Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Cookbook: Secrets of Great Second Meals: Flexible Modern Recipes that Value Time and Limit Waste


What might I be called? Some would say thrifty. Others might call me economical. I've even been called cheap (in a good way, I think). 

All of these are true. I know how to live big on very little.

Secrets of Great Second Meals is perfect for someone like me. 

Look at the opening paragraph of the book: 
"Hey, have you checked your refrigerator today? Are there any enticing offerings chilling in there? Some rice from takeout the other night? Maybe a few chunks of rotisserie chicken? Or half a bundle of herbs you bought a few days ago and need to use soon? That stuff is golden: those odds and ends are the seeds of your next glorious meal."

I like this, too: 
"I take uncommon delight in putting together memorable meals out of the morsels in my refrigerator: it's creative work with just a hint of virtue embedded in it."

Some important ideas author Sara Dickerman shares: the secrets of great first meals; how to reanimate (her word) stored food; and when to throw things out.

Here are some facts I learned:

1. The number-one source of leftover chicken in the country is probably supermarket rotisserie chicken. But it's easy to make something similar for your own leftover chicken.

2. Always throw fruit that's on the brink of over-ripeness into the freezer---especially bananas.

3. Look this one up if you often have bits and pieces of leftover cheese: fromage fort.

4. Cook in batches large enough for a future meal, and then recombine them in a different manner for a different meal. Cook simply the first time and add complexity later.

5. A dozen eggs in the house is the best possible setup for a delicious second meal.

6. How do you make something out of nothing? The author shares egg moves, soup moves, salad moves, and carb (bread, tortillas, pasta, rice, or potatoes) moves. 

7. The author notes that she tries to "rethink the classic casserole mentality." For example, "no canned soup was injured in the making of this cookbook."


Okay, but what about recipes, I can hear you ask. Does this cookbook have recipes? Judge for yourself:

Black Bean Tacos with Mushrooms and Scissor Salsa

Meatball Frittata with Mozzarella and Tomatoes


Mustard-Kissed Chard and Gruy√®re Galette

I love to read cookbooks that inspire my creativity like this one. 






For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

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22 comments:

  1. This book sounds right up my alley, as i had to turn every leftover into something else when i was cooking for 6 of us. There was no choice, the money was tight.

    And perhaps you, like me, are a FRUMP, a Frugal, Responsible, Unpretentious, Mature Person. It's a good thing.

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    1. Haha! Who knew a FRUMP could be a person of character?!

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    2. I like the idea of a FRUMP. I am definitely one of those.

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  2. This looks like a good one. (The banana tip alone is worth the price of admission!) I love rotisserie chicken -- I'll often get it just so I can make something different with the leftovers, so I'm glad she gave that a shout out!

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  3. Some of my best meals came from digging around in my fridge and pantry. Especially in the early days of the pandemic. I do not like waste. I try to use up everything I've purchased and try not to buy one-off items to make a particular dish. My daughter knows how to make fried rice with all sorts of ingredients now, inside-out quesadillas, etc. At least she will be able to feed herself when she leaves for college next year.

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    1. You and your daughter are the sort of cooks that this book is perfect for. It encourages us to plan and use food wisely.

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  4. I really like when people read cookbooks and prepare delicious meals which I would try with pleasure ! But don't ask me to cook anymore ! I have had my share !

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  5. Oh wow those look delicious. And this made me laugh "Some rice from takeout the other night" Yup, I have exactly that in the fridge right now ha!

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    1. Oh yeah. She knows what we have as leftovers, I think.

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  6. So smart! This cookbook is exactly what we need to discourage wastefulness! The recipe photos are gorgeous. :)

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  7. Deb, I love the idea behind this cookbook even though since there are just 2 of us I tend to make smaller meals with not much leftover.

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    1. I think this would be a good cookbook for young cooks, to encourage creativity and frugality when you are getting started. Those are important assets in a cook.

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  8. mr wonderful is great at coming up with unique uses for leftovers. this sounds like an interesting book
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  9. Hubby is the chef around our house. I'm happy to do the dishes. He's good at whipping up a great meal with stuff left over in the fridge. Your meals look great. Now I'm hungry.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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  10. How fun! I love cooking and learning new recipes.

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  11. I'm the same, it agonizes me if I have to throw something out from the fridge. I always throw fruit into the freezer. I know someone who says "Costco bananas, so cheap, just throw them out". GASP they go into banana breads and a 1/4 cup banana can replace an egg in a recipe. Ends of veg go into the soup bag, even leftover bread, ends of cheese.
    As I wrote this I popped over to the library and borrowed a copy of this book and will flip through it this week.

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  12. This sounds like a great cookbook! I throw too much produce away and would like to have some good recipes to stop that bad behavior.

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  13. This is how I live! Right down to the eggs. Nothing goes to waste in our house. Leftover vegetables go in the soup. Leftover soup moistens the leftover beans. And so it goes. But I don't need a book -- especially because I hate bananas.

    be well...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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