This week there have been plenty of leftovers to eat. We made a big batch of biscuits which lasted for a couple of recipes and some extra breakfasts and even the braised pork made an appearance. Although I will say that the pork for this week came from a second batch of the recipe. We loved it so much we ended up making it twice.
I wanted to try and recreate a version of the 2 Nixons ramen we had last week with the braised pork. However, since work and projects impeded a trip to the store where they had the special egg noodles I wanted to use and I am just enough of a perfectionist for that to bother me, we made rigatoni. And I am so glad we did!
The pasta was made entirely with things that were already in the fridge. We even used our last two eggs. The runny yolk adds to the sauce and makes it even creamier. Fun fact: I used to not want to try a runny yolk because it grossed me out, but when “putting an egg on it” became every chef in Charleston’s wet dream, I gave in. And I’ll be honest, at first, it was just to avoid the faux pas of rearranging a chef’s dish. But then. Then! I had an eggs benedict with salmon and hollandaise sauce and it changed my life. I get it now. I totally get it. So, the moral of the story is: get over it, and put a (runny) egg on it.
This recipe requires leftover braised and pulled pork, but you could replace it with any leftover meat for a different flavor.
Braised Pork Rigatoni with a Fried Egg (for two)
1.5 T olive oil
2/3 cup chopped green onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup of braised and pulled pork
2 T Cognac
1 T flour
1 cup beef stock
1 T butter
1/3 lb. dry rigatoni pasta
2/3 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese
2 eggs, fried (at the last minute) with a runny yolk
salt and pepper to taste
Heat one large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pan. Add the green onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the pork and mix in. Let it cook for a few minutes to get some color, stirring infrequently to let a thin “crust” form on some of the pork and onions. Deglaze the pan with the cognac and cook the alcohol off for 2-3 minutes.
When the water begins to boil salt liberally, add the pasta, and cook until “al dente.” The time will be on the package of pasta.
Back to the sauce: Add the flour and cook, mixing well, for about a minute. Slowly incorporate the beef stock, making a sauce. Reduce the sauce to desired consistency over medium heat and add the butter once thickness is reached. Add the cooked pasta and let the flavors meld together over low heat for 1-2 minutes, mixing well. Salt to taste. Mix in half of the cheese. Plate and top with the rest of the parmesan and 1 fried egg per plate. Sprinkle a bit of ground pepper on top.
Like I said before, Alfonso is chief biscuit maker around here. So, Sunday he made a big batch of biscuits with the intention of doing a little Sunday brunch at home and freezing the rest for the week ahead. Usually Monday through Saturday it’s a smoothie for breakfast, so we decided to grease it up for Sunday. You need to do that sometimes.
What’s the greasiest meal we’ve ever had? McDonald’s biscuit and hash browns. Can we recreate it at home? Why not? I’m definitely not slapping a healthy eats sticker on this recipe anytime soon, but most of the ingredients are organic and it has no strange chemicals or hormones. Let’s call it a hefty step up, no?
The first part of the biscuit plan went as expected.
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits with Crispy Hash Browns
For the breakfast sandwich:
homemade biscuits (find the recipe here)
eggs (1 per person)
1 lb. freshly ground breakfast sausage
cheddar cheese (1/8 cup per person)
For the hash browns:
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and large grated
3 T butter
1.5 t salt
1 t pepper
To make the hash browns: Squeeze as much water out of the potatoes as you can. A cheese cloth is easiest. Heat the butter in a large non-stick pan over slightly more than medium heat. Salt and pepper the potatoes and add in an even layer to the pan. Let cook until golden brown on the bottom. Turn over in sections. It does not need to be one large patty. Once flipped leave to form a golden brown crust. Flip and cook as many time as you want to reach desired ratio of crispy to soft potatoes. I did mine 3 times. Set aside to keep warm.
To make the biscuits: Form small, thin-ish patties the size of your biscuits with the sausage. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the sausage patties. This may need to be done in batches. Do not crowd the sausage. Cook the sausage patties for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping only once. They are done when no longer pink in the middle. Set aside and keep warm.
Drain all but about 1.5 T of the fat from the sausage and do not clean the pan. Beat the eggs, adding a small sprinkle of salt and pepper. Heat the rendered fat from the sausage over low heat in the same pan. Add the eggs and continuously stir and fold eggs until scrambled and done through.
Break open a biscuit and add a sausage patty, scrambled egg, and cheese. Serve with crispy hash browns and (oh no!) ketchup.
After brunch I was reading something about biscuit bread pudding being the original bread pudding and I thought, “hmmm.” Then I sweetly said, “Do you mind if I use up all the leftover biscuits to practice a dessert?” To which he graciously replied, “Sure, please crumble up all those biscuits I just made in the name of your culinary experiment.”
At least that’s how I remember it going.
Either way, I sure don’t remember any pauses for breath as he gobbled it down!
Brown Sugar Bread Pudding with Coffee Whipped Cream
4.5 cups chopped leftover, dried out biscuits
3 cups whole milk
4 xl eggs
1 cup brown sugar, divided
1 t vanilla
2 T melted butter
pinch of salt
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 T made espresso
2 T white sugar
1/2 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9in wide by 2 inch deep pan. Evenly distribute the bread in the pan. Whisk the milk, eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, salt, and vanilla until completely combined. Pour evenly over the biscuits and let sit for 15 minutes to absorb the liquid.
Mix the melted butter and the remaining sugar together to form a paste. Drop or drizzle this mixture over the top of the bread pudding. Bake for 1hr to 1hr 15 min. until set.
To make the whip cream: Whip all of the ingredients together on max speed with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
Place a dollop of coffee whipped cream on a portion of bread pudding and enjoy!
I hope this post encourages you to dig through your cabinets and fridge to see what you can use up. It is definitely a money saver and a brain teaser all in one. Some people do crosswords, we do kitchen experiments.
Have a great end of the week!