Why are they called “leftovers” when there’s none left?

I’ll bet anyone with a 16-year-old boy has been through this, but Noah’s my “only” and everything is a first for me. Yesterday,  I dedicated myself to making enough food for Noah to take to lunch at school (he hates school lunches and I don’t blame him) and leftovers for my husband, who works from home.

I made:

1. Three servings of cous-cous salad.

2. Two servings of regular cous-cous to heat up with something else for lunch.

3. Two servings of Asian Chicken noodles

4. A pan of Cheesy Chicken Mushroom Lasagne  from March’s Gourmet (very good, by the way), which we had for supper and from which three containers of leftovers were placed in the fridge.

Here’s what was in the f ridge this morning: 2 containers of cous-cous salad and my Asian Chicken Salad.  The boy had gone through two containers of cous-cous, one container of cous-cous salad and three containers of the lasagna from the time he got home at about 8:30 p.m. until he left for school!

I’ll make the lasagne again, even though I only had a SMALL taste of it before the leftovers disappeared.  Here’s the recipe:


Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne

(Gourmet, March 2009)

1  (10-ounce) package cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 roast chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded (about 2 1/4 cups), and carcass reserved for stock. 

3 1/2 cups whole milk

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

12 Barilla no-boil egg lasagne noodles (less than a 9-ounce package)

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (3 ounces)

Equipment: an 8-inch square baking pan

Preheat oven to 425° with rack in middle.

Cook mushrooms, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer briskly 2 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl and stir in chicken. (Set aside saucepan.)

Bring milk to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Add hot milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Add thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup sauce. Stir parmesan into sauce remaining in pan, then stir into mushroom filling.

Pour half of reserved plain sauce into baking pan, spreading evenly to coat bottom. Add 3 lasagne sheets, overlapping slightly, and one third of mushroom filling, spreading evenly, then sprinkle one fourth of Gruyère over top. Repeat 2 times. Top with remaining 3 lasagne sheets and remaining plain sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère.

Cover with foil, tenting slightly to prevent foil from touching top of lasagne but sealing all around edge, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 10 minutes before serving.

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