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Cooking with Larry - food recipes with leftovers

I don't eat a lot of pre-prepared food; I prefer to make all of my meals fresh. The food tastes better and has a higher nutritional value this way. Because of this, I find myself at the market more than a few times a week. One problem I have is that I always buy too much food. I usually have some random proteins, produce and other miscellaneous ingredients left in the refrigerator to spoil. I hate throwing out food, so this leaves me with a fun dilemma. How can I combine these ingredients to come up with unique leftover food recipes? I was faced with this exact scenario last week. I had the following ingredients lying around for a few days:

  • 1 pound of chicken wings
  • 1 whole pineapple
  • A large onion
  • A red bell pepper
  • A jalapeno
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Some low fat swiss cheese
  • Less than a 1/2 pound each of hot ham capicola and soppressata

The wheels started turning in my head and what I came up with was a really, really good burrito. Think chicken cordon bleu meets Hawaiian pizza on a Mexican vacation. I have no idea what to call it, but I do know that it tasted really good!

To start, I peeled the pineapple and threw 3/4 of it into my Vitamix blender. If you don't have a high-powered blender, make sure you cut the pineapple into 1-inch cubes so that the blender can process the fruit properly. I also added one cup of water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, and 3/4 cup of sriracha sauce. I blended the entire mixture and placed it in a dutch oven with the chicken wings. I diced the remaining pineapple and placed that into the Dutch oven as well. This went into the oven for two and a half hours at 250 degrees.

At around the 2-hour mark, I started to prep my vegetables. Go ahead and dice the onion, peppers and jalapeno. Saute them in some coconut oil until they begin to sweat. Any oil will work, but coconut oil is packed with flavor and was the perfect type of fat to marry with the flavors in the rest of this dish. I also had a cup of white wine left over, so I threw that in the saute pan as well and let the mixture reduce. Cover the pan and turn the heat off when everything has properly reduced.

While the vegetables were working their magic in the saute pan, I set up the burrito rolling station. I placed two tortillas down and layered them with the hot ham capicola and soppressata. I went ahead and added a layer of Swiss cheese on top of the pork as well.

When two and half hours have elapsed, remove the Dutch oven from the regular oven and let it cool. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven with a slotted spoon and pick the meat from the bone. The meat should fall off pretty easily. You can also fish the pineapple slices out with your slotted spoon and set them aside with the chicken.

Take one cup of the liquid from the dutch oven and throw it in the blender with half a teaspoon of corn starch. Mix this until the liquid is thick.

Now you can add the onions, peppers, chicken and pineapple to the burrito. Finish it off with a drizzle of some of the pineapple-soy-sriracha sauce on top of the burrito innards and roll it up tightly. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I was really happy with the way this turned out. The burrito was salty, sweet, crunchy and savory. My girlfriend loved it and she hates anything with pineapple in it (until now!).

Best of all, I salvaged at least twenty dollars in leftover ingredients!

How do you get creative with your leftovers?

Read how Sarah turns her leftovers into a delicious new meal with crescent rolls.

About the Author: Larry is a friend of House Party. Larry currently resides in the East Bay region of California. He enjoys all things wine related, and spends a lot of his free time in Napa and Sonoma learning about wine. Larry is also a Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast. He enjoys practicing, watching, analyzing and commentating on all things MMA. Larry also enjoys cooking, fine dining, entertaining and hanging out with Maximus, his Jack Russell Terrier.

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