Transformative Powers

We had a ton of leftover chili from the NYE extravaganza.  I’m talking one LARGE pot of chili.  We put some in the freezer and still had a large tupperware bowl left.  After chowing down on so much of it, I decided something needed to be done.  We haven’t bought processed veggie burgers since the start of this challenge and I’ve been using the Bittman method to make bean burgers.  I thought that by draining the chili, I could use the same method to create a chili veggie burger.  I strained it in a mesh strainer over a bowl and then plopped the chili into my trusty food processesor with some oatmeal and pulsed the mixture enough to create a mass that was sticky enough to form into patties, but dry enough so they wouldn’t be completely mushy.   I usually use an egg to bind the beans, but figured it was wet enough and just left it to sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes before forming it into patties.  The best way to do this is to form the patties with moist hands and place on waxed paper.  When you’re ready to actually cook the burgers, just cut around the waxed paper and flip the burger onto your heated skillet and throw the waxed paper away.  This way you don’t have to use a spatula to move the delicate mixture from the waxed paper to the skillet.

Long story short, I made some burgers out of leftover chili and they came out great!  They still taste of the chili and would probably be excellent served with some avocado on a nice roll.

Another transformative leftover creation I made today was a vegetarian pot pie.  Phil and our houseguest, Pete, created a vegetable stew (featuring carrots, rutabega, potatoes, and celery) a few days ago.  Those leftovers were sitting in the fridge as well, so after my success with straining the chili, I thought to strain the stew a bit and then create a rosemary pastry crust to put on top.  Voila! Root vegetable pot pie.


It was really tasty and a great example on how leftovers don’t have to be boring.


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