Cure for the Common Leftover

Few things in this world are as delicious, and easy to make, as a baked potato. Your cooks are sure you’ve had your fair share of them – in restaurants, where they have been sitting in tin foil, heated through for hours. Or maybe off the grill, or heaven forbid, from the microwave. We have some shocking news for you. Those aren’t baked potatoes at all.

Sure, that’s what people call them, but really, those are all some form of steamed potatoes. A true baked potato is flaky and dense with rich flavor, unlike much of what you’ve been served over the course of your lifetime. If your cooks had to guess, they would say your potatoes have been more soggy than crisp, and overall unappetizing.

We chose Russets, the kings of baked potatoes.

We chose Russets, the kings of baked potatoes.

Well, kiss those sorry spuds goodbye. We have some good news here – a baked potato couldn’t be easier to make.

It’s hard to even justify steps here. Just wash, dry and throw them in the oven at 450 degrees for about an hour, less if the potato is on the small side. That’s it. No need to prick the skin or slather it in oil. Just let the potato do its thing, and when it’s done, top however you desire.

The final product.

The final product.

Which brings us to the title of this post – the cure for the common leftover. Here’s what we are using:

Ingredients sold separately.

Ingredients sold separately.

There’s not much you can’t put on top of a baked potato – leftover chili is an obvious choice, but even some tuna salad with a good sprinkle of cheese could work. For today’s post, we are giving you a southern tradition – pulled pork in barbeque sauce.

This ain’t rocket science. Just find a good sized pork roast (we recommend picking up a few and freezing them when they’re on sale), place it in the slow cooker and cover it in barbeque sauce – whatever your pleasure – be it from the bottle or your own blend. We are, of course, somewhat partial to Wegmans brand – the Memphis style has no high-fructose corn syrup, and is a good blend of spicy and sweet. Plus, it occasionally goes on sale for $1.99 a bottle. Sold!

For those of you experimenting at home, try tossing together some of Mike’s signature sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, with the spices of your choosing (brown sugar, garlic, onions, dried mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper all come to mind) and simmer for 15 minutes.

But back to the meal at hand. With the pork properly defrosted and the potatoes well on their way, your cooks realized that we needed something else to round out the course. Enter – brussels sprouts.

Still with us? There are plenty of people out there who think they hate these little green veggies, and we get it. They smell kind of weird, especially when boiled within an inch of their life, and they certainly don’t look like anything fun to eat, like say, ice cream cake. But if you’re willing to give it a whirl, we have a brussels sprout recipe that will convert you. Ready? It’s super complicated.

First, turn the oven to 350 degrees. Cut brussels sprouts in half (or quarters, if you want them to cook even faster).

Wait for it ...

Wait for it ...

Lay the sprouts out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until sprouts are soft and outer layers are crispy. We promise – they taste even better than they look. And no weird smell.

They should come out thusly.

They should come out thusly.

So how to make last week’s pulled pork a brand new meal? All it takes is about $2 worth of fresh ingredients, plus some cupboard staples. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Try it with a bottle of wine.

Read the recipes: pulled pork, sprouts and baked potatoes.

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2 Comments

Filed under Dinner

2 responses to “Cure for the Common Leftover

  1. Dave Brooks

    Russets are fine and pretty much the “vanilla” of baking potatoes. But aren’t Yukon Golds the gold standard? If Yukon Golds were apples, wouldn’t they be … Pink Lady apples?

  2. michykeen

    Clearly not for baked potatoes – how can you twice bake a yukon gold? Their skin’s too thin. However, they are vastly superior in the mashed category for their buttery flavor.

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