Leftover Recycling, Quick Meals

Leftover lunch.

At home today for Veteran’s Day, I couldn’t decide what to have for lunch.  Yesterday, my husband and I had a quick lunch at Urfa Tomato in Penn Quarter – I got the Euro Doner sandwich, as usual, and – as usual – only ate half of it, thinking I could eat the rest today.  Unfortunately, it’s in the refrigerator at the office, so I needed to find something else to eat.

Sometimes, when you have a lot of options, everything sounds good and nothing sounds great, and you wind up eating half a giant bag of potato chips.  To avoid that fate, I started rooting through the refrigerator for leftovers.  I found, in addition to the remains of a batch of flageolet purée from late last week, some leftover duck confit and some butter-braised leeks.  Then I remembered some leftover cooked spaghetti sitting vacuum packed in the reach-in.  Duck confit and beans are a classic combination, as are beans and leeks.

Both the spaghetti and the duck confit were sealed up, vacuum packed.  My husband – when his mouth isn’t too full of sousvide short ribs – derisively refers to this as “boil in bag.”   It’s true.  For home cooks, one virtue of the vacuum sealer is the ability to store leftovers for future reheating in the bag, by placing the bag in simmering water, which reheats the food without drying it out or, in the case of pasta, making it mushy.


Spaghetti, duck confit, flageolet.

2 ounces spaghetti (dry weight), cooked and drained or located in freezer and reheated

3 tbsp flageolet purée, thinned with 2 tsp water

duck confit, reheated

butter-braised leeks, from Sweetbreads recipe

pea sprouts

juice of 1/2 lemon

In a sauteuse over medium heat, reheat the leeks until butter is melted and beginning to bubble.  Lower heat and add the flageolets.  Combine well and add spaghetti; toss with lemon juice.  Season with black pepper.

Plate in a shallow bowl and top with duck confit and pea sprouts.


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