Sunday, November 8, 2009

I LOVE LEFTOVERS!

Well, Ok, I never really started out loving them, but due to some health issues recently I've really learned to do some great things with food that I bring home from meals eaten out. I recently developed a hiatal hernia that has made eating somewhat difficult at times. I've discovered that if I keep my food intake at about half what I used to eat, and take it slowly, I can make my way through a meal with little or no difficulty. That has left me with two interesting side effects -1) I've lost about 8 pounds in the past 3 months (which is a GOOD thing of course) and 2) left over containers overflowing my refrigerator on a regular basis.

Friday night my friend Nancy and I finally made our way over to a place we've been wanting to try for several months called Hunts. It's a little bar (and little is a good description) over on Front Street in the Falls across from the Sheraton Suites. I know the place has been there since I was a kid, I can recall eating there once or twice with my family back in the 60's - so they much have staying power to last all these years. They have a limited menu but their $10 specials are well worth a try. We both ordered the 2-5oz. beef filets meal - Nancy had the garlic mashed potatoes and I ordered the home fries. With salads included this makes a darned good meal and a pretty good bargain. I'm not saying it was steakhouse style food, but for $10 the beef was not bad at all. Nanc finished her meal but I still had an entire 5oz filet left plus half of my great home fries. So I wandered off with another Styrofoam container for the fridge.

Frankly, my fridge is full of left overs. Half the time I order my meals with an eye toward what I might do with what will be taken home. Today I took a quick inventory and I have the following: 5oz steak, 2 pieces of bratwurst (grilled), about 3/4 cup home fries, 1/2 spicy lunch burrito from Azteca, homemade corn and black bean salsa from tacos last week and some salad greens. I can picture quesidellas with the burrito filling and maybe a soup with the steak. However, the potatoes screamed HASH to me before we even left the restaurant, so Sunday morning it was time to get out those home fries and make a good hearty breakfast. I chopped up half of one of the bratwursts to add to the taters making a quick and easy hash. A couple of weeks ago I did basically the same thing with left over sweet potatoes and half a corned beef sandwich from my favorite deli (Diamond Deli on Main Street). Adding an egg made this a great breakfast before heading out into the yard to herd my leaves out to the street.

Last night I brought home half of a patty melt sandwich from the Blue Fig dinner I shared with Bev. It was another place we hadn't tried before and Bev and I were impressed with the quality of the food in this typical bar-style restaurant. They lean a bit toward Mediterranean food but we stuck with the burgers and they were big and juicy. All the burgers were half pounders and although they were definitely good enough and we were both tempted to eat the whole things sitting there - half still came home.

CHOCOLATE AND WINE
Before hitting the Blue Fig for dinner, Bev and I stopped at 750l wine bar for their chocolate and wine paring tasting. I've found it too easy to spend a couple of hours sitting there sipping wine and chatting with friends. This weekend they were pairing 4 red wines with various chocolates. I will say that the Pinot Noir pairing was my favorite but I did purchase a couple bottles of the Zinfandel called Diablita (little devil girl) from Sonoma County. This will be great sipping alone or with a garlicy meal - chicken or pork. This has sweet aromas of blackberry, vanilla and toasted oak. The vintner says "don't turn your back on this one - she will gently seduce you and leave you wanting more". Cute!

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