Spicing Up the Leftovers

You all know how much I love to recreate from leftovers.  It has become a fun game.  I call it “What can I do with it next?”  You also know about my “friend” and alter ego, The Queen of Leftovers.  She and I are tight, tight, tight.  We get together and rummage through the fridge quite often.  She paid me a visit again yesterday.  Our results were colorful, spicy and full of flavor.  Yet another successful collaboration between The Queen and I.

I seasoned some sirloin steaks in spicy Southwestern style and let them marinate for about 4 hours before grilling them up.  Then I made spicy, chili-lime roasted sweet potatoes.  I recreated my leftover red beans & rice and shrimp Creole Honey Mustard Shrimp with Red Beans & Rice into stuffed mushrooms, topped with mozzarella cheese.  After the prep time, it only took about 20 minutes to cook, and soon we were enjoying a Southwestern meal just as good as one we might find anywhere from along the Rio Grande down to New Mexico or Arizona; perhaps even better.  Since I served steak, and the flavors were bold and spicy, the only wine choice was a bold red.  I went with a Spanish Temperanillo.  I believe it was one of the bottles we brought back from Spain when we were there in August 2019.


The mushrooms were super easy to make.  I just cleaned them and popped the stems off, then filled them with the red beans & rice, topped them with cheese and a shrimp portion.  Then I roasted them at 350* F for about 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese was all melted and the mushrooms were cooked.  These were easy-peasy and super delicious.




We love spicy foods and bold flavors.  Sweet potatoes are fun to play with, because they are so versatile and go so well with many different flavors and many different styles of cooking.  Since I had a spicy theme going, I decided to continue that theme with the sweet potatoes as well, and I love the chili-lime combination, particularly on sweet potatoes, so this was a “no-brainer”.  You can make these as simple or as complex as you like.  It’s all good no matter what you do or how you make them.

Chili-Lime Sweet Potatoes


1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges

1 shallot, sliced very thin

1 jalapeno, diced fine

1/4 red bell pepper diced fine

1 TBSP garlic

2-3 tsp chopped cilantro

2-3 TBSP brown sugar

1-2 tsp chili-lime seasoning or chili powder

1 TBSP lime juice

1/2 stick of butter, 1/2 melted and 1/2 cut into pieces for the top


Preheat oven to 350* F or 180* C.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.


Toss all the ingredients together well, except the butter pieces.  Place everything in a single layer in your baking pan.  Then randomly place the butter pieces on top of the sweet potatoes.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.



Put it all together, pour the wine, and sit back and enjoy.




Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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