"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-20-2021, 01:50 PM   #1
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,584
What Is A Leftover?

I know this is a burning question that's been in the forefront of your minds over the past year so let's take the bull by the horns and settle this once and for all time.

You roast a chicken and serve it with a couple of sides. A delicious dinner! Of course you don't eat the whole chicken, so the next day you have chicken salad or a chicken sandwich. Clearly those are leftovers.

You make a roast beef and eat less than half of it. There's plenty for another full roast beef dinner and then some sandwiches. Is the second dinner leftovers or just the sandwiches?

You make a big pot of tomato sauce, several quarts of the stuff. You portion it off into meal-sized servings and freeze them. Are all those portions leftovers?

What makes the difference? What are the requirements for something to NOT be a leftover? OR If it was not cooked that day is it ALWAYS a leftover?

Your thoughts?
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 01:58 PM   #2
Cupcake
 
Kathleen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 2,995
These are great questions! I cannot wait to see replies.

I can only speak to my kitchen:

To me, leftovers are when you have the same food the following day without alteration. For example, Thanksgiving dinner generally yields a lot of leftovers which are often divided up on plates and microwaved. Dinner, part II. That would be leftovers to me.

The carcass is then used to make soup stock, remaining turkey meat is used in stews, salads, casseroles, etc. All of these things to me are not leftovers. They are ingredients for other meals.

My grandmother used that carcass after she made soup stock. She dried the bones and busted them up to use in the garden. Waste not, want not!
__________________


~Kathleen

A little bit Ginger. A little bit Mary Ann.
Kathleen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 02:24 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Just Cooking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 4,256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
These are great questions! I cannot wait to see replies.

I can only speak to my kitchen:

To me, leftovers are when you have the same food the following day without alteration. For example, Thanksgiving dinner generally yields a lot of leftovers which are often divided up on plates and microwaved. Dinner, part II. That would be leftovers to me.

The carcass is then used to make soup stock, remaining turkey meat is used in stews, salads, casseroles, etc. All of these things to me are not leftovers. They are ingredients for other meals.

My grandmother used that carcass after she made soup stock. She dried the bones and busted them up to use in the garden. Waste not, want not!
This.. ^

Ross
__________________
Disclaimer: My experiences may not be as someone else might think correct.. Life goes on..
Just Cooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 02:44 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 447
LOL… when I announce "we'll be having leftovers" it's 'cause it is food that will not be as good as the first service. Chili… never a leftover as it is always better that next day or two (or even thawed and reheated from frozen). Carnitas and refried beans… again, never a leftover.

Seafood, usually a leftover, but it depends upon what you do with it. Some leftover cooked seafood in a new cioppino is not a leftover.

Meatloaf… almost always a leftover, but pulled pork and/or BBQ not so much. Chicken can be a leftover, but in a new tikka for tacos, tostadas, or burritos… better than fresh!

Thanksgiving turkey… could be leftover, but put it in a covered glass vessel with a layer of stock and a few dots of butter and bake at 350F for 20 minutes and it can be better than new.

So for me, it is what you can do about that second (or third) serving that will determine what is a leftover.

BTW, pizza is always a leftover. (c;
ScottinPollock is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 04:33 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,235
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
I tend to agree, that if it is used in another dish, it isn't a leftover; it's an ingredient. I also like Scott's notion, that it's not a leftover when it's better reheated. The exception is when there is only a very small amount left after a meal and it just goes on a supper plate so it won't go to waste.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 04:45 PM   #6
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,924
When we are finished with dinner, assuming there are 'leftovers' of eachcompnent of the meal, we usually make up a complete ' leftover' meal all in one container ( like the millions of Chinese plastic take out containers we have accumulated). So its basically a mini version of what we had.

If the items dont make up a complete meal, then they are stored separately and would considered them a snack or an ingredient for future use.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 08:10 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 2,198
Question

I eat leftovers constantly; in fact, probably more often than not, esp. since the pandemic started, and I don't have friends coming by to help me eat as often.

Sometimes I change something slightly, like when something that I grate some cheese on, I'll grate a different kind on the next day. Or with a taco filling, I'll have some different condiments with it. But they're still leftovers. And I have a bunch of frozen dishes, from when I make a lot (almost always!), and I'll freeze them in one or two portion amounts, to make a quick meal with in the future. Eating another bowl of this the next day would be a leftover, but eating it a month away, thawed, and reheated, most people would not think of that as a leftover, would they?
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 08:16 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,235
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I eat leftovers constantly; in fact, probably more often than not, esp. since the pandemic started, and I don't have friends coming by to help me eat as often.

Sometimes I change something slightly, like when something that I grate some cheese on, I'll grate a different kind on the next day. Or with a taco filling, I'll have some different condiments with it. But they're still leftovers. And I have a bunch of frozen dishes, from when I make a lot (almost always!), and I'll freeze them in one or two portion amounts, to make a quick meal with in the future. Eating another bowl of this the next day would be a leftover, but eating it a month away, thawed, and reheated, most people would not think of that as a leftover, would they?
I wouldn't call it a leftover. I'm reminded of a cooking teacher who called that "planned overs". I like the idea of a specific name for that, but I hate the term.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 08:23 PM   #9
Wannabe TV Chef
 
Kaneohegirlinaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6,051
Hmmm, that's a very thought provoking question Andy!

Many times I'll have half of a serving of one dish or another,
and I just can't bring myself to throw it out... old habits die hard,
never waste, ya neva know what tomorrow will bring.

So, I'll collect up multiple small portions to create what we
in Hawaii call a "Mixed Plate", a little of this and a little of that
along side "two scoop Rice".

DH is a traditional breakfast food kinda guy, where I am not.
(Eggs and I don't always get along)
In Hawaii, we'd eat whatever was left from last night.

When I make other dishes, such as Meatballs, Meatloaf, etc.
before I ever cook them, I divvy them up in 2
portion sizes and freeze them for later. I mean, 1lb. each
of Ground Beef, Veal and Italian Sausage makes a mini
Meatloaf for us two and then Meatballs galore!

Click image for larger version

Name:	meatballs1.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	108.4 KB
ID:	45134

This, I don't consider leftovers, because it has been specifically
put aside for another meal.

The issue with something rather large, like a whole Turkey, hmmm...
I'm not sure on that one. I re-purpose a Tom multiple ways,
as most of us do, so.....
Kaneohegirlinaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 07:27 AM   #10
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,924
There are weeks that as the week is coming to an end, and the fridge is filling up, we will have a ' left over' night dinner just to get rid of the things that didnt get eaten and won't store well.

I do a weekly refrigerator clean so after leftover night , it gets fed to the chicken, put in the compost or tossed.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 01:57 PM   #11
Head Chef
 
Silversage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,059
I guess I take the word leftover too literally. If we don't finish it the first day, it's a leftover, and usually relegated to lunches.
__________________
In our house, dog hair is a condiment!
OMG! I decided to blog!
Silversage is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.