Leftover Madness – French Onion Soup, Shrimp Scampi, Ham and Cheese Panini

The past few days have been full of left overs. That’s a good thing, and a good way to save money, but you have to get creative.

When I made the Veal Marsala Meatballs, I made enough to freeze some for another time. Spane and I were at the market on Thursday, and I was thinking of making enchiladas, but Spane didn’t seem to enthusiastic about it, so I asked him if he wanted spaghetti and meatballs, and he said yes.

I had everything I needed to make it, the veal meatballs, a large can of diced tomatoes, basil and garlic. The only thing I needed to make a good meal was a baguette of French bread to make garlic bread to go with our pasta, so I bought a long baguette. It was large enough that I cut it in half and made my garlic butter, intending to make another half on Friday. I bought some large frozen shrimp to have on Friday.

I served the meatballs separately from the pasta, and we ate all of those, and the garlic bread. There was still spaghetti and sauce left over. I had made enough garlic butter for both halves of the bread, and had left the left over in the refrigerator.

I took some of the garlic butter, put it in a pan, and heated the shrimp in that garlic butter. By doing that, I didn’t have quite enough garlic butter for the other half of the baguette, so I added a little olive oil and balsamic butter, whirred it around, spread that on the bread, topped it with a little Parmesan cheese, and threw it in the oven for a few minutes.

We ate all the shrimp Scampi, and all the spaghetti and sauce, and were a little to stuffed to finish the garlic bread.

So, now I had left over balsamic garlic bread. Today, Saturday, was cold and rainy, so soup sounded like the perfect meal. Originally, I was going to make macaroni and cheese as an excuse to turn on Bertha, but grilled cheese sandwiches sounded like a better idea.

What kind of soup could I make and use up the left over garlic bread? Why French Onion, of course. That is such a simple soup to make, and is really fool-proof.

We’ll start with Thursday’s dinner, Spaghetti and Meatballs. This sauce is very easy and quick to make. You probably already have all the ingredients on hand.

Quick Tomato Basil Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white of red wine (not sweet)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon basil, minced (not dried)
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. You can make this while you are waiting for the pasta water to boil.
  2. In a large sauce pan, put heat some olive oil.
  3. Add the garlic, and sauté it on medium heat until it is translucent. Add the wine and let it cook down a little, about two minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and basil, and let them cook down a little as well, about 10 minutes. You can take a potato masher and mash down the tomatoes if you don’t like large pieces.
  5. Cook the sauce until it has thickened a bit, about 10 more minutes.
  6. Serve over cooked pasta.

Variations

You can sauté mushrooms with the garlic if you want to add mushrooms.

Preparation time: 2 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Have garlic bread with your pasta, and make enough for the next another round, or to use for Shrimp Scampi.

Garlic Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a small food processor, put the garlic and process it until you have very small pieces of garlic.
  2. Cut the butter up into eights and add it to the processor. Process it until all you have a nice butter, with no large pieces of butter showing.
  3. Add the herbs and cheese, and process one more time.
  4. Remove from the food processor and refrigerate until ready to use.

Variations

You can add a half of a package of powdered cheddar cheese (the kind that comes in the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner).

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

With your left over garlic butter, you can now make Shrimp Scampi. This is so easy it will blow you away.

You can use large raw shrimp that has been deveined, or you can buy large frozen deveined shrimp if you are in a hurry.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Have ready a large sauce pan with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. if you are using frozen shrimp, do not thaw them before. That way, they will not over cook.
  3. Heat the pan on low heat and add the garlic butter. Put the shrimp in the butter, and whirl it around so the shrimp gets completely covered in the butter. If you are using raw shrimp, add a little white wine to the pan.
  4. Put the cover on the pan, and set it on low. The shrimp will steam in the garlic butter.
  5. Check it after 5 minutes. The shrimp should be nice and pink and slightly curled. Don’t let them curl too much because then they will be over cooked.
  6. Serve the shrimp with the sauce that accumulates in the pan.

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Diet type: Pescatarian

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

If you have followed along, you might have some of the garlic butter left over, and you can make the wonderful Balsamic Garlic Bread with it.

Balsamic Garlic Bread

Ingredients

  • French baguette
  • garlic butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Split the baguette in half lengthwise.
  2. Whip the garlic butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, either in a small food processor, or use a beater.
  3. Spread the mixture on to both sides. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Put it into the oven and heat for about 5 minutes or until it has started to brown.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

So, if you have left over garlic bread, you can use it for French Onion soup. This is an easy soup to make, and you should not be intimidated at all.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable base
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • Balsamic garlic bread

Instructions

  1. Have ready a large sauce pan. Turn it on to low heat.
  2. Put the butter in the pan, let it melt, and add the onions.
  3. Cook the onions down until they have started to caramelize, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Don’t let them burn.
  4. When the onions are ready, dust them with the flour and thyme. Add the stock bases and water. Stir to break up the stock bases, then let the soup simmer for about an hour.
  5. When the soup is ready, cut the garlic bread so there are one or two pieces for every bowl.
  6. Have ready some nice pasta bowls.
  7. Put the soup into a tureen, and have ready a soup ladle.
  8. Ladle some soup over the bread in each pasta bowl, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese liberally over all.
  9. Leave the rest of the soup in the tureen for people to refill their bowls.

Variations

If you don;t have soup bases, then use 2 large 12 oz cans each of vegetable broth and beef broth, and omit the water.

Preparation time: 2 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: French

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

What goes well with soup on a cold, rainy day? Why, grilled cheese sandwiches!

Grilled Ham and Cheese Panini

Summary: You don’t need a special Panini pan, just a griddle and a large cast iron frying pan.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices sour dough or white bread
  • 2 slices ham
  • 2 slices good swiss cheese
  • 2 slices white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. On each of one slice of bread, put a slice of swiss cheese, then ham, then cheddar, and then the other slice of bread.
  2. Cut the butter into four pieces. Set it aside.
  3. Heat a griddle or large iron skillet on low heat.
  4. Put two of the pieces of butter on the griddle, and then put the sandwich on top. Top each sandwich with the remaining piece of butter.
  5. Cook on the one side until it starts to brown, then flip it on the other side.
  6. Put the two sandwiches as close together as possible, and lay another heavy cast iron skillet on them for about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet, and cover with a large skillet cover. It does not have to completely cover it, but most of it. Make sure the heat is very low.
  7. Let the sandwiches cook for another minute or so, then take them off the heat. They should be nice and melty inside, with a crisp outside.

Variations

You can use any cheese you like, but, please don’t use “American” cheese food. Use real cheese!

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Leftover Madness – French Onion Soup, Shrimp Scampi, Ham and Cheese Panini

  1. Hans Pedigo says:

    How about lobster for valentines diner? Did you know even though various categories of crustaceans are called lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most often linked to the name. Clawed lobsters are not closely related to spiny lobsters or even slipper lobsters, with no claws (chelae), or squat lobsters. The closest relatives of clawed lobsters are the reef lobsters and the three families of freshwater crayfish.

    • Adrienne Boswell says:

      What a great idea! My mother told me when she was a little girl that her grandmother made a lobster and rose salad that she loved. Check back here around Valentines day – I think I’m going to make it.

  2. Terica Metge says:

    For the last couple of months I have been doing a fair bit of cooking and have made several to accompany them. I want to make a chicken dish with a BBQ sauce but I don’t know the ingrediants or what the flavour actually is. It is one of my favourite sauces and have always wanted to make it. Could you please help me.

    • Adrienne Boswell says:

      For some things, I prefer rubs, like the rub I use for Pork Loin with Balsamic Mustard Rub, but for chicken, a nice Kansas sweet barbecue sauce is great. One word of caution, though. If you’re going to be doing it on the grill, you’ll want to get the chicken almost completely cooked, and then at the end, put on the sauce. Otherwise, you’ll have burned black skin, and uncooked inside. Not good eats.

  3. Connie says:

    Hey, way to save. Great ideas!