Friday, July 9, 2010

5 Ways to Use Your Grilled Leftovers by Cleo Coyle

Burgers, steak, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken were probably the most commonly grilled meats in the USA last weekend.

I grilled pork chops, which I blogged about last Friday. To get my recipe for Pork Chops with Apple Juice and Sage marinade, click here.

Then New York was hit by record levels of heat (over 100 degrees). This kept me grilling, because our little, urban kitchen is not air conditioned and there was no way I'd crank up an oven or even a gas burner in airless heat that brutal.

When the unbearable temps finally came down to plain old uncomfortable, I took a look at our fridge full of grilled leftovers and thought—okay, now I know what I’m blogging about this week!

Before I get to my ideas, however, I have to ask about your own. Do you have favorite ways to use those day-old grilled meats (or veggies)? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below –- and if you blog, you are more than welcome to leave a link so everyone can check out your recipe posts, too.

Finally, here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, we are all still proudly celebrating this week's debut of two delightful new mystery series by two of our own mystery writing cooks. Congratulations again to...

Avery Aames on the release of
The Long Quiche Goodbye,
the first book in her Cheese Shop
and to...

Riley Adams' on the publicaiton
of Delicious and Suspicious,the first
book in her Memphis BBQ Mysteries!

Cheers to you both!

And, now, here are my...

Five Ways to Use
Your Grilled Leftovers

#1 Leftover Burgers – I confess: I will eat cold pizza out of the fridge. But I’ve never met anyone who enjoys an ice cold hamburger. Sure, you can feed it to Fluffy. But why turn deliciously grilled burger meat into cat food? Here’s what I like to do...

Slice the meat patties lengthwise into three or four thick strips, splash on some Worcestershire sauce and re-heat in the microwave. Warm a skillet on your stovetop and toss in soft, flour tortillas, one at a time, flipping to heat both sides. Plate the tortilla and create a Hamburger Wrap, using the re-heated burger strips and the same “fixin’s” you’d use on your burger: mustard, pickle, tomato, shredded lettuce, mayo, ketchup, crumbled bleu cheese, whatever you like!

#2 Leftover Steak – Simple. Place a bit of butter on each steak and re-heat in the microwave. Slice newly sizzling steaks into strips and serve over a salad tossed with your favorite dressing. We like either homemade Caesar or bleu cheese dressings. For the latter, I’ll mix crumbled bleu cheese into mayonnaise, stir in a little chopped garlic, squeeze in a bit of lemon, toss in some chopped scallions, and add a bit of anchovy paste. If you don’t like or have anchovy paste on hand, try a dash of Worcestershire. That deep, umami flavor of the anchovy or the Worcestershire perfectly balances the brighter, more astringent notes of the other ingredients in the dressing.

#3 Leftover Hot Dogs – Here in New York, our mayor is the billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg. During one of the many posh events that he attended a few years ago, the buffet was as lavish as one might expect at such a function, including jumbo shrimp bigger than a toddler’s fist. As this legendary story goes, the succulent shrimp didn’t interest the mayor. What Mr. Bloomberg kept reaching for were savory little wieners wrapped in pastry dough. Yes, that’s right, our billionaire mayor couldn’t stop eating good old Pigs in Blankets!

Pigs in Blankets - Billionaire Mayor Bait!

If you’ve never had Pigs in Blankets made with hot dogs and either pastry or biscuit dough, then you’re missing out. Take your leftover grilled hot dogs and cut them in two. Make a shallow incision lengthwise in each piece and place a sliver of your favorite cheese inside (cheddar, Monterey jack, queso blanco, mozzarella, Swiss).

Break open a tube of Pillsbury Cresents (or your favorite brand of refrigerated pastry dough). There are eight triangles per tube. Cut the triangles of dough in half (lengthwise or widthwise, your choice). You now have 16 pieces of dough. Roll the dough around your cheese-stuffed hot dog halves. Place on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for about 10 to 14 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. When dough is puffed and golden brown, remove from oven. Serve warm with a side of tiny pickles and a “dipping sauce” of ketchup and mustard mixed together at a 1:1 ratio. (It’s classic!)

(And if you have unused pieces of dough, then simply sprinkle them with cinammon sugar and roll into mini croissants. You can enjoy them with coffee after dinner or for breakfast in the morning.)

 #4 Leftover Ribs (or any other pork) – Last week, I grilled up pork chops and posted a recipe for an easy Apple Juice and Sage marinade. Click here if you missed it. This week, I’d suggest stripping any pork meat off the bone and creating a classic Soft Taco with fresh guacamole, slices of jalapeno, your favorite hot sauce, and a dollop of cooling sour cream. I’m fine with eating the grilled pork cold this way, but you can always re-heat it in a microwave or on your stovetop.

Cleo Coyle's Amazing Coffee Glazed BBQ Chicken...
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#5 Leftover Chicken – I’ll never say no to a cold piece of chicken, whether grilled or breaded and fried. To me, it’s good old fashioned picnic basket comfort food. If you're not a fan of eating cold chicken off the bone, however, here is another grilling leftovers idea, one I made this week after grilling my very special “coffee” chicken (pictured).

To get my recipe for Coffee Glazed BBQ Chicken, sign up for my newsletter, which will be going out soon with that exclusive recipe included. (To find out how to sign up, read the photo caption.)

In the meantime, here’s my recipe for Grilled Chicken, Bacon, and Egg Salad – perfect for an easy, tasty lunch or a refreshingly chilled dinner on a butally hot day.

Cleo Coyle’s
Grilled Chicken,
Bacon, and Egg Salad

3-4 pieces of leftover grilled chicken.
3-4 strips of bacon, sliced into small pieces, cooked and drained
3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley chopped (I use the flat-leaf “Italian” parsley)
5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a fresh lemon)
Sea or Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper (white is prettier for presentation but I’ll use black when it’s all I have on hand)

Strip the chicken from the bone and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. You should have about 2 cups of chopped meat. If not, add meat from another piece of chicken. Mix in the cooked bacon piece, hardboiled eggs, and chopped parsley. Add mayonnaise and lemon juice and mix again. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Chill and enjoy on slices of a crusty baguette, your favorite crackers, or make a sandwich with your favorite toasted bread.

Eat with joy!

~Cleo Coyle
author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more recipes ideas or to find out about the books in my nationally bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery series, visit me at my official website:

On Sale
August 3, 2010
Roast Mortem
by Cleo Coyle

Comments for Cleo

What are you favorite ideas
for using grilled leftovers?


  1. This is a terrific post. I always make extra just for leftovers.

    I can't wait to make this egg salad!

  2. Fantastic, Cleo! Someone tweeted me to thank you for this post. :) Great ideas here--I especially like the egg salad, which is looking like lunch for me!

  3. Okay, this post is sensational, Cleo, and definitely a printer-outer. I too have a fridge full of good grilled food, and now I know what to do with it. Thanks!

  4. Always enjoy finding new ways to use up the leftovers. Great tips and love the recipe. The salad looks yummy for the heat wave we're having too.

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. Wow, Cleo, what a lot of ideas! Great. Love the photos.
    Thanks for the mentions for Riley and me.


  6. I'm with Dave. I love leftovers. Besides, I have three hungry dogs and a cat who think leftovers are the best thing in the world.

    ~ Krista

  7. Cleo,
    Another yummy idea for those refrigerator crescent rolls: spread a dollop of Nutella in the middle, roll it up and bake! Wowie Zowie...the perfect treat with coffee!!

  8. great stuff Alice,full as a pig!!!
    No wonder Marc is putting on such a lot of weight!!!!!!!keep it up gel/

  9. That chicken-bacon-egg salad is GOOD. When I last saw my hubby, he was hunched over the bowl of it, a box of crackers clutched in his hand. I think I've seen the last of that salad...until next time.