That full pot of mashed potatoes? It can become a batch sheet of croquettes the next day. Cranberry sauce? Add a meringue and it lives a second life as a tart dessert. Chef Marc Murphy tells The Wall Street Journal that leftovers inspire him, because of their malleability in going from main to supporting role (or the opposite). It all depends on the ingredients you have at hand. To make like Marc, a few basic tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not store warm leftovers. This common misstep can breed bacteria; instead, you can store them in the fridge uncovered until they have cooled, then put them in Tupperware as you normally would.
  • Keep a distinctive cheese at hand. Murphy says “truffled pecorino cheese can add oomph to mashed potatoes or a torta made with leftover Brussels sprouts.”
  • Throw a leftovers party. This will help ensure you won’t be dealing with leftovers for more than a day or two.

[via The Wall Street Journal]