When I was younger, my mom and I would often go into the kitchen, grab a few this-and-that ingredients that were begging to be used in the refrigerator, and pair the items with a few pantry staples that we always had on hand. A sprinkle or two of fresh herbs and seasonings and voila!...leftover ingredients transformed into something terrific. At times we would joke that someday we would have a cooking show called the “Kitchen Sink” where we would make an unexpected meal out of a handful of odds and ends ingredients.
These days, I continue to play imaginary cooking show host in my own kitchen, still throwing together “kitchen sink dinners”. It’s a way to serve leftovers without the family knowing they are leftovers (I’m not sure about your family, but leftovers do not go over well in this house). It is also a way to be creative and think about what might pair well. And it’s a way to relax with cooking, knowing that following a recipe is not always necessary.
So here was this week’s leftover lowdown: red onion, corn on cob (Theis Farm), half of a fresh tomato (Eilerman Brothers Orchard, Batchtown, IL), cilantro and parsley, a half of a lime and a small bit of cooked pork tenderloin.
The pantry staples I decided to use: canned black beans, tortillas, salsa and garlic. A simple sauté of the garlic and red onion, toss in the pork, black beans and corn to warm up. At the last minute, throw in the tomatoes, squeeze with lime juice, top with cilantro/parsley and roll into a tortilla...
And dinner is served. A simple, fresh, clean dinner, using up what we already had on hand, all coming together to make one great "kitchen sink" creation.
Question: What would you have done with the same leftover ingredients?