Melissa Harris-Perry: I'm Melissa Harris-Perry, and you're listening to The Takeaway. Now, raise your hand if your fridge is stacked with Tupperware full of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and greens. Okay, put your hands down now. Now, raise your hand again if you're feeling ready to eat anything but turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and greens. Yes, it's time for leftover recipes, and here to help is Dan Pashman, the host of The Sporkful food podcast. Dan, great to have you here.
Dan Pashman: Hey, Melissa, great to talk with you.
Melissa Harris-Perry: All right. Let's start with turkey. I made a 22-pound turkey this year. There's still a lot in my fridge. What do we do with it?
Dan Pashman: Well, the first thing I'll say, and this is my number one general rule of leftovers is don't just think of your leftovers as the old version of the thing that you cooked a few days ago. Think of leftovers as potential ingredients in new foods. You can chop up Turkey and you can make hash. You can mix it with potatoes. You can wrap it in a flour tortilla and make it a burrito. You can toss it with rice and all kinds of spices. It doesn't have to just be Turkey. You can use it as the meat in anything that you might ever want to eat. I think that I love a turkey sandwich with-- I've been on a big Colman's English Mustard kick in my life lately, it's got a little bit of a grainy texture and a back of the throat spice like wasabi. You get a little Cleman's English Mustard on your turkey., that's going to be fantastic. You can also throw it into jambalaya if you want.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Let's talk about the practice. My family's always had a boiling the carcass, getting all the rest of the meat off of it, and then using that for a base for soups. Is that kosher? Is that okay?
Dan Pashman: Sure, that's wonderful. In my family, we don't get to the point of boiling the carcass to get the extra meat off, because my mom usually just sits at the table the next day with the entire carcass on a dinner plate and picks at it, and so there is definitely no more meat. You can still boil it to get stock. I know some people will let it boil for the day. We have some leftover vegetables in there, and then you can freeze that stock. You can use that for months, portion it into a couple of different containers. You can break that out months later.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Now, we are also a family that does officially way too much on desserts. There comes a point where everybody's already gone home, and like for example, there's still an entire extra sweet potato pie in my refrigerator. It is not acceptable for me to just sit and eat that pie. Is there something else I can do with leftover desserts?
Dan Pashman: Well, first of all, Melissa, I'm not sure who told you it's not acceptable to just sit and eat that pie. Our pies are in the extra refrigerator in the basement, which is in a laundry room. I don't want to have to break out all the pies when my kids are awake because then they're going to want some. Like my wife was like, "Hey, can you put the wash in the dryer?" I was like, "Of course, my dear, I'd be more than happy to." I just happened to grab a fork on the way down to the laundry room, and then she's like, "Where did you go?" I was like, "Well, I was in the laundry room. I just had to check on the pies."
For sure, look, to me, nibbling on little bits of pie. Look, you have to keep it even, right, Melissa. You can't just cut a jagged edge off the pie, you have to even out, and then it seems uneven at one size, you nibble there, pretty soon the pie is gone. My favorite way to eat pie is to take a slice of pie and a scoop of ice cream and to chop them up so they mix up together.
In fact, in this week's episode of The Sporkful that just came out, I attempted to make a viral TikTok. This is what my video was about was how I eat pie and chop up the pie with a spoon with ice cream, get them all mixed together so the ice cream is half-melted. Then if you really want to get crazy, you add a little sprinkle of fancy salt and a teaspoon of bourbon, mix it all up. You get like crunchy bits of pie. You get creamy bits of ice cream. You get the liquor. You get sweet and savory. It's ridiculous.
Melissa Harris-Perry: We can't have this conversation without talking about pasta. Apparently, you created a new pasta. How's that even possible?
Dan Pashman: This was a big project of mine that I spent three years trying to invent a new shape of pasta. It was a long quest. That would be chronicled in a five-part series on The Sporkful called Mission Impastable. The pasta came out this past March and exceeded all of my wildest expectations and has been basically went viral.
It's been a huge hit, and now it's beyond viral. Now it's becoming a mainstay in this fall has been going into stores and even some restaurants, which is very exciting to see. Then we got a pretty mind-blowing development within the last couple of weeks that it was named one of Time Magazine's 100 best inventions of 2021. The pasta shape is called cascatelli. It's specially engineered to hold a lot of sauce and have a lot of different textures in your mouth. It's pretty exciting. I can't lie. It's still exciting.
Melissa Harris-Perry: It is pretty exciting. In fact, I have to share that making The Takeaway is very much like Thanksgiving dinner. It's a very collaborative process. We're all in there talking. As soon as we brought up the cascatelli, multiple producers were like, "You cannot believe how well it holds sauce. This is an incredible pasta."
Dan Pashman: I've had parents email me and they said that this was the first time they served their kids pasta with tomato sauce and they didn't get any sauce on their shirts, because the sauce clung to the pasta so well. It was not part of my testing process, but I'm glad it worked.
Melissa Harris-Perry: That's not a small point that also makes it date-worthy pasta if you're not going to drop the sauce on your shirt.
Dan Pashman: That's exactly right. Let's try a Valentine's Day marketing plan for that.
Melissa Harris-Perry: I'm wondering also, this point about it being this extraordinary invention of-- the best inventions of 2021 by Time Magazine, and even us talking about having the refrigerator in the basement. I'm an old southern lady, so I think we always have a deep freeze and a refrigerator in the basement and that kind of thing. I'm also wondering if there's something going on in our second pandemic holiday season. Are we desiring this kind of capacity to cook at home but also to have a little bit of space to not be exclusively like just having that to do because we're back to all of these other aspects of real life, but also having spent enough time at home, many of us, to want to be in our kitchens again?
Dan Pashman: For sure, I think you make a good point. If you recall, early on in the pandemic, people were baking sourdough, and there was all of this big project cooking taking place. I think we burned through that enthusiasm. There's still, I think, a lot of desire for comfort food. I think that people do turn to food when they're feeling stressed. There has been that trend, the grocery industry has seen this trend across a variety of different categories this year, people gravitating towards comfort foods, but I think it's now a little bit more like quick comfort as opposed to project cooking comfort.
I think that it's been interesting to see how the kind of stress of the pandemic. I can't speak for everyone. I know, in my case, it's like I have little kids. I'm still working. My wife still working. There's this big external stress in the world, but then, you start to put one foot in front of the other and keep functioning and moving forward every single day. When you can sit down with a big bowl of pasta at the end of the night or whatever it is for you, I think that that could help take the edge off.
Melissa Harris-Perry: What's on your food radar for 2022? Any more award-winning food creations?
Dan Pashman: Well, I haven't gotten far enough to create new foods yet. If I create something new, I don't know that it would be a pasta shape. I think I would probably want to do something in a new and different direction. I will say if I was going to pick one trend for the next year or two, this is my pick, beer with salt added.
Melissa Harris-Perry: What?
Dan Pashman: I'm telling you, Melissa, this is coming. In many parts of the world, this is not new, I should say. I first encountered it actually at a WNYC after-work drinks event at a place called The Rusty Knot on West Street in Manhattan where they served me a Tecate can of beer with a sprinkle of salt inside and it changed my life. Now there's Blue Point beer, which is out on Long Island. They have a beer now they're selling with salt added, and so I'm telling you, just keep an eye out on this trend. I think that it's going to be very big and it's very delicious.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Okay, salty beer. Dan Pashman is the host of The Sporkful food podcast. Dan, thanks for joining us.
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