News from the Ward (and Open Thread)

I took y’all’s advice and cancelled the Christmas soirees due to illness. Actually, my husband called people and told them I was down with possibly the flu. A few people turned up anyway, but they were forewarned, so if they get the crud, it’s not my fault.

From what I hear, this nasty virus is laying people low nationwide. I feel a little better today, but still shaky. I’ve been piled up on the sofa since Saturday. Thank god for Roku. I’ve watched a ton of movies plus a couple of seasons of Julia Child’s “The French Chef” from the 1960s.

My dogs joined me on our L-shaped couch, mimicking my burrowing behavior with whatever blankets and throws they could steal from my nest. These glowing green eyes have haunted my fever-wracked dreams:

couch Dec 2012

I went ahead and cooked a ginormous standing rib roast that I already had on hand, but I haven’t tried it yet. My husband says it’s good. I usually make French onion soup with roast leftovers, which I plan to do this time as well. But now I’ve got tons of leftovers. Any suggestions?

I hope you all had a nice holiday. Please discuss whatever!

[X-posted at Rumproast]

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46 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    Beef Stroganoff.

  2. 2
    Handy says:

    Merry happy ChristaHannaKwanza to all!

  3. 3
    Steeplejack says:

    Up early on dogsitting patrol here in NoVa. Hurled the pooches out into the backyard in the teeth of a raging storm of faint, dusty snow already turned to mild sleet. Now they are pouting and claiming frostbite in front of the fireplace and on the designated dog chair, respectively. But doing that while sleeping, of course.

    I just had the last cinnamon roll from yesterday’s homemade batch with a cup of joe and in a bit will cook a little bacon and scramble an egg. CIA cook guy is coming over this morning to do more food-related stuff, so I will take the opportunity to head home and spend some quality time with the housecat.

    Yesterday felt like Sunday, but today does not feel like Monday. My internal clock is confused.

  4. 4
    Maude says:

    It does feel like Monday.
    Those poor dogs are so put upon. It will take them hours to recover.
    We will be getting heavy rains and winds later and then it goes away tomorrow. We are lucky.
    Of course, if the temps go down, it’ll get nasty.

    Betty, have delightful daughter freeze the leftovers.
    Be careful with this thing. It is serious. It’s the feeling tired that gets you.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    Betty: so glad you’re back and blogging.

    A friend used to make some fabulous stuffed peppers with leftover slices of beef. Here’s the recipe:


    chile peppers for stuffing
    leftover roast beef or steak
    grated cheese
    sour cream

    Anaheim or other mildly hot chile peppers: broil them until their skins blacken. (Or you could hold them over a gas flame with tongs.)

    Cool peppers, you can take off the blackened skin if you like (I do, if memory serves); cut them to remove the seeds.

    Stuff the peppers with sliced leftover beef; top with lots of grated cheese.

    Broil them again, until the cheese melts and even browns.

    Top with sour cream (and whatever else you like; green onions, guacamole, sliced black olives, whatever) and enjoy.

    They are so delicious, and very easy once you prep the chile peppers.

    I’m sure you could use chicken or lamb or whatever you have on hand, or even skip the meat entirely.

    Don’t remember if it’s important to keep the chile pepper intact. I think I used to slit them lengthwise and fold them together under the cheese, but it’s been a while …

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    Well, you could send them to me!

    Not to, though.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    You could do a stir-fry with the leftover beef.

    Of course, beef stroganoff with lots of mushrooms sounds pretty damn good, too. Add a bit of port wine, just as the mushrooms are finishing, to give them some extra flavor.

  7. 7
    Maude says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    That sounds very good.

  8. 8
    Aimai says:

    Jeezus I would so much rather be home sick on my own sofa than where I am now. We could only get family time off to see my husbands parents at Christmas–usually we manage to see them during spring break but the kids don’t have overlapping holidays. We are in anti christmukkah land stuck in a gated Florida retirement community with two frail people who don’t celebrate Christmas–so no decorations, special food, gifts, visitors. I gave up my family Christmas/saturnalia for this. It’s one inedible, stale, grim meal after another, uncomfortable bed, everyone but me is sick, and no working Internet so I can’t publish in Steve m’s blog.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    Burn that gator blanket.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cathyx: Great suggestion!

    @Maude: The complete lack of energy has been the hardest part of this. I fell asleep watching something on regular TV last night and woke up to an awful infomercial, but I couldn’t summon the energy to reach for the remote.

    @Elizabelle: That sounds incredibly awesome too. We have some home-grown peppers around, but they aren’t hot peppers. Still, I bet they would work fine.

    @c u n d gulag: Port wine, eh? I got a bottle for Xmas and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it (it’s not something I usually drink or cook with), but that sounds pretty good. I adore mushrooms.

    @Aimai: That sounds dreadful! And even the one bright spot — the weather — is about to turn to shit, from what I’m told. Yuck. My sympathies.

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    Right at the end, as they’re about done, I use some port whenever I make mushrooms, as well as just a hint of teriyaki sauce, and then cook out the alcohol for a minute or so.

    The mushroom flavor just explodes in your mouth.

  12. 12
    tesslibrarian says:

    My flu hit on Saturday, too, except the super high fever and horrific coughing caused me to surrender immediately. Not that that helped–I’ve barely slept and my body is ragged from coughing. I wanted to see the dr today to make sure it isn’t turning into pneumonia, but can’t get in until tomorrow with the PA.

    On the upside, my husband managed to make a really lovely pot roast all on his own, which means now pot roast is one of the handful of things he can cook himself. He is less excited about this development than I am.

  13. 13
    Birthmarker says:

    Freeze in portions, then turn into quesadillas, fajitas, tacos and beef veg soup over the next few weeks.

  14. 14
    Joe Doaks says:

    That’s what shepherds pie is for. Put the meat through cuisinart, mix in gravy and peas. Put it in a casserole dish and cover with mashed potatoes. Bake till it’s warm.

  15. 15
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    After you use some port on the mushrooms, save some, and when you’re making a pot roast, or stew, put some in along with whatever other red wine you’re using. Not too much, or it’ll be too ‘porty’ and a sweet.
    Remember – you can always add more, to taste, but you can’t take out, once it’s in there.

    Also too – there are a ton of good recipes for pears poached in port on the intertubes. They make a great winter dessert.

    I love port, with some blue cheese, crackers, and apples, pears, and/or grapes, as an appetizer – or, strange as it may seem, even as a dessert.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @Betty Cracker: in re port, try the forerunner to eggnog, the Flip.

    Add ice, one raw egg, a tsp of sugar (superfine or powdered may work better) and a shot of port to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously without stopping for two minutes. Strain into a glass, grate some nutmeg on.

  17. 17
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I dragged a bad respiratory thing home from Mexico and spent 4 days basically horizontal and unconscious. Feel pretty good today. One thing I’ve learned is that once you start coughing, it’s serious. You cannot just power through that. Unless you get rest and fluids you’re risking bronchitis or worse.
    I’ll try to get out to the mall and have a walk today (it’s cold and snowy outdoors). I haven’t walked more than 10 feet at a time since Friday afternoon.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    Did we miss our opportunity to send out invites to our flu ward party?

    And these folks will not get comfy sofas, quilts and boxer dogs.

    Me first: Calling dibs on the Fox and Friends “stars”.

    Gretchen: look out for those nice shoes. Whoops!

    Steve: let’s give you diarrhea of another region.

    Yes, it’s mean.

    But we’re not armed.

    With anything but germs. Lots of germs.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:


    Wow, that and cund’s suggestion re port in finishing mushrooms sound delicious.

    Think we have a bottle around somewhere …

    Port’s also great with nuts and blue cheese.

    ETA: Ah. cund aka Mr. Gulag beat me to it. Need to read down on threads.

  20. 20
    Phylllis says:

    @Joe Doaks: That’s what I’m going with mine for supper tomorrow night. Tonight is boneless chicken breasts and salad for a bit of detox.

  21. 21
    Gozer says:

    Dr. Mrs and I are off till the end of Jan. (Joys of the academic life). For now we’re getting much needed rest and she’s editing a book/keeping me in my toes with sundries.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    I keep a bottle of Jack Daniels in the abode solely to use for finishing cooking mushrooms. Imparts a yummy piquancy.

    And now for something completely different…

    Interesting recounting of the just-deceased Jack Klugman’s strong affect on health care legislation.

  23. 23
    c u n d gulag says:

    One more tip:
    If you’re making beef stroganoff, and you’re not using some sour cream, along with your cream or 1/2 & 1/2, then you’re really missing something.

    Just don’t add it too early, or it breaks apart. Add the sour cream after you take the pan with the beef, ‘shrooms, and cream off the burner, pour that over the noodles or rice, and garnish it with some dill.
    When I make mine, I use more sour cream than regular cream. I sometimes make it with just sour cream, added right at the end.


  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    Beef stew! I made one on Christmas Eve and am having the leftovers today. I like to add some cilantro just to make it kind of tangy. Or lemon juice should do. Don’t forget the flour unless you want beef and vegetable soup.

  25. 25
    bemused senior says:

    Glad you’re better. Turn your leftovers into roast beef sandwiches and your onion soup for as many of your guests who you missed on Christmas that want to come on New Year’s Eve.

  26. 26
    Svensker says:


    What you said. Also French Dip sandwiches, Philly cheese steak sandwiches, and also Brazilian sandwiches (with beef, melted mozzarella, and spicy red pepper sauce).

    And old thing I used to do, from an ancient Joy of Cooking, is make devilled beef. Coat beef strips with mustard mixed with some worcestershire, dip in bread crumbs, then fry in some good grease. Fun.

  27. 27
    Paul in KY says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Hope you don’t have the consumption.

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    @tesslibrarian: Pretty slow out there in the Classic City this morning. I hit a couple of Kroger’s hoping for one of those super-cheap post holiday turkeys but a $1.09 LB breast was the best I could do. You tried the new vegan joint on Broad?

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Depending on your tolerance, between the red wine in the beef dish and the sherry in the onion soup, you might have to hire a designated eater.


  30. 30
    tybee says:

    a bit of good balsamic vinegar can be used in lieu of port as a finish for ‘shrooms sauteed in butter.

  31. 31
    Gus says:

    I’m guessing the pups would have some ideas about those leftovers.

  32. 32
    jeffreyw says:

    Ran the tractor out to the road and back, scraping snow. Six inches and still some coming but it is tapering off. We had a stuffed chicken for xmas dinner and are going to be short of leftovers to eat with the half bushel of cornbread dressing I made. Thawed a big pork shoulder overnight and have than roasting with plenty of garlic to make up for the lack.

  33. 33
    ThresherK says:


    No, that’s what I call devotion. I mean, if you were up North where I am, I’d call it “preparing to move in on a stationary heat source”.

    Get better. And I don’t have any recipe suggestions, but something with a bit of zip always does my respiratory tract well when that part’s ill. Pho, or hot chocolate with a pinch of cayenne?

  34. 34
    Origuy says:

    I’m at my dad’s in Bloomington. A blizzard hit Indiana last night. There are 40 cars stuck on Ind. 37 between here and Indianapolis.

  35. 35
    Schlemizel says:

    I used to love taking very thin slices of very rare roast beast and spreading a little horseradish and then rolling them around a nice pickle.

    The problem to me with leftover rib roast is that I liked it on the rare side and the second cooking screws that up. So the most I liked to do was something like an open-face Philly. I’d saute onions, peppers and mushrooms, slice the beef thin & place on a nice chunk of baguette top with the veggies and then provolone. Put that under the broiler just until the cheese melts. The beef is warmish by that point. Left over juice makes an excellent dipping sauce.

    Man! I am really hungry now!

  36. 36
    Birthmarker says:

    @Svensker: This sounds super yummy, and my very pickty crew would all eat it. (I have spent 33 years as an in house short order cook…)

  37. 37
    RaflW says:

    Had a pretty tasty Christmas. The in-laws bought a couple of beef tenderloins (I was a bit nervous, they opted for $6.99/lb cuts from Piggly Wiggly here in Wisconsin).

    I’d never prepared beef tenderloin (but had done pork ones). I did a hot sear in a skillet with garlic, salt, dry mustard and cracked pepper, then oven-roasted. Deglazed the skillet with wine and onions, then strained, reduced and added butter and a bit more dry mustard.

    Success! It was too rare for some, so I had to quick-roast some slices, but it was good and decently tender. Now there’s some very rare left-overs.

    Should I reheat, or slice thin for sandwiches. Is day-old very rare cold beef just too much like eating raw cow right from the fridge?

    ETA: Schlemizel’s idea sounds fantastic. And we have a good bakery nearby, and plenty of cheese slices left over. Mmm, hot sandwiches!

  38. 38
    PeakVT says:

    Any suggestions?

    Yes, two. See photo above.

  39. 39
    Betty Cracker says:

    @PeakVT: Haha! Yes, the girls got their Christmas dinner, even if I didn’t. I dragged myself up from my sick bed to do the carving (after washing my hands thoroughly and trying not to breathe on the food, of course). I divided the rack between them as usual, and they enjoyed it very much.

    Thanks for the other great suggestions, everyone! Another idea I had was to try to replicate a Buffalo, NY-area favorite: beef on weck (sandwich). My hubby’s from Buffalo, and I’ve tried those a few times when we’ve visited — very tasty! Basically, it’s thinly sliced roast beef and horseradish sauce on a roll that has kosher salt and caraway seeds on it (the roll is the “weck” part, I guess). I’m not up to baking rolls, but I can probably manage doing an egg wash on Kaiser rolls, dusting them with kosher salt and caraway seeds and baking them for a few…

  40. 40
    JCT says:

    @Raven: I was going to suggest the same thing — glad you did it first.

    I was at the Arizona – Gators game, it was awesome!

    Glad you’re on the mend, Betty. I made a bunch of yeast rolls last night and my husband was happily planning to eat the rest for breakfast. He got up before me and I heard many 4-letter words. Apparently college-age son woke up in the middle of the night and ate them all…. guess I have to make some more tonight!

  41. 41

    Two-headed dog. Two-headed dog. I’d be working in the Kremlin with a two-headed dog.

  42. 42
    J R in WV says:

    I’ve found that dry sherry is really good in mushroom soup, or any cream dish. Krogers is now selling fresh shittaki mushrooms, which are the best for soup and other fresh mushroom cookery.

    We have some Oak logs with 3 different strains of shittaki spawn plugged in, Spring should be mushroom plentyful. The logs last for years, with the first 2-3 years really big flushes after a rain, then it tapers off, but with several logs you get a useful amount after a rain for a long time.

  43. 43
    LarryB says:

    Leftovers? Freeze ’em and come back next week when you feel better. When you do….Tacos, of course!

  44. 44
    Ellyn says:

    Soups, stews and meat pies. You can always freeze them. You need chicken soup for what ails you. Seven people were missing from our political organizing committee a couple of nights ago. One went to see her granddaughter in a dance show. The other 6 had the flu. I can’t believe the large number of people that I personally know who have this flu.

  45. 45
    tesslibrarian says:

    @Raven: not yet. Given the previous establishments in that space, I kind of wonder if they had to so some sort of industrial clean up to have vegan-qualified tap water. Have you been there yet?

    Sorry to be so unresponsive today. I spent the day trying to doze off and catch up on sleep, but it’s just not happening. Did you find any stray beetles? My husband said they used ants for the same purpose at summer camp when he was a kid.

  46. 46
    reality-based says:

    Best Beef Sandwiches ever: with arugula, roasted red bell peppers, garlic mayonnaise. Easy, incredibly delicious.

    1. Either ciabatta bread, or a baguette – some kind of hefty bread, that’s not too thick to chew. (I usually make these on a big baguette or ciabatta loaf, then slice into 2-inch wide sandwiches)

    2. Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise: Roast two or three – or four – heads of garlic till smooshy. Scoop out about a cup and a half or two of Hellman’s mayonnaise into a bowl . (you’ll want plenty of this stuff) . Squeeze heads of roasted garlic so the smushy cloves join the Mayonnaise; beat well with a fork or whatever till it’s smoothly blended. Spread both sides of bread THICKLY with this sauce

    3. Cover the bottom of the bread with arugula, (lots of it), then layer on the thinly sliced beef. (the rarer, the better. )

    4. Open a jar of roasted red bell peppers. Pat them with paper towels till they are VERY dry (this step is important), then slice into appropriate-size slices and put on top of the roast beef. Salt and peppers, then close up and slice the sandwiches.

    5. Serve with additional garlic mayonnaise on the side.

    I usually do these – when I’m doing them for a party, where they disappear in seconds – with a couple of tri-tips I’ve grilled or broiled – but prime rib would be even better.

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