Roast Beast Sandwich


Leftovers make a lovely lunch.

I could make a hundred excuses of why I haven’t been posting to OMNIVOROUS lately and nearly half of those would be true, but the real truth is that I’ve been busy, busy, busy. What with two kids and a hectic work schedule (and an incurable addiction to Instagram) I’ve hardly had time to write a word. But recently I’ve been urged by a number of people to take up the quill again and resume my blogging. Apparently a few of you kind readers had missed my musings. Thank you for the encouragement; I’ll try to get back on the horse and ride it.*

Today’s brief post is about using leftovers to good effect. The night before I made this killer sandwich I’d cooked a large prime shell roast. If you’re not familiar with the term a shell roast is basically a huge New York strip steak roasted in the oven. This one was eight pounds, the equivalent of about ten big thick delicious New Yorks stuck together. I’d seasoned it simply and rubbed it with olive oil. I roasted it at 325ºF for about an hour. I pulled it out when I got a temp reading of 120ºF on my instant-read thermometer. This is considered rare but I knew it would continue cooking outside the oven for a little while. The shell roast was a huge success and mostly devoured; I’m glad a little was leftover because there are few things I love more than really great cold roast beef. Especially when it’s a superior hunk of roast.

So I shaved a little of the beef into thin slices and knocked out this delicious sandwich. I lightly toasted an onion roll and slathered homemade mayo on the bottom half. On the top half I smeared a bit of incendiary spicy mustard from Phillipe’s (the LA landmark restaurant which introduced the world to the French Dip sandwich). Two big slices of brandywine tomatoes went on the bottom bread and over that a mound of that shaved beef. I added a slice of Jarlsberg cheese and topped the cheese with a clutch of leftover salad (iceberg, arugula, radicchio, shaved fennel, and crumbled goat cheese). I put the top bread on the and closed up the sandwich, which I promptly ate without ceremony. And the sando was AMAZEBALLS, as they say.

Not pictured is the bottle of Asahi Black Lager that I drank with the sandwich.

* and maybe eat the horse afterwards. Hey, I’m OMNIVOROUS!

Ad-hoc Asian Salad


Today’s salad is a simple (yet miraculous) combination of leftover cold ramen noodles (the fresh kind, not the fry-dried variety), cold grilled skirt steak cut into thin strips, napa cabbage, iceberg lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, watercress, scallions, crispy garlic, crispy wontons, and a simple sesame-miso dressing (canola oil, shiro miso paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Chinese mustard, salt and pepper). It was yummy!

Chef Baby Chow


Chef babies eat very well! For an early lunch Vivian had a lovely soup I knocked together from a variety of tasty leftovers.

Leftover pho broth, steamed broken jasmine rice, Savoy cabbage, gailan (Chinese broccoli), baby arugula, cilantro, scallions, and Japanese flowering fern. She loved it!

For dessert the Viv had fresh strawberries and some very sweet red grapes.


Leftover Lunch: Classically Asian Edition

Basic Asian Leftover Lunch

All you Asians and Half-Asians know what this is. This is lunch, probably leftover from the previous night’s dinner, perhaps assembled for you by your mom, seasoned perfectly with just a tiny bit of guilt-trip. Okay, maybe the guilt isn’t ubiquitous, but this basic lunch idea is.

Millions of people all over the world eat this same sort of rice bowl nearly every day. From Vietnam to China to Korea to the Philippines to Japan to Hawaii and all points in between a simple, workingman’s lunch is not a sandwich but about two cups of steamed white rice topped off with some sliced leftover protein, maybe some veggies, and most definitely some kind of soy-based sauce.

Naturally there are literally an infinite number of iterations, but you’ll find pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, and beef all common toppings. Often bok choy or gailan or bamboo shoots. Often a boiled egg or fried egg is added. Frequently some small pickles or salted vegetables add a piquant touch. Maybe some toasted garlic or fried shallots or fresh slivered ginger is thrown on top. Hot sauces like Chinese garlic-chili sauce, chili oil, sambal oeleck, or sriracha are commonly drizzled over the top. And the while deal is usually topped with some sliced scallion greens. And maybe fresh cilantro.

I made this rice bowl for Regina the other day from some steamed rice and some leftover roasted chicken I had cooked the night before. Drizzled over the top is some adobo sauce, from some chicken adobo I had made three days prior. I saved the rich, fantastic sauce for just this very purpose.

This is a great way to eat — cheap, healthy, filling.

Check out my chicken adobo recipe and make your own! Maybe cook it just to have amazing leftovers!



Today’s Sandwich: file under Peculiar but Yummy

This ad hoc sando was yumster.

I barely ate any dinner last night, so after a long day of work I knocked out this slightly unusual but absolutely delicious sandwich.

I had some poppy seed-crusted egg bread, thinly sliced. I slathered one slice with homemade mayo and whole grain mustard on another. I added thinly sliced french ham, German mustard salami, and jarlsberg cheese. For a vegetable crunch I added some thick-sliced daikon pickles (tinted yellow with a bit of turmeric, I think) and some leftover steamed green beans.

The combo was a little peculiar at first, but all the components worked very well together. It just proves that when making sandwiches you’re only limited by your imagination and what’s in your fridge.

Check out my bite marks!

Late-Night Lamb-Nacho Grub-Fest

Grilled lamb nachos loaded with toppings!

Yeah, I’m eating like a college student, much to my chagrin. Regina was out of town for a couple of nights and in my boredom (and without her gentle moderation) I drank too much cheap beer while watching hours of TV, something I never get a chance to do anymore. The resultant salt-craving munchie attack produced this pile of delicious nachos; it tasted fantastic, although the subsequent shame-wave forced me to hit the running trail hard the next morning.

I had some leftover grilled lamb shoulder, which I cut off the bone and hacked into little pieces. On an oven-proof plate I mounded some tortilla chips and covered them with the little lamb bits and an unhealthy amount of grated cheese (a blend of cheddar and mont-jack). I broiled the plate for a couple of minutes until the cheese melted and I got a little char on the chips. I topped it with some homemade chipotle salsa, some Mexican crema, some diced avocado, and a generous amount of Cholula hot sauce.

It was delish, and I drank two more Mexi-beers to celebrate!

Instant Diavolo

Dorm room food, but better.

I cranked out this simple, expedient dish the other night after a long day’s work. I had some leftover spaghetti pomodoro (with your basic tomato sauce) and added to it three tablespoons of some very spicy chipotle salsa which I’d made a couple of days before (you can use any very spicy salsa, even supermarket refrigerated salsa as long as it’s tasty). I tossed it all in a hot pan and drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil over it. I heated it through and topped it was a little grated parm.

It made for a perfect approximation of a fra diavolo, which is a classic east-coast Italian-American dish of spicy tomato sauce for pasta or seafood. It was fast, it was easy, it was cheap as it utilized leftovers, and it was super-delicious. And it kind of reminded me of my college days, days of Trisket nachos and ramen noodles topped with ground beef and boiled egg, days where scrounging in the fridge for disparate leftovers to combine into fantastical (but mostly horrible) creations was economically essential. Fun days for sure.

I’m playing the same game now, but with a much higher class of ingredients. Still fun.