What Am I Going To Do With the Leftovers?

You all know how the Queen and I are very close.  We are the bestest of buddies.  She has been showing up in my kitchen a lot lately; a lot more than usual, because of this whole COVID19  stuff going on.  Most of the world is going threw this same thing, and sadly, most of us are all stuck at home, with nowhere to go.  Larry is one of the fortunate few (for now) and he can still go into work, although he is not going in as frequently, which means he is not taking lunches with him so much either.  And this means, I have even MORE leftovers in my fridge than normal too.  So I have to get even MORE creative with my leftovers than usual.  But that’s OK.  I LOVE these creative, culinary challenges.

Not long ago, I made some Southwestern ahi tuna steaks that were oh so good.  Southwestern Ahi Tuna Steaks  I liked the green chili and corn sauce so much for the tuna that I made it again, but this time I made some pork empanadas from the remainder of our smoked pork that I pulled out of the freezer.  As good as the sauce was with the tuna, it was even BETTER with the pork and the empanadas.  Smoked Pork and Vegetable Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa  Most definitely, a do-over!

This time around, the whole meal was comprised of leftovers – leftover pork and beans, leftover couscous, the pork in the empanadas, and the red pepper coulis as well.  Parmagiano Crusted Pork Chops  It may not have been the most ideal combination, but somehow, it all magically came together just fine.  That, AND it also cleared out some space in my fridge for even MORE leftovers to come.  🙂


Since these are all made from leftovers, I am not going to give the actual recipes again, but I will show how I made them instead.




The thinner you can make your dough, the flakier the empanadas will be.  However, you do not want to make your dough so thin that it will not hold your filling either.   I rolled my dough to about 1/4 ” in thickness.  Also make sure your surface has enough flour to ensure the dough does not stick to it when rolling it out.


When the empanadas are made, put them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour before cooking them.  Make sure you seal the edges well, so the juices don’t run out and make your dough to mushy.  You can either bake them or pan-fry them.  I have done both, but I prefer to pan-fry them.  I think they come out lighter, crispier and flakier if they are pan-fried.  If you are going to bake them, add an egg wash to them before baking them.  That will help brown them up.


I love empanadas, and make them quite frequently.  It really doesn’t matter what I fill them with either.

Don’t let these tough times get to you.  Look them in the “eye” and rise to the challenges they present.  We will all get through this.  We just need to be strong and hang in there.




Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 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.

60 thoughts on “What Am I Going To Do With the Leftovers?”

      1. I cook much more when my husband’s home. I’m quite happy all week with a big pan of soup, something he only enjoys as a starter! Plus, he hates eating the same thing two days running while I don’t mind. Luckily he will eat some of my vegan dishes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Larry is like your husband too, although he is fine with how I re-create my leftovers. But he does not want them the same way twice in a row. I am more like you. Larry like meat with every meal. I love meat, don’t get me wrong, but I cannot eat it for every meal.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh nothing special Jeanne – we tend to call it Hodge Podge and usually it’s all the left overs thrown in with pasta 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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