5@5 - What to do with all your grilled leftovers
July 1st, 2011
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.

We admit it - there are far worse problems in the world than having too much grilled goodness around, but by Tuesday, even the most dedicated cooker-out can get sick of Sunday's ribs. Luckily, chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito Restaurants is here to help you transform leftover chicken, shrimp, steak, vegetable and pork drudgery into a festive second-chance feast.

And yep - he's sharing recipes to boot.

Five Ways to Use Grilled Leftovers: Patricio Sandoval

1. Grilled Chicken to the Mole Taquiza
"Simple grilled chicken allows you to build flavor for next day dishes that can be even better than the original. When I make a batch of mole, I freeze the leftover to use the day after. Shred leftover grilled chicken and simmer low in a slow cooker with the mole recipe below. Serve the dish as a taquiza (or celebration of tacos) where traditionally people stand around the grill or the table with tortillas in hand ready to make their own tacos with sides of salsas, onion and cilantro."

2. Grilled shrimp kabobs to camarón ceviche
"While a traditional ceviche is made with raw seafood that cooks in an acid of lime juice, you can use the same flavors with leftover seafood for a light, refreshing starter. At Mercadito, our camarón ceviche changes seasonally but always features a unique twist using different fruit components such as pineapple or, in this recipe, orange and lemon juice. This refreshing dish is made with tomatillo pico de gallo and cubed grapefruit and oranges – perfect for summer. The smoky flavor of shrimp from the grill is the perfect complement to the hint of spice from the broth and the bright flavors from the fresh citrus."

3. BBQ ribs to BBQ torta
"Ribs are one of the greatest barbecue dishes to make a fantastic second day sandwich. Remove all of the meat from the ribs and roughly chop the meat into bite-size pieces. Re-sauce the meat with extra BBQ sauce and place on traditional Mexican torta bread called 'bolillo' for the perfect sandwich bread that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Use the additional traditional Southern side of coleslaw right on top of the meat and then press the sandwich on a griddle."

4. Grilled vegetables to rajas tacos
"Grilled vegetables are a great side to any barbecue protein, but leftover peppers can create a delicious and filling vegetarian taco as well. Use leftover chile poblanos or 'rajas' with black bean hash, crema fresco and crispy potatoes for a dish where you won’t miss the meat!"

5. Skirt steak to the Mexican Cobb salad
"Skirt steak is a great barbecue dish to use cold the next day on a robust salad. What I refer to as 'The Mexican Cobb' uses the steak to top off a salad of fresh romaine lettuce, corn, red cabbage, jicama, black beans, hard boiled egg, tomatillo pico de gallo and queso fresco vinaigrette."

Ceviche Camaron
shrimp, orange, grapefruit, tomatillo pico de gallo

Yields: 4 servings


5 oz. medium to small shrimp, peeled
4 tbsp tomatillo pico de gallo (recipe follows)
6 oz. tomato juice
1 oz. oranges, cut into small cubes
1 oz. grapefruit, cut into small cubes
3 oz. orange juice
2 tsp buffalo classical sauce
1 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp honey, if needed
3 tbsp ketchup
Salt to taste

1. In a medium pot, place water, lemon juice, and salt let boil. Add shrimp let sit in boiling water for 2 min, take it out and set aside.
2. In a bowl, stainless steel preferably, place all liquid ingredients and with a whisk mix well.
3. When ready to serve, mix in shrimp, pico, and fruit cubes to liquid. Taste the liquid and balance acidity/sweetness/spiciness.

Tomatillo Pico de Gallo


2 cups tomatillo, medium diced
1 cups red onions, medium diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Making sure tomatillo is more visible than the red onion.

*If there is pico de gallo left over, it can be refrigerated for about 1 week.

Mole Poblano Sauce

4 ea. mulato chiles
3 ea. ancho chiles
3 ea. pasilla chiles
2 ea. chipotle mecco, dried
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 clove
5 allspice
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup plum tomatoes, roasted
1/2 cup tomatillo, roasted
2 ea. garlic cloves, fired in pork fat
1/8 tsp coriander
2 tsps raisins, fried in pork fat
1 tsps chile seeds, toasted
2 tsps peanuts, fried in pork fat
4 tbsps sesame seeds, fried in pork fat
1/2 cup almonds, unpeeled and fried in pork fat
2 tbsps pumpkin seeds, fried in pork fat
1 ea. tortillas, fried in pork fat
1 1/2 bread sticks, fried in pork fat
1 ea. plantain, ripe fried in pork fat
1 cup pork fat
1 cup chicken stock
1 ea. chocolate abuelita tablets

In a pot, fry and reconstitute chiles in hot water; blend together with enough water to make a smooth puree, making sure it is not too watery.

In saucepan, add 1 tbsp pork fat; fry rosemary and thyme, once fried, remove and add chile puree. Cook chile puree by moving it constantly with a wooden spatula, making sure it is not burning on bottom; cook until really dry. Once it is done, set aside.

Blend cloves, all spice, cinnamon, and coriander, with roasted tomatillos, roasted tomatoes and toasted chile seeds.

Separated from the mixture above, blend peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds together, adding chicken stock to make a smooth puree, reserve.

Separated from the mixture above, blend tortillas, bread, and plantains together with chicken stock to make a smooth puree, reserve. In total there will be three different blended mixtures.

Put chile puree back on stove, add tomato and spices puree (first blended mixture) and stir with a wooden spatula; cook for 5 minutes then add nut mixture, combine well, cook for 10 minutes.

Add tortilla, bread, plantain mixture and cook for 10 minutes while mixing well. Add chocolate and cook 1 1/2 hours while stirring constantly, making sure it does not stick to bottom. If mixture is too thick add chicken stock, if it is too water let cook longer. Its consistency has to be one of a thick, yet pourable sauce.

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.

See all our best grilling advice at Grilling 101

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Dishes • Fourth of July • Grilling • Holiday • Holidays • July 4th • Leftovers • Make • Think

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. American meth-head in Ogden,ut

    I think someone is trying to GET ME!!! I can see people walking all around the outside of my house when I peek through the blinds !!! Im scared !! I need to go twizzle another pizzle ........

    July 3, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  2. duhd

    4th of july. as american as holidays come. somehow all the left overs turn into mexican food. dont ask me how that happened.

    July 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • mark

      yeah, what's up with that?

      July 4, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  3. Nathalie

    Leftovers? Ha!! Who has leftovers when we grill? :)

    July 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  4. billie

    poor thing you

    July 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  5. American meth-head in Ogden,ut

    Im so hungry ,i have'nt eatin anything in two weeks !! All i've done is smoke meth!! Smoke meth and smoke more meth n i think some ones watching my house from across the street so i cant leave the house to get any food !!!!

    July 2, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  6. BBQ King

    What are leftovers? My food is so good,there is never anything leftover.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  7. pig skin

    Ribs are the best meat for left overs, throw them in the oven and they taste almost as good as fresh, sometimes even better, something about the fat which protects them from getting overcooked.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
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