No Curry For Old Men

Lousy with leftovers, and more than annoyed that I couldn’t take a walk this afternoon- it was another perfect fall day, with an impossible cerulean sky making all the crimson, yellow, and vermillion leaves pop like mad- I cobbled together a two-course fake Indian meal that ended up better than I expected and used up most of the various remnants in the fridge. Besides soup, which is clearly the best leftover vehicle there is, I’m a big fan of frittery things as the new bodies in which to reincarnate past meals. We had lentils that I made for lunch the other day, some of the mustard/kabocha ravioli filling from the TNS post, and a bit of the celeriac/butternut soup from yesterday. I took the lentils and ravioli filling and mashed it all together with an egg yolk, various spices, and a little flour, then formed the paste into little patties and rolled them in panko. Meanwhile, I heated the soup with a few cardamom seeds, 5-spice, and yellow curry, until it thickened, then strained it to get that luxe velvet texture. And that was it: a fritter with soup sauce and a little of the peach-habañero chutney we canned the other week.

Then, some wild Alaskan salmon cooked gently with zucchini from the Plant That Will Not Die, shredded collards, tomato paste, more various spices, and minced lemon peel, then baked as little shepherd’s pies with mashed sweet potatoes on top. And more panko. Because when I remembered that I had some, I pulled it out, and now it’s going on everything. Milo dug the appetizer, but this got him into one of those eating zones where he just focuses on putting it away. He ate two. I would have so loved to pop a Riesling for this, but the only one I have on hand is a 1990, which is too special. Plus, I have to get up early tomorrow.

12 comments to No Curry For Old Men

  • Zoomie

    Wow, Milo’s got the right idea about those creative shepherd’s pies!

  • Mary Coleman

    peach habenero chutney…now we’re talking. how divine does that sound. i’m glad i found your blog!

  • The Spiteful Chef

    You are a genius of leftovers. And your kid eats things that I STILL won’t eat. Way to create a palate, good sir. He’s going to be one pissed off little boy when he starts having sleepovers and his friends’ moms start trying to fob bowls of Chef Boyardee off on him.

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Also, vermillion=a shitload of prairie dogs.

  • cook eat FRET

    you are one handy son of as bitch
    talk about making leftovers sing…

  • Maryann

    I’m a big fan of reinventing leftovers. You did a great job!

  • peter

    Zoomie: He loves them.

    Mary: Welcome. The chutney is really good, and all local/homegrown.

    Kristie: I know. It will be a rude awakening.

    Also, that’s a VARmillion. Common mistake.

    Claudia: Sometimes they work, sometimes lees so.

  • Zoomie

    I hate to tell you this but he’s going to LOVE Chef Boyardee and it will drive you crazy.

  • We Are Never Full

    love the title. really like the idea of the dish. i’m w/ the spiteful chef – you do leftovers like no other.

  • glamah16

    Just finally making it here. I love your blog and what yur doing. Reisling would have been so perfect, but dont let the 1990 age to much. Enjoy.

  • Heather

    I made shepherd’s pie, too! With mashed celeriac and Yukon golds.

    Way to bust out the Color Thesaurus. Or I guess you just have a Pantone color sample book sitting out.

  • peter

    Zoomie: You may be right, but I’m not going to let him eat at other peoples’ houses until he’s 16.

    Amy: Necessity, etc.

    Glamah: Nice to meet you. I’ll come over and check you out soon.

    Heather: Tis the season. Color is my job, but I don’t have a pantone book. Just lots of pretty tubes.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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