Rebecca is my daughter. She’s a very good cook. While I couldn’t get her to chop an onion when she was growing up, she’s become a cook who tries everything now—successfully. She also is the Manager of The Good Cooking Store in our little Lancaster County town of Intercourse, PA. She taught Language Arts to middle-schoolers for 7 years. Now we benefit from all of her energy and good ideas. Don’t miss what she has to say!
I hate to waste food. My husband, Rob, and I plan our weekly menus pretty systematically. But, we’re often stuck with odds and ends in the fridge at the end of the week. Maybe we bought a little more produce than we used. Or maybe we ate less than we thought we would.
Whatever the reason, I’m trying to do a better job of using up those leftovers. My easiest solution: a hash. I like to have a base of potatoes for this, but then I just throw in everything but the kitchen sink and it’s always good—and surprising.
I like to do my hash in a cast-iron skillet. I often parboil the potatoes just a bit and then toss them in the hot skillet with oil or butter. Then I add onion, garlic, salt and pepper for seasoning, and whatever else I find in the fridge. This week I had leftover spicy sausage, kale, tomatoes, avocados, and cheese. I didn’t have any potatoes on hand, so that was the only ingredient I needed to buy. For something different, I decided to use local sweet potatoes. The flavor and color of the dish was superb.
To finish the hash, I either make a few wells in the ingredients and crack eggs into the hollows, or make eggs in another pan. This plentiful meal of breakfast-for-dinner is my favorite way to clean out our fridge. I’m not wasting food or money, and we get a quick, easy, hearty dinner, too.
The next time I clean out my fridge, I’m going to add this recipe to whatever I find and make it all in a slow cooker. Remember—the word is Improvise!
Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook, page 21
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1½-8 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 6-qt.
1 lb. sausage with bacon (Farmland offers this)
1½ 10-oz. pkgs. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/3 cup, plus 2 Tbsp., grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/8 tsp. black pepper, ground or cracked
1. Sauté sausage with bacon in skillet until browned. Drain off half the drippings.
2. Coat interior of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place sausage and reserved drippings in slow cooker.
3. Stir spinach into slow cooker. Now add whatever leftovers you’ve got in your fridge.
4. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
5. Break eggs directly onto mixture in slow cooker. Be careful not to break yolks. Do not stir.
6. Cover. Cook on High 1½ hours.
7. Sprinkle with pepper and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese before serving.
What do you do with the leftover odds and ends in your fridge?