Sunday, November 1, 2009

Intentional Re-works

People who have worked in the grocery or food industry know what "re-works" are. It is when you take one item that has either been compromised, leftover, or is nearing it's expiration date and "re-work" it into another item to sell faster.

For example, in the produce department of a store, you might have onions & peppers that have a bad spot on one part of them. You chop off the bad spot, slice up the rest and sell it as a "stir fry mix".

Another example is last month, one of my favorite restaurants was re-working their leftover prime rib into a beef stroganoff special.

But re-working can be a great thing when you do it on purpose. We like to cook up some foods on the weekend to make easy dinners later during the week. Remember that purdy smoked chicken I made Friday night, just to have some pulled chicken on hand? So far, this is what we've "re-worked" as....

Chicken Nachos
Alexis and I topped blue and yellow nachos with the reheated chicken, green onion, diced tomato, red pepper, cilantro, chopped black olives, lettuce, cheese, spicy BBQ sauce, and mauga sauce.

Pulled Chicken
Brett ate it by itself for lunch, topped only with mauga sauce.

Chicken Wrap
His girlfriend ate it in a tortilla with lettuce, onion, and cheese.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Doctored a jar alfredo sauce with some fresh roasted garlic (tossed in oil and salt, roasted at 350f for 50 minutes).

I spooned the sauce onto a pizza dough that was pre-crisped on a 500f grill on indirect heat for about 3 minutes and then topped with the pulled chicken, chopped basil, oregano, thyme and mozzarella cheese slices.

As it nears the end, I added some more chicken and herbs.

It came out beautifully.

We could have stopped there, but didn't. Trevor wanted to make his own pizza. He spooned on a red sauce and topped his with pepperoni and bacon. (Yes, our poor stove is relegated to acting as counter space many times. I bet it HATES our Big Green Egg.)

And then more pepperoni on top.

Mexican Pizza
Yeah, we weren't done. This one was the smoked chicken, some left over pico de gallo (chopped red onion, chopped tomato, cilantro), oregano and more mozzarella because I forgot to use the Mexican blend of cheeses that we had.

This one turned out to be my favorite, when it was really just a way to get rid of the extra pico de gallo.
All of the dishes so far have been superb and relatively easy.

Interesting Bit
I can cook up to 18 hours in the Big Green Egg at 250f with one load of coal. (I have heard of people going longer than that, I just haven't had to.)

Cooking at 500-700f temps, I went through the same amount of coal tonight in about 2 hours.

Special link for BBQ Brethren members:
Only you guys would/might understand this: Pizza On A UDS.

That one's for you, bigabyte.


  1. Yes! I did one chicken for dinner and another for your "pulled chicken". You have made my menu for the week!
    P.S. I love the squirt bottle mop.

  2. These are the classiest "leftovers" I have even seen! GREG

  3. gawd, this all looks fabulous! I don't know what mauga sauce is. Love the chicken nachos. yum

  4. Reworking leftovers? Who do you think you are, Buffalo Dick? :) Nicely done! I love to do what you just did- it all looked great, too!

  5. I am the Queen of Re-Works! Sometimes I will make something, like roasted chicken, just to have it on hand to re-work it into something else. These looks wonderful. Very creative ideas!!

  6. Love the pizza, but I'll be right over for the nachos. We bought some Alfredo sauce at the store that was about to expire...think I'll add your roasted garlic suggestions to make it even better.

  7. The taco pizza looks delicious along with everything else you made!

  8. You did a fantastic job on the pizza and the nachos Chris! You definitely have it going on with the "re-make", total genius!

  9. Great looking pizza's there Chris - you know I can easily make it over in time for dinner most days.

  10. what a great post, killer pictures, and that is one amazing looking pizza

  11. Yikes! What time was I suppose to be over? I must have taken a wrong turn, towards the east...

  12. Love the re-working recipes. I do this all the time in my house - it's a great way to use up leftovers. The pizzas are calling my name.

  13. drool :P"""""" !!! Your pizzas always look so, oh man...and the garlic pic, too...YUM :D

  14. I'm all into reworking, not the grocery store kind - I worked in the meat department years ago and know never to buy those ready to go things! I buy my meats fresh in bulk and do the cutting myself - great money saver too!

    I do love to rework/stretch my meals at home by intentionally cooking extra and creating new meals from the leftovers. It's frugal and many times my leftover creations are better than the first time around!

    Homemade pizza, soups or strata are all great "tiny bits of leftover 3rd night meals" here.

  15. That does it, next time Chef E visits you, Im tagging along.

  16. haha...maybe thats what I should tell my husband he had for dinner chicken and mushrooms. He has a thing against leftovers!!

    Everything looks wonderful...especially the pizza. (and ya, I feel sorry for your stove. no doubt it's getting a complex)

  17. I can't believe how many delights I'm seeing right now the chicken nachos and the Mexican pizza are gorgeous...all the goodness I need :)

    All the best,


  18. Is it just me or are your re-works better than most peoples originals?

    No seriously.

  19. Please, I beg of you...Adopt me??

    I'm small, don't eat much, kinda cute...

    You'd hardly even know I was there!

  20. Nice pizza photos. Those look awesome. Great tips for leftovers.


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