know the stock is done). It’s a beautiful thing. But, I’m not one to promote food waste, and I wasted a LOT of chicken meat that was simply flavorless.

Then, I was re-reading Tamar Adler’s book on cooking, “An Everlasting Meal,” and I happened upon a little tidbit on how to save some of the meat used from stock. Now, I am not saying you need to save ALL of it. I had a lot. But when I made stock again, I did save some of the meat from it. I gave (1) some to my dog, and then (2) I made toast topped with it, as you see above.

The key is mixing it with mayonnaise, herbs, and something acidic — this helps to give back flavor that it lost. I personally think it worked in a synergistic fashion, and I craved this for approximately 3 meals/snacks, and then I ran out.

Here I mixed it with *good* mayonnaise. Homemade if you have it, but I never do. Then I added thinly cut cornichons and sprigs of dill. It is so simple, yet elegant, because it is truly a recipe for those who seek to limit their waste. I also would recommend using fresh bread. I buy a loaf of Acme Sweet Batard nearly every week, slice it, and then freeze it. I hope this helps you in any effort to create a working kitchen.

Roasted Sourdough with Smoked Salmon and Vegetables

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This isn’t a “recipe” so much as it is a way to combine ingredients on top of bread so that it’s a full-on meal with minimal effort.

I had all of this stuff on hand, some ingredients thanks to meal prep (quick pickled bell peppers), and some ingredients courtesy of my local farmer’s market (smoked salmon goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, & roasted garlic sourdough bread).

I am not going to write a traditional recipe for most of this, because it doesn’t really need one. I started out by roasting the roasted garlic sourdough bread drizzled with olive oil in the oven on 400 for about 6 minutes. Note: Fresh bread can be sliced and then stored in the freezer. I store each slice in individual plastic bags and date and label them. Then I take them out and pop them in the oven with some olive oil whenever I’m ready to eat them.

Now you have roasted bread (any kind of bread’ll do). Next up, I have spread a harissa, cumin, and and chili goat milk cheese on the bread. Honestly, I almost just stopped here. Good cheese on good bread with good olive is all you really need. Alas, I then added a couple of slices of an heirloom tomato (I saved the rest of the tomato and threw it in a beef bolognese I made later that day). Then I added some greens — I used sweet mixed greens, but you can use anything. I have made this before with romaine and the additional crunch is very nice. Arugula would work great too. Use whatever you have on hand. Then I topped this with smoked salmon. I am lucky to have a wonderful vendor at my farmer’s market, and I definitely splurge on smoked salmon. I would recommend you do the same — sub-par smoked salmon isn’t very tasty and it could ruin your dish! (Okay, so just make sure that you like it first.)

The only part of this recipe that I made prior to assembling were the quick pickled sweet bell peppers. I recommend making this at the beginning of the week, and storing in its brine all week in the refrigerator. I top a lot of food with these guys, they add a nice sweet crunch that many dishes deserve in order to feel complete. I will post the recipe in just a moment.

On top of everything, add chopped dill (parsley or cilantro would be lovely additions as well), and add kosher sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Now you are ready for a delicious lunch, breakfast, dinner, or snack!

Quick Pickled Sweet Bell Peppers

Depending on how many bell peppers you have, you may need to adjust the amount of brine you are making. I typically use two rather large bell peppers, and I make sure that the bell peppers are completely covered by the liquid in the container I store it in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bell peppers (I like to use two different colors like yellow and red)
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt

Directions:

  1. Deseed and remove the stems from the peppers.
  2. Slice lengthwise into about 1/4 of an inch.
  3. Add peppers to a glass container with a tight lid.
  4. Add vinegar, sugar, and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  5. Let cool completely.
  6. Add mixture to the glass container once cooled and toss to combine.
  7. Make sure peppers are completely covered and this should store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

 

Lemony Herbed Breakfast Salad

I went on a two-mile walk this morning around Lake Merritt, and when I returned home, I felt the need to treat myself (healthy style). The fresh herbs and fresh lemon juice and zest truly make this salad feel decadent, yet also very light. A perfect way to start the new week.

Pretty much everything can be subbed for something different, or omitted if you don’t have it. If you don’t have a lemon, sub balsamic or champagne vinegar. If you don’t have feta cheese, substitute another fat — toasted walnuts or crumbled goat cheese would be great. For the fresh herbs, use as many as you have on hand. You get the point… all we are doing is adding a protein, fat, herbs, and greens together with a citrus and an oil, topped with sea salt and ground pepper. Okay, now for the ingredients.

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Ingredients (one serving)

  • Egg, fried (yolk still runny, but white part solid)
  • 1-2 sprigs each of dill, parsley, & cilantro (stems removed, chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. feta cheese
  • Mixed sweet greens (or green of your choice)

Dressing

  • Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Lemon zest (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Assemble the salad: lay the mixed greens and top with the egg. Then sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs and feta cheese on the salad.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle on top of the assembled salad.
  3. Top with sea salt and ground pepper. I also added red pepper flakes for some spice, but that is completely optional.