The big day is over–the fireworks have ceased, and all is calm. Look at all the leftovers! What do you do with all this? If you kept it all covered and chilled, waiting for every dish to inevitably spoil, here are some ideas:
Hot dog and hamburger buns can make GREAT buttery garlic bread to serve with pasta. They can also be soaked in a batter to make French toast. If you don’t like either of those ideas, you can let them dry out and run them through the food processor to make bread crumbs. Keep them in a zipper bag in the freezer for a Panko-like coating any time. Delicious!
We always have leftover hot dogs. These are not my favorites, but I can cut them up and heat with baked beans for a junk-y meal (really gourmet when you serve with bagged potato chips). I can also make chili and serve chili dogs, which feels like a better meal.
Who uses pickle relish other than at cookouts? Me!
Make chicken salad with a can, or two, of chicken (I love Costco canned chicken); separate with a fork into tiny shreds; add a heaping spoonful of mayo or Ranch dressing, and some pickle relish. Add some dill weed, and you’ve got a great sandwich spread, or serve with sliced tomato and lettuce as a salad.
Egg salad is always a favorite: boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, and pickle relish. Mash that all up with a fork, and serve on sandwiches or in romaine lettuce leafs.
Leftover Hamburger Fixings
Make a large salad with leftover lettuce, onion slices, tomato slices, etc. Keep the dill pickles and sliced pickles for relish trays at your next cookout.
Leftover hamburgers can dry out quickly, even if stored properly. Enjoy them the next day as hamburger steaks, heated in brown gravy, and served over rice (with a side salad).
Alternatively, you can crumble hamburgers into small bits and make chili. My fool-proof, standby chili recipe is: a pound of crumbled ground beef, browned and drained (or crumbled up hamburgers from a cookout); a large can of diced tomatoes; a can of kidney beans (or black beans); a jar of salsa (whatever heat level you prefer), and a packet of McCormick’s Chili Seasoning. Dump all ingredients into a dutch oven, heat for 10 minutes, and you’ve got a pot of chili–hearty, delicious, and QUICK.
Italian sausages (or bratwursts) can be cut into chunks and used in pasta sauce over pasta, as a pizza topping, as an accompaniment for eggs at breakfast, or in a quiche.
Smoked sausage can be cut into chunks, and cooked with green beans and red potatoes as a one-dish meal. It is a good companion to stir fried cabbage and onions. It is also good with eggs, or in casseroles or quiche.
Flavored sausages like Aidell’s Mango Jalapeno chicken sausages rarely make it to “leftover” status; If they do, they are great in omelettes or quiche. I also like to serve them cut into chunks with roasted green beans or cauliflower/broccoli mix.