I hate wasting food, so I really related to this article, which gave me yet another reason to think twice before discarding leftovers. It mentioned that the average American household throws out about 470 pounds of food a year, adding unnecessarily to landfills.
I hadn’t actually considered this reason before. For me it was always guilt about hunger around the world. I was brought up in the post-World War II generation of kids who heard this phrase: “think of the poor starving children in Europe” whenever we didn’t want to eat something or other.
Which is not to say I never trash food or that I think it is good to make children eat everything on their plates.
No, I just mean I like to make as creative and delicious uses for leftovers as I can. And to not throw stuff out if I can use it.
For instance. I have been busily making apple dishes for the Jewish holidays. And I had some extra phyllo dough — pieces that had torn off and couldn’t be used for the apple strudels that are now tucked away in my freezer.
So, I spooned some of the apple filling into a small baking dish and covered it with layers of the small, not-so-pretty leftover snippets of dough, brushed them with melted butter and voila! a terrific dessert for two.
Here’s my recipe for Apple Strudel. If you have ingredients leftover, treat yourself to a “leftovers” version.
4 pie apples (Greenings, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, etc.)
3/4 cup golden raisins
1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
8 phyllo dough sheets
10 tablespoons butter, melted (approximate)
1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds, optional
6-8 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Peel, core and slice the apples into a bowl. Add the raisins and lemon peel, mix and set aside. Using one sheet of phyllo dough at a time, brush the sheet with some of the melted butter and sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs. Top with a second sheet of dough and continue until there are two separate buttered/crumbed phyllo sheets that are 4 sheets thick. If using the almonds, sprinkle them in a strip along the long side of the buttered/crumbed sheets, leaving a margin of about 1-1/2-inches on both short ends. Spoon the apple mixture on top of the almonds. Sprinkle each mixture with equal amounts of sugar and cinnamon. Roll each strudel, with the last roll, seam side down, onto the cookie sheet. Press the short ends to seal them. Brush each rolled strudel with remaining melted butter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 2 strudels, each serving 6