No matter how much I plan, it seems that I always make too much food. Especially when I make things like Spaghetti and Meatballs. Hubby stares down into what seems to be a bottomless bowl and asks “So, when are the guest getting here?” I suppose this stems from my firm belief that more is better – more just in case someone unexpectedly stops by at suppertime. You can graciously set another plate or two and say “We have more than enough, please join us.” More because my mother it into drilled into my head by example that a good hostess never lets her guests leave the table wanting for anything. When family would gather, be it a holiday, special occasion or just because we were all so darn close, the food was endless and no one ever walked away from the table hungry.
Okay, so it’s just Hubby, Kiddo and I these days, but still, I cling to the notion that as the woman of the house it’s my duty to see to it that my family is well-fed and never wanting for more.
The practical solution to left-overs is to pack up smaller portions of the same meal for lunch. With the convenience of microwaves in the workplace, a home-cooked meal beats the heck out of cold sandwiches or a fast food joint. Every now and again, I will create what I like to call “Smorgasbord Left Over Night”. All the cute little containers are pulled from the fridge, and placed onto the table, and served “buffet” style. Each person picks whatever strikes their fancy, loads up a plateful and pops it in the microwave. I like to do this toward the end of the week, just before grocery shopping. Out with the old, in with the new so to speak.
But every now and again, I like to create an entirely different meal from the left-overs. Did you know that if you crumble up leftover meatloaf, add some salsa and warm it in a frying pan, you can make burritos or tacos out of it? To stretch it even further, add some refried beans to the pan and your meatloaf doesn’t even remember that in a prior life it was a meatloaf. Meatloaf can also be reborn as Shepherd’s Pie. And sandwiches . . .
When I was a child, I loved to stuff spaghetti into a warm dinner roll oozing with melted butter and eat it like a sandwich. So it’s not a stretch for me to serve up Leftover Spaghetti and Meatball Sandwiches. I actually make enough Spaghetti and Meatballs Enough for a Crowd for this very reason. For me, warm spaghetti sandwiches are a comfort food.
Leftover Spaghetti and Meatball Sandwiches
Enough Leftover Spaghetti & Meat Balls to fill 4 steak rolls
4 Steak Rolls
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
4 tablespoons butter, softened
Heat Spaghetti and Meat Balls in microwave until nicely warmed, about 5-6 minutes.
Split steak rolls, place on baking sheet, set aside
Press garlic into softened butter, blend with a fork. Spread garlic butter inside steak rolls.
Heat broiler element on oven. Place steak rolls under broiler until butter bubbles and bread is LIGHTLY browned. (Remember, you are going to broil the rolls twice, so don’t let them get too browned the first time around).
Remove rolls from oven, fill with spaghetti and meat balls. Sprinkle with Italian cheese. Return to broiler and continue to broil until the cheese has melted and the rolls are golden.
Add a tossed salad and call it a night.
How do you get rid of leftovers? I’d love to hear from you . . .