Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Taco Rule for Leftovers

Cooking for one means I always end up with leftovers. I can eat the same meal twice, maybe three times, but after that I'm done. But this doesn't stop me from making a roast or a brisket or a whole pork tenderloin. The good thing about leftover meat is you can freeze it and when you remember that it's in there, implement the taco rule for leftovers: When unsure about what to do with your leftover meat, make tacos.
I made a brisket last week - 2 lbs of beef braised in red zinfandel wine with onions and carrots. After four meals of brisket with egg noodles, I wrapped the remaining chunk in foil and pitched it into the freezer. I didn't know what I would do with it since the gravy and vegetables were gone. Then I remembered the taco rule. I shredded the meat and fried it lightly. After I heated up my shelf stable corn tortillas (they last forever), I topped my tacos with homemade guacamole, chopped onions and tomatoes, and finished them off with a dollop of non-fat yogurt. Delicious. I could hardly taste the wine flavor.
Whenever I get duck at the supermarket (Maple Leaf Farms has a nice half rotisserie duck in the frozen food section), I use the leftovers to make duck tacos. Need a use for the rest of the rotisserie chicken you bought because it smelled so good in the store? Make chicken tacos. Just because I didn't cook it myself doesn't mean I can't turn it into something homemade. And for some reason, the taco rule for leftovers always turns out better than when I set out to make tacos in the first place.

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