Cooks Exchange

Easter leftovers? Try these handy ideas

Shepherd’s Pie is an easy dish to make with Easter leftovers.
Shepherd’s Pie is an easy dish to make with Easter leftovers. MCT

The ham was great for Easter dinner and the brisket for Passover, but how do you turn leftovers into planned overs?

Both meats lend themselves well to leftovers.

Ham and cheese are a natural pair in casseroles. I like to use the leftover ham as filling for crepes or in breakfast-for-dinner ham and hash brown casserole with scrambled eggs.

Ham also works well in a layered salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and Mexican-style corn.

For the brisket, the chefs at H-E-B food stores suggest beef brisket quesadillas with pepper Jack cheese or baked potatoes filled with brisket, salsa and cheese. Brisket works well in flautas, tacos, burritos and enchiladas, which gives a spicier flavor to the leftover meat.

Leftover brisket also makes a mean Philly steak and cheese sub. Instead of thinly sliced steak, use chopped brisket with Provolone or Swiss cheese, sliced bell peppers and onions. Use any leftover brisket pan drippings or gravy to top the sub.

H-E-B chefs suggest using the brisket on a barbecued pizza. Where is H-E-B based? Texas, of course, where barbecue is king.

Check out these recipes to give a new twist to those leftover meats.

Mole sauce

Debbie Randall asked for the chimichanga recipe for the now-closed Toucan’s restaurant in Gulfport. She especially liked the brown sauce, which I suspect was a mole, a sauce made with chocolate and cinnamon.

Reader Kathy Dooley shares her recipe for a chicken mole, which uses the traditional mole ingredients.

Perhaps Randall will give it a try and see if it is close to Toucan’s.

Still looking

Randall also asked readers or former owners of the now-closed Steak-Out for the sauce/seasoning for its steak burgers. If anyone has a similar recipe or the former owners will share the recipes, please send them to me.

Jim Kerge, who lived in Biloxi in the 1960s, would like some of the Cajun and Creole recipes from the old Frenchies in Ocean Springs. He said the restaurant had the best gumbo ever.

Readers, do you remember Frenchies, and possibly have any of the recipes or know someone who worked there? If so, let me know.

Andrea Yeager can be reached at and Cooks Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.


1 pound fully cooked sliced beef brisket

20-ounce Boboli thin pizza crusts

1/2 cup Kraft Original barbecue sauce

2 cups fancy shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup whole dill pickles, chopped

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove brisket slices from refrigerator and coarsely chop on cutting board.

Pour leftover sauce from brisket into a 1 cup measuring cup. Add additional sauce to make 1 cup. Stir.

Spread a 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce on pizza crust. Arrange brisket over sauce (about 1 cup on each pizza).

Sprinkle cheese, onion and pickles evenly over each pizza. Bake 15‑20 minutes, directly on oven rack, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes, cut and serve.

From H-E-B Cooking Connection


Traditional crepe batter (recipe follows)

8 slices cooked ham

12-ounce can asparagus spears, drained or use cooked fresh asparagus, which I prefer

White sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/4 cups milk

Salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Parsley to garnish

Crepe batter:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch salt

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups milk

For the crepe batter: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add egg and half of the milk. With a whisk or wooden spoon, slowly stir the flour into the liquid mixture. While stirring, add more liquid until the consistency is that of cream. When all liquid is added, beat or whisk to remove all lumps. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into preheated skillet or crepe pan. Cook both sides on low heat until lightly browned. Makes 6-8 crepes.

Prepare crepes and set aside.

For the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook over a low heat stirring for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook the sauce over a low heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Stir into the sauce. On each crepe, place a slice of ham and spread the filling over the center, then roll up. Place in an oven-proof dish and cover with a lid or foil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20-225 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.

From ‘T-FAL Perfect Crepes Recipe Book’


1 10-ounce bag mixed salad greens

6 medium plum tomatoes, chopped, about 2 cups

1 11-ounce can Mexican corn with the red and green peppers, drained

2 cups cubed (1/2 inch) cooked ham

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend


1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/4 cup taco sauce

2 tablespoons honey

In 5-quart glass bowl or 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, spread salad greens.

Layer remaining salad ingredients except cheese over the greens.

In small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Spread dressing evenly over salad. Sprinkle cheese over dressing. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours before serving. Makes 8 cups salad.

From ‘Pillsbury Simple Summer Recipes


1 teaspoon oil

2 pounds beef brisket, cubed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup onion, chopped

1 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups beef broth, reduced sodium

8-ounce can chopped tomatoes

2 cups frozen peas, thawed or frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

2 cups frozen carrots, thawed, or frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

6-8 cups mashed potatoes, leftover or instant

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in 2-quart saucepan. Add onions, garlic and bay leaves. Cook 3-4 minutes until veggies are soft. Add brisket and heat through.

Dust all with flour and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the broth and cook 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Add the tomatoes, simmer 5 minutes.

Add peas, carrots and parsley. Transfer to either a 9-by-13-inch casserole pan or a large casserole dish. Spread top with the mashed potatoes. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, finely chopped

1 pound tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 hot chile peppers, minced

Ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, grated

1/2 lime, juiced

1 bunch chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes, stir in tomatoes and spices until they release all their juice. Stir in the hot chile peppers, 1 teaspoon cilantro, black pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 10 minutes to thicken.

Add chicken breasts to the skillet along with the oregano, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaf, chocolate and lime juice. Simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through. Chicken breasts should have an internal temperature of 170 degrees when fully cooked.

Remove bay leaf and serve chicken breasts smothered in sauce. Garnish with addition fresh parsley or cilantro.

Submitted by Kathy Dooley