Jocelyn Deprez, a retired French and English teacher, fights waste by transforming leftovers quickly and easily into gourmet meals. For years, this inveterate “scrapper” has made delicious creations from any leftovers found in the fridge for her husband and four children. Her new book, The Refrigerator Files: A Guide to Creative Makeovers for your Leftovers (iUniverse, 2011) contains 190 pages of French-inspired, easy-to-follow recipes and advice.
What Jocelyn Does to Reduce Waste in Her Life
Every couple of days, pull out all your containers of leftovers and array them on your kitchen counter. Choose as many as you think will go together (watch out for clashing tastes!) and decide on an appropriate procedure to use to make a new meal.
Save cooking water from vegetables (e.g. string beans, peas, carrots; but not from any of the cabbage family). Use when making soups, sauces, or for general moistening purposes. Save tough outer lettuce leaves and add when cooking spinach.
Make a good homemade mayonnaise to enhance leftovers.
Have bouillon cubes on hand, especially vegetable-flavored ones.
Master the art of the béchamel sauce. It’s so easy and should be almost a reflex action. It will save an infinite number of scraps.