What to Do with Barbecue Leftovers Slideshow
July 1, 2013
Tons of Buns
If you’ve seen Father of the Bride, then you can probably empathize with Steve Martin’s frustration that hot dogs come in packs of eight and buns come in a bag of 12. Despite changes in these serving sizes since the movie’s release, the ability to match up the amount of meat to buy with the number of buns is lost on many of us. Instead of keeping your pigeons well fed for a week, let that bread get nice and stale for croutons. Simply cube the day-old bread, coat it in olive oil and seasonings, and toast. Add to your favorite salad or pair with a summer gazpacho.
Nothing beats a big, weekend breakfast. The smell of pancake batter cooking, the sound of freshly squeezed orange juice pouring into a glass, and the smell of hot dogs frying on the grill — oh yes, that’s right, we said hot dogs. If the four super-value packs you bought for your weekend barbecue was just a tad excessive (as it usually is), this is the perfect meat to sub in for breakfast sausage. Even adding hot dogs to an omelette or tossing them into scrambled eggs are great ways to repurpose your grill favorite. The hot dog is no stranger to artisanal twists, either, and will retain its smoky, backyard flavor that you’ll see pairs perfectly with dairy and batter-based dishes.
Dress It Up
For a true host, the outdoors does not mean compromising on style. From napkin holders to grilling gadgets, serving guests always comes with some signature flair, and that doesn’t exclude condiments. So, if you’re constantly left with gobs of toppings in serving bowls strewn across your deck tables, you’ll be happy to hear that they don’t have to be thrown into the trash. Instead, create condiment-based recipes or tasty salad dressings from the surplus of your barbecue condiments.
Ground to Perfection
Burgers are essential to any barbecue. If you went a little patty-happy, though, and are left with perfectly seasoned, uncooked burger slabs, your hard work was not in vain. A simple change of shape and the addition of a few Mexican-styled spices, and you have yourself the perfect taco filling. And if you had the misfortune of cooking extra patties, break them up and add them to a cheesy pasta to create a carnivorous macaroni and cheese.
Post-Party Party Mix
As you remove the stains from your carpets and pick up the plastic cups, you can tell your annual barbecue was a total success. But don’t just look at the bowls of crumpled chips and broken pretzels as wasted snacks. Repurpose and refresh them by making party mixes with the leftovers. A splash of olive oil, a few dashes of your favorite seasonings, and the addition of your favorite salty-sweet garnishes make for a treat worth throwing another party over.
If your guests didn’t totally indulge in your spread of delicious, refreshing summer fruits, don’t consider them spoiled. If they are collected in time, the fruits can be used to make an array of fruit-based recipes. Summer smoothies can blend together for a refreshing dessert, and fruit salads make for a great summer snack or light lunch. To give them an extra punch of flavor, add a little lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Grilled Chicken Charms
There are so many options for cooking chicken on the grill. With additions like barbecue sauces and Italian dressing marinades, chicken over an open flame simply tastes better. But if your guests didn’t get past all of the other barbecue staples to enjoy your flavorful chicken dish, don’t worry about it being wasted. Grilled chicken can be easily cut up into salads for lunch, or used in chicken salad that will last for days in the fridge. Add summer favorites like apples and walnuts for extra flavor.
Most don’t think of untouched bottled beer as "leftover," but if you do find yourself with a significant surplus, consider your options. Sure, you could just keep stock for your next shindig, but to put some of it to use in the meantime, there are dozens of beer-based recipes to try out. From beer-battered corn dogs to beer-battered shrimp, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to treat yourself to a cold one while you wait for your meal to fry up.
Over the past few weeks, you spent what seemed like solid hours skewering vegetables for your barbecue bash, and now they’re sitting in your fridge untouched. Instead of tossing them, remember that many meals end up calling for a vegetable medley. Try your hand at some delicious vegetarian dishes or bump up the favorites and use them in a casserole or salsa. Crispy vegetables are fitting lunchtime snacks or can grant a salad some extra flavor.
A Savory Surprise
Surprised that not everyone at your barbecue craves bacon as much as you do? With the Bacon Invasion of 2013, finding a way to work your leftover bacon into new dishes should be a breeze. Try peppering it into some of your desserts for rich flavor, or take shreds of bacon and sporadically sprinkle them on your cinnamon roll recipe before your roll them into a sweet, and now savory, treat.