Making Magic Out of Leftovers
Since I made the huge mistake of having Ham and Hashbrown Casserole two weeks in a row, tonight we are Making Magic Out of Leftovers. This is such an easy recipe and everyone really does enjoy it but I am not one to repeat meals too often (with the exception of pizza night). So, Zuppa Toscana will be, once again, pushed off until next week. God forbid we have two different soups in a week. Here is how I transformed my casserole into a fantastic soup using bits and pieces from my fridge as well (hence the shelf-cooking tag).
Ham and Hashbrown Casserole
Last night, we had ham and hashbrown casserole. I had fully intended to have it again tonight with the lima beans and some garlic bread (gf bread for one of my people). However, as much as we like this recipe, I was kind of over it. My family would never tell me they were tired of eating it but I know I am therefore I am sure they are as well.
When I did my bulk freezer cooking, I had enough ingredients to make this casserole twice. In making it twice, we ate on it, at least, four times because it made so much. We would have it as a main dish one night and a side dish the next. Wasting food, around my house, is not something I will do if I can help it. We eat it until it is gone or I freeze it. This time, I am repurposing it.
Realistic Shelf-Cooking with Leftovers
I looked in my fridge and I had a half a bag of bacon bits, some heavy cream I needed to use up, the casserole from last night, a few green onions, and some lunch meat ham that was ending its life. One child grabbed my crockpot and I set out to see what I could do. Normally, I would create a roux and add some sour cream, cream of chicken (or mushroom), and play around with the seasonings. This time, however, I didn’t have sour cream and I didn’t want to make my gf cream of chicken.
First, I dumped the leftovers into the crockpot. I then cut up the ham and tossed it in there. From that point, I added some water to loosen it up and the heavy cream. Since I added liquid, I did sprinkle in some chicken bouillon powder (nutritional yeast would have worked as well). I really wanted to saute up some fresh mushrooms, garlic, and onion but I didn’t want to take the time to do it. The mushrooms will be used for pizza night and the rest, I was just to lazy to do it.
I popped on the lid and set it to low. After a bit, I stirred it up and tasted it. It needed no seasoning but I did add some cheddar just because cheese makes everything better. My fear was that my potatoes would turn to mush but since I used cubed hashbrowns, they have kept their form. I’m restraining myself from stirring too often. Once you take the lid off the crockpot, you lose that seal and it takes a while to heat it back up.
I ate a bowl for lunch. For mine, I sprinkled on some green onions. It is fantastic! So now, we will ate it yesterday, today, and likely tomorrow for lunch. I serve one of my kids’ soup with gluten free saltine crackers.