Cooking in small batches or small amounts is not something I have ever mastered. I always cook like I am cooking for a large crowd. Maybe it is all those years working in restaurants, I don’t know. But because I always prepare large amounts of whatever I cook, I always have leftovers too. Maybe this is how I learned how to be so creative with my leftovers. Whatever the reason(s) behind it, reusing and recreating from leftovers is truly I gift I have mastered over the years.
Of course I had leftovers from the other day, when I made my lamb gyros Lamb Gyros . Well I couldn’t make lamb gyros again, especially so soon after we had just eaten them. But I also had to find a way to reuse the leftovers I had too. Once again my alter ego, The Queen of Leftovers, paid me a visit. This time her inspiration was following the Greek theme from the meal we enjoyed before. I went from gyros to a Greek shrimp salad in no time at all.
The tzatziki sauce was transformed into my salad dressing, by adding a tomato, fresh herbs, more garlic, olive oil, pepper and lemon balsamic vinegar. I just threw it all in the food processor and mixed it all up to make a creamy, zesty dressing, which was also my marinade for the shrimp.
I let the shrimp marinade for about 30 minutes to an hour, then skewered them up to grill.
I made some croutons by cubing some bread, tossing it olive oil seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. Since I was just making a small batch ( yes, sometimes I can do it, but not often), I just pan fried it all until the croutons were golden brown and crunchy.
I used Romaine lettuce for the salad base, though any kind of lettuce works just fine. Next I added my remaining chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions and feta cheese for Larry. I also sliced some of the olives I had leftover and added those as well. The croutons and sliced hard boiled eggs were next.
Once the shrimp was grilled and cooked to perfection, I added them to the salad then topped it all with the creamy tomato-herb dressing.
I served it all with some cool, crisp chardonnay and warmed pita bread on the side. It was quick, easy-peasy AND I got to use up most of my leftovers. All my favorite categories were combined to make this summer time feast of a salad.
With food prices and shortages being what they are, we all have to make sure we use up all those leftovers as best we can and never let anything go to waste. Don’t be afraid to “play with your food”. You’ll be amazed at what you make and where your imagination and/or muse takes you on your culinary adventures. Get creative and have fun. That’s what I always do. 🙂
Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.