Saturday, 24 May 2014

Italian Buffet Leftovers Three Ways

A couple of weeks ago I cooked an Italian Buffet for the girls (which mostly consisted of pizza!) and I had a fair few left over ingredients. There was a couple of chicken breasts left from the Chicken Pesto Pizza, some pasta salad, mushrooms, salsa (from the crisp dipping that always occurs on girls night!) and a few bits from the olive selection. So I decided to use these ingredients to feed me for the next week (just about!) and this is how I did it...

Leftovers 1

On the first day I basically bunged everything into a pan with some chopped tomatoes and a little balsamic and made a lovely rich, slightly spicy, tomato dish.

First off, chop a red onion and throw into the pan with a splash of oil (I actually just poured in the oil from the olive platter, so we already had some of those lovely flavours cooking away!)

Crush any left garlic from the olive platter and another clove for good measure, and stir into the onions. Then dice the chicken and add to the pan. Cook until all of the chicken is sealed, then add in the mushrooms, chopped.

As the mushrooms are starting to shrink, add the leftover salsa, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a dash of balsamic vinegar if you've got it, and some dried herbs. I can't honestly remember what I used but maybe something like basil and a little oregano would work well! Give it a good twist of salt and black pepper as well.

Simmer away then add the olives - chopped so that the flavour spreads throughout the dish. I included the chillies as well, but left out the stuffed peppers (I say left out - I actually ate them as I was cooking!!)

I would then leave with a lid part on for about 10minutes or so, making sure that the chicken is cooked through and has soaked up all of those yummy Italian flavours. But don't overdo it on day 1 as you'll be reheating this dish again!!

I served this with left over pasta salad, shredded iceberg lettuce, garlic bread and some grated parmesan over the top for good measure. Now tell me - does this look like a proper plate of leftovers or what?

Save the rest of the tomato chicken stew in the fridge - you'll need this again!

Then I popped the rest of the pasta salad in a tupperware, ready to take for a working lunch the next day!

Leftovers 2

The next evening I fancied rice instead, so I cooked a portion of rice according to packet instructions and heated up a portion of the tomato chicken. Served with some rocket and a little more balsamic - this was absolutely delicious!

Leftovers 3

The third variation on this dish was in a pasta bake. I cooked a couple of portions of pasta in a pan of boiling water until just underdone. Then mix in with the remaining tomato chicken and grate with a little parmesan. Bake in the oven for about 15minutes at 180degrees, or until the sauce is bubbling away and the chicken is heated through. This pasta bake then did the next night as well!

So there you have it - leftover ingredients from one meal, cooked in three different ways and lasting four dinners and a lunch! Not bad going really!

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