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Turn yesterday’s baked goods into tomorrow’s dinner

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Spaghetti tossed with breadcrumbs (Flickr/Patsy K/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/)

Rosh Hashanah is over and the sweet new year has turned into a stale pile of leftovers. What to do?

Making use of leftover or stale challah is simple, but if we only make French toast or bread pudding, life can get quite boring. So here’s an idea: while the challah is only slightly stale, tear it up into small pieces and place it in a clean paper bag. Fold it closed and keep it on your kitchen counter for a couple of days. If you have a food processor, pulse the broken up challah until it becomes medium to fine crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, place the challah pieces in a zippered baggy and crush it with a rolling pin. The crumbs may be a bit coarse compared to those done in the food processor, but they will work just as well. The crumbs may be frozen, in labeled freezer bags, or used right away. Use them in recipes like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs, or sprinkle them on soups instead of croutons.

Spaghetti with challah crumbs (Randy Fingrut photo)

Spaghetti with Challah Crumbs

This aromatic dish may be customized easily by using different cheeses, in addition to, or instead of, the Parmesan. It can also be jazzed up with a wide array of freshly roasted vegetables. Consider adding roasted zucchini, red peppers, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower. If you love anchovies, add some in with the garlic. If you prep the ingredients ahead of time, this dish can be prepared in a jiffy.

Crumb topping

ο 45 ml (3 tbsp) Canola oil

ο 2 large cloves garlic, minced

ο zest of 1 lemon

ο 135 g (1½ cups) challah crumbs

ο salt

ο black pepper

Pasta

ο 400 g spaghetti

ο 200 g pre-washed baby spinach, rinsed

ο 60 ml (4 tbsp) butter or margarine

ο 2 large cloves garlic, minced

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) Italian seasoning

ο 45 ml (3 tbsp) lemon juice

ο zest of 1 lemon

ο 250 ml (1 cup) grated Parmesan

ο 250 ml (1 cup) reserved pasta water

 

To make the crumb topping, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add in the garlic and cook until it starts to change colour, about 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon zest and challah crumbs and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Toast the crumbs, stirring frequently, until they have turned golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the pasta, heat water with 5 ml (1 tsp) salt in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add in spaghetti and lower heat to medium. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

When the spaghetti is done, drain into colander. Melt the butter or margarine in a large frying pan. When it starts to sizzle, add in the garlic and lemon zest. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add in the spinach. Toss until it is coated with butter and wilted. Add spaghetti to the pan and toss with mixture. Add in lemon juice and pasta water, starting with 60 ml (1/4 cup) of pasta water. Mix with spaghetti. Add more pasta water if needed to make ingredients easy to stir. Rewarm spaghetti and then plate and top with challah crumbs and Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

Marshmallow chocolate pie (Randy Fingrut photo)

Marshmallow Chocolate Pie

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover cookies. Prepare this heavenly dessert ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.

 

ο 6 squares (171 g) unsweetened baking chocolate

ο 180 ml (3/4 cup) milk

ο 400 g mini marshmallows

ο 535 ml (2¼ cups) whipping cream

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla

ο dark chocolate chips for garnish, if desired

Pie crust

ο 300 g cookies

ο 10 ml (2 tsp) sugar

ο 120 ml (1/2 cup) butter, melted

 

To make the pie crust, preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Crush cookies in a food processor, or by hand using a Ziploc bag and a rolling pin.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom, and partway up the sides, of a 25-cm (10-inch) pie plate. Place it in the oven for 8 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly toasted. Remove the crust from the oven and cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form and refrigerate until needed.

To melt the chocolate, break it up into squares and place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 1 minute. If it’s still hard, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. The heat of the dish will then continue to melt the chocolate as you stir. Add in marshmallows and milk. Mix well until melted and blended well. Mixture can be returned to the microwave for 30 seconds if it is not melted. When combined, it will be the consistency of Silly Putty.

Let cool, then fold in the whipped cream and vanilla until the mixture is evenly combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and place in the refrigerator to set. Garnish with dark chocolate chips.

Serves 8.

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