If you hosted a barbecue yesterday, thank you for serving our great citizens — that is truly patriotic. Other things I believe to be patriotic: eating leftovers. I mean you shaped the patties and scouted out the best sausages yourself, might as well put them to good use. That sounded more patriotic before I wrote it down.

So you have a leftover burger. Rather than buy a pack of 8 buns because they only come in packs of 8, use one or two for the burgers and then have no use for the other 6 before they go stale, whip up a loco moco — Hawaii’s favorite comfort food and answer to any who “enjoyed themselves” a little too much last night. Cook rice, gently reheat patty to avoid drying it out, top with a fried egg and gravy and you’re golden. No bun, and you get a fried egg. Loco enough for you?

Next is something I tried out last night in a state that produces many cooks’ somewhat weird but also genius dishes: uh…nope, I have no idea what to call it. I stuffed some of our famous goat cheese and asparagus macaroni salad into a ring mold and pressed down a layer of crumbled leftover grilled sausage that I tossed with some red onions and diced red and green peppers. I lifted the ring mold and invented the sausage and peppers and macaroni salad …tartare? Terrine? Stack? Something like that. It was really delicious, in any case.

So don’t let those leftovers hang out too long, I just shared an original “drunken mess dish that works.” That’s a rare occurrance.  

More leftovers for lunch on Food Republic: