Leftovers: Beans

I started to call this “Secret Ingredient: Lemon.” But I think that having ideas to use leftovers in easy, delicious ways is much more important. Especially in this economy.

Last Sunday, we had a couple of friends over for dinner. Ribs, slow cooked lima beans, slaw. And blackberry cobbler for dessert. We finished the ribs and slaw yesterday, and the beans were left. I got up this morning planning to make roasted salmon and lentils in mustard vinaigrette tonight. Like everywhere else in the country, it’s freakin’ hot. I didn’t want to heat up the oven and mess up a bunch of pans and make too much of an effort.

Another way that I enjoy salmon is steaming it. This method renders salmon almost sugary sweet – to die for, folks. I could use the beans as the platform to hold the salmon above the steaming liquid, aka the bean juice.

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I strained the beans from most so their liquid then added grated rind of half a lemon (another leftover). Once the beans were bubbling over medium heat, I placed a half pound filet on top and put the lid on the skillet. I lowered the heat to low so the liquid barely simmered.

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The salmon was done in ten minutes. I squeezed the rindless lemon over the salmon and served dinner The whole operation took less than 20 minutes. The air conditioner never kicked on.

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Look at the stuff in your fridge, and create something new using the steps of your traditional recipe. Don’t get crazy – throwing in the kitchen sink is often not great soup, just a muddled disappointment.

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