Everyone knows cold pizza is the perfect breakfast food, followed closely by cold spaghetti. Nowadays I generally reheat cold pizza and spaghetti before eating but back in the day I ate the pizza cold from the oven (leftover pizza was traditionally left in its box in the electric – not gas – oven). Likewise cold spaghetti, which was usually left in a plastic container in the fridge.
You may wish to heat the spaghetti in a skillet or saucepan with a bit of water, or you may wish to zap it in the microwave. Or go whole hog, add extra sauce and/or cream and some shredded mozzarella cheese and bake it in the oven. Restaurants in Chicago sell “baked mostacciolli” at a higher cost than it cost the first time around. What're the odds they are using up yesterday's leftovers?
These standards notwithstanding, Party Food for breakfast is a special treat, especially after your new year’s festivities have mostly ended. This year, in the days following new year's, I breakfasted on leftover sweet & sour meatballs, cream cheese & crab dip and that most delicious of delicacies, leftover spinach dip and dippers. Luckily (or alas) the shrimp cocktail was all eaten the night before.
Forgive me. New Year’s is long gone but my New Year’s Day breakfast was tasty enough to remember and to write about at this later date. Don’t wait until next Christmas or New Year’s to enjoy a party for breakfast. Any time you have yummy leftovers you are free to indulge. And I think spinach dip in the morning is hard to top . . . even with spaghetti or pizza!
I expect everybody knows how to make Spinach Dip but in case you don’t here are instructions. This is one of my favorite recipes. And one of the easiest. Many people use Knorr vegetable soup mix. I far prefer Mrs. Grass, which was apparently bought out by Wyler’s and then by Lipton. Use whichever instant vegetable soup & dip mix you prefer, or whichever one you can find!
1 packet vegetable soup mix
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed completely dry
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup each mayonnaise & sour cream (low fat or fat free will work if you wish)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir very well to be sure all the salty mixture is well blended. You can serve this in a bowl or in a hollowed out loaf of rye or sourdough bread. Serve with vegetables, bread chunks, crackers, bread sticks or sliced bagels for dipping.
Cream Cheese & Crab Dip
My mother-in-law used to make this. I must have made it once for my sister as she said this dip always reminds her of me. I don’t remember ever making this more than once so sis must have been there that day. Bill asked for this dip for this year’s holiday festivities so I happily obliged. Can you say stupid easy?
Unwrap and place on a plate an 8 oz. block of cream cheese. Open a can of crab meat (or a can of tiny shrimps). Drain and remove any bits of shell. Scatter the crab or shrimp over the surface of the cream cheese. Open a bottle of shrimp cocktail sauce and pour a generous amount over the cream cheese and the seafood. Serve with an assortment of crackers.
Party Meatballs or Sausages
This recipe should prove to you my propensity for those dishes that are so simple the recipe makes you say “duh”. But the finished dish must also make you say “mmmmm”! I can vouch for these meatballs.
Buy a package of frozen meatballs. Doesn’t matter if they are made of turkey, beef or tofu as long as they are meatballs you would normally eat. Be sure to buy the kind called mini meatballs. They should be about an inch in diameter and come about 30 to a package. Careful not to buy the kind that are tennis ball sized. Those are intended for spaghetti dinner. They will still taste good but you will be limited to serving one per guest – unless you have unexpected company, then you’ll have to share. This recipe is even easier if you buy precooked meatballs!
Place frozen mini meatballs on a baking sheet and bake according to package directions, probably about 25 minutes at 350. Meanwhile, empty a small jar of grape jam into a sauce pan along with a small bottle of your favorite cocktail sauce. Yes, the same sauce you use for shrimp cocktail. You may, if you wish, add a little barbecue sauce, a little sweet/hot mustard or a few of those packets of egg roll sauce that come with your Chinese takeout. Heat and stir to combine. When the meatballs are done, drain briefly (if you feel like it) and add them to the sauce.
You can serve these bad boys in a bowl, in a chafing dish, in a fondue pot or in a mini crock-pot, the kind meant to keep party dips hot for serving. Be sure to place a shot glass of toothpicks or bamboo skewers alongside! Little Smoky Link Sausages can be substituted for the meatballs, but don’t bother making this sauce, just open a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce and let it go at that.
Leftover Pizza & Spaghetti
Reheat leftover cold pizza in a nonstick skillet. Put it over medium heat and cover with a lid. In about five minutes the bottom should be crisp and the pizza should be hot. Or try the toaster oven (but never the toaster). Reheat cold spaghetti in a nonstick skillet with a lid and a little water. Give it a couple of stirs until it is heated through. For a “spaghetti pie” add a little extra sauce or some cream to your leftover pasta and a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 30 minutes until brown on top and bubbly. Think lasagna. You are saving $6.95 in take out costs.
Quotable Quotes; in the category I Don’t Know Much About Art But I Do Know What I Like To Eat!
“Art is what's left over after you've defined everything else”. Michael Vitale