I have never been one of those who views one leftover ingredient as something that must be used up right away. While I avoid food waste as much as possible and save food as long as it is still good, the idea that I’m going to whip up an entire separate recipe simply because I have leftover egg yolks/anchovies/whatever has never made sense to me.
What I do try to make routine is considering what leftover items I already have on hand when planning my meals for the coming week. Generally I try to compose meals that use up multiple ingredients I already have on hand, and also use up any perishable ingredients in the most logical way possible. I was recently flipping through Now & Again by Julia Turshen (which is full of brilliant ways of using up and reusing ingredients) and I happened across this idea of using crushed leftover pretzels to coat chicken. It sounded reminiscent of chicken tenders, something I pretty much never make, and I just happened to have way overbought pretzels for a baking project.
The kids were really skeptical when I told them what I was making but let me tell you, they love this chicken even more than I do. They ask for it so often that now pretzels are regularly thrown into my shopping cart for this very purpose. I always make more than we need for dinner and use the leftovers in wraps and salads for their lunches later in the week. Try it yourself and see what you think – this might become a fast favorite in your home as well!