Some people hate leftovers, and I don´t know why. Cook once, eat two or three times is my motto.
Some meals beg to be used that way. It´s just plain good sense to make a beautiful salad out of lentils and the last cuts from a joint of roast beef, or build high roast chicken sandwiches.
Which is fine the second time. But if you should have to dish things up a third time, which does happen in a household of two like mine, then we´re up against the deja vù factor. It´s not that you hate the food, not at all. It´s just that you´ve been seeing it every time you open the fridge, and it´s beginning to seem like it´s been there for a whole ice age.
There are classics like ropa vieja or hash or revueltos or fried rice that are a great way of recycling things. But you can still see whatever it was that was bugging you. And the question will be aired. "Isn´t this the cabbage from Saturday?" they´ll say. And even though it tastes good, you´ll start to like it less,
Layering is the answer. Lasagna, or pie, will hide the offending morsels and turn them into the savory heart of something new and exciting. If it´s nestling between dough and cheese, and you can´t see it, who cares what it is?
However, it will also make them go further, which might mean more leftovers.
The way to stop this from turning into a Tantallus circle is to go with empanadillas (the oven kind, as of course I don´t fry).
This recipe makes enough dough for 12 pasties, and they´ll go fast, between dinner and breakfast. And if not, they freeze well, and are perfect candidates for a lunchbox.
It´s a cocarrois dough, and apart from leftovers it can hold the raw filling cocarrois, or the quick and sneaky spinach filling here (don´t forget the garlic and pimentón).
When I did it on Monday, it took me thirty minutes to heat up the oven, rummage around for the ingredients, make the dough, spill pints of olive oil on a new cashmere jumper, curse a lot, try to wash it off, make the filling with the leftover meat and vegetables and a can of fried onions, some raisins and a dash of Old Bay spice (thanks, Heather!), roll out the balls, fill them and pop them in the oven.
Provided you are less clumsy than I, you can count on at least eight minutes less than that, which isn´t bad going. I don´t count the half hour in the oven, because that isn´t actual work.
Masa de empanadillas para horno
Preheat the oven to 180ºC
In the Th, mix 50 gr. butter (or lard), 50 gr. oil, 100 ml. water, one egg and half a teaspoonful of salt. Add 340 gr. or so of flour, and mix 20 seconds on speed 6.
The dough should be soft and supple and easy to work with. Make 12 balls, roll them out, and don´t overfill.
Bake approx. half an hour, until golden.
They´re better lukewarm, good luck waiting.