I have been asked a lot in the past about what to do with leftovers. I always try to use all the food that we buy as I do not like throwing things away and wasting them. Yesterday was our usual shopping-for-the-week day and we bought some stunning fresh chucked oysters in their juice, and some nice small cooked shrimps that were unbelievably tender and sweet. That fish merchant that we discovered at the Jamaica market last month really has some stunning fresh fish and seafood, and at a very low rice as the shrimps and oysters came up to a total of around $6.
For supper last night Normita prepared her world famous shrimp and oyster cocktail and I have to confess that we did throw out the nice oyster juice, as it does not really keep and we were not planning to cook anything else within the day, as today we are going out for lunch with the in-laws for an early father’s day and mother in law’s birthday celebration, as they will be out of town on a trip during both occasions. The family will meet at a restaurant that specializes in roasted goat, I think, and I will be sure to let you know how it turns out.
Going back to my story, I was in the mood for a nice fresh baguette to go with the shrimp cocktails, and we were doing our rounds of shopping and I realized that we did not pick up any bread when we passed by the supermarket. Since we both were dead tired, and did not feel like making another stop on our way back home, I looked for some baguettes in the store we were at the moment, and the only thing they had was packages of 3 freshly baked baguettes. It was a tad more than even I can eat in one sitting, but I was dead set in having my baguette. I assured Normita that I would find something to do with the leftover bread and we took it back home with us.
Last night we were discussing that Normita would invite some of her friends for supper next Saturday night, and I was starting to plan the meal ahead. The last few months have been totally crazy and I have not had the chance to spend as much time in the kitchen as I normally do, and I am looking forward to plan a decent meal. Time will be tight, as we will both be busy at work all week, and Friday night the cleaning people are coming to clean up the place, and they normally leave around 9pm, thus not leaving me with much room to prepare things ahead of time, and I do not want to spend all of my day in the kitchen on Saturday, especially since we will have to go pickup some fresh ingredients at the market early Saturday morning.
As a first course I will do my Vichyssoise, as I still have not had time to do it since I posted the recipe the other week, and I still have a nice craving for it. I can easily prepare that after the cleaners leave of Friday night. I settled for preparing my shrimps with chile guajillo as the main dish, as the fish merchant always has some stunning juicy ones, and it is a very quick and easy plate to prepare, as the only time consuming part is removing the heads and shelling the shrimps. I have still to settle the side dish for that main course but I have all week to think about it. I also though of a quick an easy way to accompany the meal, and at the same time take care of the leftover baguette. I decided to prepare some nice garlic bread this morning and to freeze it, and then I will only have to broil it before serving next week, as is or with some nice grated cheese on top.
We had also picked up some nice sweat Mexican bread for breakfast today, and we shared one piece, and we were both stuffed. I still have two pieces leftover, and they are too heavy for my regular weekday breakfast. I decided to salvage them again by preparing a typical dessert from my native QuÃ©bec, some ‘pouding au pain au sirop d’Ã©rable’, a bread pudding made with stale bread and maple syrup. I will post the recipe later in the week once I actually prepare it. For now I will let the bread go stale for a few days, and then freeze it until I decide to prepare the pudding, probably Saturday afternoon. Enjoy these simple leftover recipes, and I will make sure to post more whenever I prepare some.
3 French baguettes
1/2 pound room temperature butter or margarine
4 large cloves garlic
1 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 pound grated cheese (optional)
Pinch of salt
1. Chop the garlic finely and but in a bowl.
2. Add the softened butter or margarine, the parsley, the basil, and the salt and mix thoroughly with a fork.
3. Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise, and then again in half in the thickness.
4. Cut the split baguettes in 3" pieces and spread a generous amount of the butter mixture in them.
5. If you plan to eat them right away, place on cookie sheet and sprinkle with some grated cheese if you want it.
6. Place in a hot over under the broiler until the bread is golden, or until the cheese is melted if you prefer the bread with cheese.
7. If you plan to freeze it, place the separated pieces of bread back together without any cheese, buttered side against butter side, and place them in zip-closure bags. Put in the freezer and they will keep for about a month if well sealed. Thaw and broil as above with or without the cheese.