5@5 - Chef Russell Moore
August 24th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Chef Russell Moore spent 20 years at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, under the guardianship of locavore pioneer, Alice Waters, before carrying over that same locally-focused mindset to his own restaurant, Camino, in Oakland, California. Here, the menu changes nightly depending on whatever the day's seasonal bounty entails.

From the beginning of his cooking career, Moore has maintained the ethos of using every part of the sourced ingredient - from whole hog to whole pod. As the old adage goes, "waste not, want not."

Five Cooking Leftovers Not to Throw Away: Russell Moore

1. Outer leaves
"Fennel tops, carrot tops, outer leaves of Brussels sprouts, chicories, lettuces and all types of herbs can be steamed and then sautéed with olive oil, black olives and cumin. Use them as a condiment for a cheese plate or sandwich."

2. Citrus Peels
"Candy the peels and serve as part of a dessert plate with chunks of chocolate or sesame candy, twirled as a cocktail accoutrement or chopped up as a garnish for sorbet. Pomelos, oranges, grapefruits, Meyer lemons and Lisbon lemons all work."

3. Fruit peel and cores
"Infuse brandy to make subtle cocktails, or to flavor ginger cake or chicken liver spread. Use the peels and cores of apples, quince and pears . Pour brandy over them [and soak] for several months - then cook, bake or drink it in cocktails."

4. Trimmed fat
"Use pork fat in sausage or lard for cooking (it’s free!). Duck skin has bits of meat still on it, so you can render the fat to make crispy, meaty snacks (like chicharrones). Also save the duck fat and use it for frying things, such as potatoes at brunch. We save chicken fat and fry potato cakes in it, or use it in chicken liver spread. Beef fat makes pastry dough extra flaky."

5. Bones
"Grill chicken on the bone, then reuse the bones to make chicken stock. Pork bones cooked with the meat to give rillettes extra flavor. Scoop the marrow out of beef bones for dumplings, then make stock out of the bones."

Partial to the discarded bits? One man's trash is another man's treasure in the comments.  

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Fredric Casareno

    Very fantastic info can be found on website . "Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven, and meditation the eye wherewith we see God." by Ambrose of Milan.


    October 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
  2. Heidiann

    Save the neck for me, Clark.

    August 26, 2010 at 7:52 am |
  3. Cole

    This is about making you use of what you have. Something people did for thousands of years. It is amazing how ignorant, intolerant and just plain mean so many of the people on this list are. If you don't agree just go on with your life. You're like a bunch of dogs who have to piss on every pole justto know you are alive. Sad. No offense to the dogs.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:29 am |
  4. Joe

    My mom always kept a big giant can of Crisco next to the stove. No matter what she cooked, she would afterwards take the oils and pour it right back into that can for the next time she cooked. After a couple decades, it was a pretty gnarly looking sight.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  5. bett

    I love to cook and I use various leftover fats all the time. I use full fat cheese, whole milk products, real butter, bone in chicken thighs, marbled beef. Yes, I cook this way every day. But I make lots of soups, vegetables and salads to balance the richness and I don't make, or eat, Cheesecake Factory sized servings. When food tastes really good you are satisfied with less. And no, I'm not fat or unhealthy. I'm a 56 year old woman who wears a size 4 and just had an A+ medical checkup. I'm also not naturally thin, I've been fat, about 40 lb. more than now. I lost weight by eating small portions of food I really like, not by trying to satisfy myself with rice cakes and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

    August 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Paul from Chicago

      You tell 'em bett! If people in this country would stop trying to eat enough for 4 people at each meal we would be a lot better off. I am a lean athletic 46 yrs old, and my family and I love to cook and we eat cheese, meats (mmmm bacon), ice cream, and other tasty treats all of the time; the fat always makes everything taste better...try a couple of fried eggs in bacon grease. If you eat like this and balance with fresh fruits, veggies, and salads (with very little dressing) then you can enjoy all the food life has to offer and still feel healthy and comfortable with yourself.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
      • Menage a' foie


        August 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • creditcardmaniac

      Every celebrity, tv chef will tell you the same – off camera and off the record , of course :)

      August 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  6. Kristy

    Funny comments!

    Candied fruit peels? I thought peels were loaded with pesticides.

    My mom used to make chicken stock from bone in chicken pieces. The fat would separate it and she'd skim it off. I tried to do this recently and ended up with a yellow gelatinous mess. It didn't separate. Hormones? Chemical solutions added? Any thoughts on a cause of this?

    August 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • bett

      Kristy, did you boil the stock hard or simmer it? Stock needs to be simmered gently or a lot of the fat and the scum that you would normally skim off gets dissolved in the broth. Also, refrigerated broth will often become gelatinous, it's normal.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Shannon

      Animal fats, cartilage and marrow have gelatin in them. If you refrigerate your stock, the fat and gelatin will harden on top and then you can take it off quite easily.

      You think the gelatin from chicken was bad...try making a lamb stock!

      August 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
      • bett

        Lamb stock is so solid you can cut it with a knife!

        August 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  7. RoughingIt

    As evidenced by most of these comments, so much food knowledge has been lost in just a generation or two. What a shame so few people learned from the experience of their parents and grandparents.

    August 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • R in Virginia

      My grandmother (and all her sisters) had a special ceramic container on the stove that strained & stored her leftover fat from cooking. She reused it to flavor so many things.
      Boy, that woman could make some great food. I miss her cooking so much now.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • Menage a' foie

      Thank you, so true. What the chef stated is common cooking knowledge completely lost in this generation raised on boxed, frozen, preprepared, deli "fresh", drive thru, dine in, chemically "enhanced" and supplemented, "cheese food" type fare. Cooking well at home, using proper ingredients and enjoying the art of preparing and enjoying good food in moderation is going, going...

      August 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • palermo

      We have become such a wasteful society. My mother made wonderful stocks, sauces, and soups from all of those things. We were taught not to throw food away.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  8. BoneZ

    Has anyone ever thought about frying compost?

    August 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  9. Tiff

    Basically what Amayda said. It's ridiculous how many people think this is "gross," especially using otherwise-discarded fat or bones. WTF has happened to us? I wonder how many of the people crying out that it's so unhealthy to recycle duck fat are running out for "healthy" granola bars full of HGCS and less nutritionally valuable than a Snickers bar.

    I save bacon fat, myself. Not particularly *healthy* but a little goes a long way in a dish of creamed spinach. Just a teaspoon and boy howdy it's way tastier. Better than tossing it, any day.

    And leftover mashed potatoes are by far the most useful leftovers in the kitchen. Croquettes! Shepherd's pies in individual serving sizes! And many more :)

    August 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  10. 4U Mr.

    I don't think the article itself is funny, no one should waste food, we need to consider what it takes to get it from the field/ranch to the plate, especially in America, we are very wasteful. But still, the comments are very funny, the first few made me LOL - and the office is too quiet today...

    August 25, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  11. Kathleen

    I've got no problem with using meat fat in various dishes, but it surprised me to see it in restaurant usage. Naive, huh?

    Must be tough on the vegetarians.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  12. amayda

    It is sad to see how many people found this article to be funny...At my house most of this stuff does go into the compost bin, but its nice to know that someone else has found other edible uses for it. People need to be more open minded.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  13. Les


    August 25, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  14. amateur cook

    I guess he's aware that apple cores contain cyanide.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • FlamingoGal

      I thought it was peach pits that contain a form of cyanide.

      September 3, 2010 at 2:31 am |
  15. Chef 5Head Troll-Hair

    I think he took JazzJoy's advice and rubbed the collagen from egg shells all over his face...strange lookin dude.

    Oh, and thanks Mike and Ed, I've now got an appetizer made of my own "recycled" dinner, frozen and stored away for my next dinner party. Delicious!

    August 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  16. Thomas H.


    August 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  17. Jim Bob


    August 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  18. Jonie2009

    I save the rendered fat from beef and chicken to use to make stir-fry cabbage, carrots, onions, and zuchinni. Its soooo good.

    And btw, a little fat won't hurt ya. It seems like ppl my age think that anything not prepackaged and sold at a fast food place or the food court is like unhealthy or dangerous. What could be MORE dangerous than a bunch of frozen-reheated garbage chock-full of dyes, preservatives, trans-fats, etc. prepared by someone 1000's of miles away and served to you by a stranger? gross

    August 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  19. KD

    Funny comments, but I ate at Camino not even a month ago for my cousins rehearsal dinner and man can this guy cook! Check out the reviews for his restaurant in the New York Times. Next time I am on the West coast this place will be on my list.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  20. Chef McFatFace

    We use coconut oil in our cooking. It has been demonized in America so that they can sell their zombie concoctions that are ten times worse. Its a healthy fat like Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Very good for the skin too. Research Coconut Oil and its benefits. It really adds a nice tropical taste to baked chicken and stir fry veggies ! OH YEAHHHHHH!

    August 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  21. whoarethesedumbpeople

    Where do you guys think broth that you buy at the store came from? Bones from cows/chicken leftover from the slaughter houses. Same as the trimmed fat etc...
    The only thing sort of weird are the outer leaves of veggies...sauteing them does not seems appetizing. But the comments about condom and barfing....really? Are you like 10 or something? Ignorance is bliss I guess.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • Ed

      the topic is about making good use with left overs. the first condons where made out of pig intestines. so is not really far off.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
      • Earl Hatleberg

        Ed. check your spelling.

        August 24, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
      • Shannon

        I think he's spelling it that way so Big Brother Censor Man doesn't remove the post.

        August 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      If they don't know how to spell "condom" correctly, can you expect them to know the ins and outs of cooking? I mean actual cooking, not poking holes in the shrink-wrappings of frozen dinners and popping them in the microwave....

      August 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  22. frannie84

    I save all of these and use them for cooking especially the bones of fish and other animals. Instead of cooking onions in butter, you can use drippings from lamb, beef etc... to make a nice onion soup. When you cook your own food, you can easily control the amount of fats you use - and using vegetable oil, even olive oil is still putting fat into your diet. I'm Italian and I use olive oil and animal fat depending on what I'm cooking, and since my portions aren't American sized I'm definitely getting a lot less fat (which is still required of a diet) than if I ate a meal at our local Chilli's. I usually avoid using vegetable oil myself, but most dishes people enjoy have a great deal of animal fat such as stews, curries, especially Mexican food (in addition to the fat that's already present from the meat, lard is often added), and even homemade biscuits. Bones and the marrow are definitely nice to add to soups because they give it a deep flavor, especially chicken bones and fish heads (there is so much meat on a salmon head that you can make a whole soup out of it). I would rather use animal fat sparingly than think that I'm doing the healthy thing buy dousing my stir fry in vegetable oil.
    I cook everyday and I mostly get fat in my diet from the few times a week we eat meat and the other times I use drippings when I don't have any meat or don't want to use a bouillon cube concoction. Also, if you're eating salmon sashimi you're getting a good amount of fat (though there is a differentiation between healthy and non healthy, you will still gain weight if you exceedingly ingest any kind of fat). Just keep your portions appropriate and enjoy the benefits of using every part of the animal. You're using natural ingredients when instead you would be using butter, oils and 'gravy' that may have a questionable source - not only that, but there's really no need to spend any money on gravy when you can make your own. Again, all oils are unhealthy when ingested excessively, even olive oil, and the fats that can cause build up are the saturated ones like butter and animal fat. Also, not brushing your teeth has now been linked to heart disease, so as soon as you're done enjoying your home made chicken soup, you should run to the bathroom and prevent plaque :).

    August 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • JRYDAF

      Like i'm gonna read all that

      August 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • Shannon

      Did that take you, like, an hour to write?

      August 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • Dawn

      Just because it took you an hour to read it, doesn't mean it took that long to write it.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  23. Ed

    Chef. Did you know that in transilvania. a used kotex still makes a good cup of tea?

    August 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Earl Hatleberg

      This comment is in extremely bad taste, but is none-the-less nicely prepared.

      August 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Ed

    The inside of a corn cob can be used as toilet paper. and its not bull. when no paper is around, it beats the hell out of a dusty rock.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Itchy

      @Ed: Why don't u try poison ivy for a toilet paper?

      August 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
      • Ed

        actually happened to me when i was like 7. my vote goes to the corn.

        August 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Joe

      I'm not sure I want to know what you actually DO with the corn cob... we talking in/out?

      August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
      • Dawn

        Ow! My first guess would have had something to do with spinning it around...

        August 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  25. mac

    Most oranges are from Florida. Oranges from Florida do not get nice and orange due to the light filtering of the high humidity. Therefore they are dyed orange. I can remember reports that that dye on the outside is bad for you. Any comments?

    August 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • Kitbit

      As a lifelong Floridian, I can attest that Florida oranges are orange. They may not be super bright or richly hued if there's a drought, but, they're orange.
      As a side note: California supplies a lot of the nation's oranges as well.

      August 25, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • Dawn

      That.... doesn't even make sense.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • Cole

      It's and orange orange conspiracy. Dude – you need to rethink where you get your "news" from. Seriously.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:19 am |
  26. reader123

    Best comments ever!! Enjoyed reading them.The article sucks.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  27. Ed

    With the skin of a choriso you make a condon, then after you use it. you can wash it and make another choriso. You can easily go forever.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • David

      What's a condon?

      August 25, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Dawn

      Condon is a tiny town in Eastern Oregon, out by the wind farms.
      ... there's not much there, it's not very exciting.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • academiamole

      He's also the senator who was a suspect in the disappearance/murder of Chandra Levy

      August 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  28. Steve

    Well, some of this makes sense such as using the bones to make stock and candying the citrus peels. The carrot tops and fruit cores goes into the mulch pile however. There are other ways to make use of the leftovers. I like to strain and freeze the bacon and beef fat. Full of flavor so you only need a small amount to add good flavor to green beans and other dishes and in moderation they are really not a problem if the bulk of your calorie intake is from healthy sources.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  29. CrashDaPlace

    Actually saving the fat and bioling bones for stock is something that most finer restaurants already do... Most good chef's know that... And yes, purhaps its not the HEALTHIEST way to eat, but its better for you than fast food, and tastes AMAZING... Especially roasted potatoes from Duck or Beef fat... MMMMmmmm...

    August 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  30. bondoon

    All of the green "leftovers" mentioned above go straight to my compost pile. I cook healthy meals every night (with no fatty meats and boneless chicken breasts), and that takes up enough time. Who's got more time to do stuff with the refuse created? Besides, I'd rather spread it on my lawn once the pile turns a deep rich black and then enjoy the lovely green view that grows.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  31. Bryan

    Best comments I have ever read! laughed the whole way through.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  32. jazzyjoy

    Really, all of these suggestions except the pork fat, duck fat, uses are healthy and wise use of our resources. They give us vitamins, minerals, fiber... The problems are the types of fats and amount of fats in the trimmed fat section! All of the rest of these are smart, & our great-grandmothers probably used most of these techniques. Did you know raw eggwhite rubbed up on your neck is good for a sagging skin & has collagen one of our darling expensive facial treatments ingredients? That's on of the things my grandmother taught me. Wipe out the egg shells with your fingers & gently stroke them UP on your neck. Just don't lick your fingers& do wash your hands.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  33. Chicago Cocktail Lover

    Infuse brandy for MONTHS with fruit peels? That is a terrible idea, especially with citrus peels. The pith of the peel is very bitter. Leaving the peels in brandy that long will just result in nasty tasting brandy. If you want infused bandy or any spirit, use the whole fresh fruit (not just the core and peels) and leave it for just a few days. Even the most subtle flavors only take a week or two to infuse. I can't believe the author of this article actually tried soaking peels and cores for months. If he did, and if he actually made cocktails from that bitter mess, I wouldn't care to sample his drinks.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • Just Me

      I believe that was his misguided attempt to suggest using the zest, not the peel. If you think ahead you can use a vegetable peeler to shave just the zest layer from citrus fruits before peeling the fruit itself. This only works with thicker-skinned varieties, of course, else you'll get some of the pith, which you definitely don't want!

      I agree with his suggestion to use cores. Apple and pear cores do amazing things to brandy, much more so than the whole fruit. The only exception to this would be if you were fortunate enough to have an orchard in your back yard (which I do) and the wherewithal to distill your own spirits (which I don't), in which case you could secure bottles over developing fruit and let them mature inside before you decant your brandy from the cask.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
      • EK

        According to BATFE, there is no provision in the law for home distillers because there is no way to legally distill alcohol in the home in the U.S.

        August 26, 2010 at 9:08 am |
    • EK

      He didn't suggest putting citrus in brandy, he specified apples, pears, and quince for that section. I've left apple peels in brandy for a couple years and the brandy was quite good. I've found no benefit to including the meat of the apple in brandy, other than speeding up the infusion. If you're seeking the flavor, that's fine, but if you're just looking for a way to use apple peels that would otherwise go to waste, toss 'em in the brandy.

      August 26, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  34. Jamie

    HAHA..the first comment is hilarious!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  35. poppinjaye

    Could be his diet.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  36. cmom

    Really? Save the fat? Nasty! Who cooks like that? Is that even healthy?

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • FatSean

      Nothing wrong with cooking in fat. You don't fry everything, do you? Tastes so much better than oils.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
      • BoneZ

        Seriously? If I didn't make fried potatoes about 2 to 3 times per year, I wouldn't fry ANYTHING. I definitely wouldn't add to the situation by frying potatoes in chicken fat! What's wrong with people? Food in general just doesn't taste good enough to eat unhealthy.

        August 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • smc

      People cooked with animal fat for millennia. Refined vegetable oils have only become prevalent in the past century or less.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • echo40

      People have used animal fat to cook food since the beginning of time. As long as you don't eat animal fat every day, drown everything in animal fat. it is probably healthier for you than using veg oil alone.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  37. Boom Boom Room

    Chef Nasty says: Toe nail clippings taste delish over a bed of fresh greens. Be sure to shake head vigorously so as to allow dandruff to lightly dust the tomatoes. Finish off with a booger vinagarette dressing! MMmm!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  38. Quality Pork

    Is there a reason this guy looks like a Chia Pet?

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  39. donkey pee

    And you pee can make an excellent lemonade, chill over shave ice

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Ed

      This is a good one. with the skin of a choriso you can make a condon.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  40. exsequoryingyang

    LOL: "Use pork fat in sausage or lard for cooking (it’s free!)"! Hello heart attack!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • Natch

      Yeah, didn't the fast food restaurants stop using lard, because vegetable oil is healthier? Hello??

      Of course, I do have to say that McDonald's old, lard-fried fries, were MUCH better tasting!! ;)

      August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
      • Chichi

        Yeah, but the joke was on the consumer! The vegetable oil they used (partially hydrogenated) was worse for you and your heart than animal fat ever could be!

        August 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
      • David A

        The taste of the old lard ones was not as much due to the lard but the fact that the potatoes were fresh and not frozen ones from Simplot Co.

        August 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • SrslyPpl

      The rendered fat from roasting one chicken can flavor TONS of meals– just add a bit to the oil you're already cooking with! It keeps in the fridge indefinitely, and if you roasted something with garlic and/or rosemary it'll be infused with flavor. Use about a teaspoon for every tablespoon of oil (we're talking enough to saute veggies or such) and it'll add SERIOUS taste! Same goes for bacon and beef fat– a little goes a loooong way.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      Pork fat is actually, as fats go, one of the less terrible. Obviously it's not great, but it's not a "Hello heart attack" fat. Plus it's tasty.

      August 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  41. merecat

    Great comments!!!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  42. Meaty Portion

    Don't throw out the barf, it will make a lovely pate to serve with goat cheese and chocolate.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Quality Pork

      HAHAH. Good one!

      August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • Mandi

      Haha! Love it!

      August 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • vanity

      bwahahahaha.... hilarious!

      August 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
  43. Mike

    I just barfed on my keyboard.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tristan

      HA, I just laughed out loud in the middle of a conference call

      August 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • cmom

      Okay. That was funny.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Ed

      Dont clean up, recycle. honor the topic.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • Chris

      That will make a great base for soup.

      August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
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