Labor Day and into the week

Labor Day itself was classicly simple: burgers, salad, and a side of pasta. Again I believe in easy, possibly oddly this includes leftovers. I have heard many utter the phrase “I hate leftovers”; I love them. No, I don’t think anyone should eat the same thing over and over again. (I get shivers when I hear someone say I made a big batch of “fill in the blank” so we could eat it all week long; YUK!) I love them because they are an opportunity to save time and be creative.

As mentioned, Monday was simple, my boys did little of anything with school looming, the highlight was a good friend of my youngest coming over and cleaning out his closet so that he would be well-dressed in high school. Late last week I made a house favorite for dinner, Tortellini with Pesto (nut-free), since it is just as good cold as hot I made extra, this was our pasta side to accompany a package of organic mixed greens and Spicy Shrimp, Bacon Burgers. I tossed my 2 lbs. of ground chuck into my mixing bowl with salt & pepper, a finely chopped jalapeño, chopped leftover bacon (about 5 slices), and the leftover shrimp from the Low Country Boil (coarsely chopped). I shaped them into 1/3 lb. burgers and cooked to medium rare with a chipotle gouda on top. For the non-pork eating friend, I made a single burger with chopped spinach, feta, jalapeño, and salt & pepper.

Tuesday continued the leftover trend with a meal of barbeque chicken, Cajun potato salad, and Southwestern sauté. Also from the Low Country Boil, I had a leftover andouille, pototoes, and corn (the clams seemed to vanish) so I looked through and found the Cajun potato salad and my own list of recipes in Paprika holds the Southwestern sauté. While I have included both below as if they were being made from scratch, I did simply cube the potatoes and andouille and cut the corn off of the cob.

And I haven’t forgotten the barbeque chicken, the rub is good on any bone in chicken destined for barbeque and we disvovered this sauce while on vacation in Florida last year.

I may need stock in this company – it’s another empty bottle..

If you haven’t guessed the leftover trick, turn it into something new, use it as an ingredient.

Tortellini with Pesto

cook 10 minutes ∙ makes 4 ∙ difficulty Easy


  • 2 cups basil leaves, fresh, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan, freshly shredded
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ pounds tortellini, cooked


In a food processor, pulse the basil and garlic until roughly chopped. With the machine on, slowly pour in the oil until just blended. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper and mix until just blended.

Toss the pesto into cooked tortellini.

This can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Cajun Potato Salad with Andouille Sausage

makes 6 to 8 ∙ source Bon Appétit | July 1999


  • 1 tablespoon plus ⅛ cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces andouille sausages or hot links, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ⅔ cup sliced green onions


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages; sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and drain.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes; cook just until tender, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain well. Whisk vinegar, pepper sauce and mustard in large bowl. Transfer warm potatoes to bowl with vinegar mixture and gently toss. Gently mix in sausages, bell pepper, celery, green onions, and 1/8 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Southwest Summer Corn Saute

prep 15 minutes ∙ cook 7 minutes ∙ serves 4-6


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small poblano chili, finely diced
  • ¾ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 cup canned hominy, drained (or full can if you don’t have another use)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced


Melt the butter with the sage, chili powder and salt in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the onion and poblano chili. Cook and stir until the onion begins to soften at the edges, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the corn, zucchini, and hominy. Cook over high heat until hot, 1 minute. Add green onions, cilantro and additional salt to taste. Serve hot.

Barbecued Chicken


  • 3-4 pounds chicken, cut in pieces (with skin and bones)
  • 2 tablespoons 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub
  • Barbeque sauce

4-3-2-1 Spice Rub (source Bon Appétit | July 2013)

  • 4 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Makes enough spice rub for two whole chickens. Double or triple the recipe and use it all summer.


For chicken:

Prepare grill for medium heat. Season chicken with 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 15-20 minutes. Continue grilling, turning and basting with barbecue sauce often, until chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 8-10 minutes longer.


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