We all have to do our part to end America’s food waste addiction, right? Some 40% of food grown and prepared in this country gets tossed. Putting aside our growing problem with hunger and food insecurity, that food waste means the water, land, energy and labor that went into producing it all does to waste too.
But beyond the resources, we need to see food waste as — I’m going to use the ‘S’ word — a sin. All cultures bless food, either before or after eating it. There’s plenty of anthropological evidence that the idea of blessing, prayer and religion began, in fact, around food. So trashing food is throwing away your blessings, literally. People act more from emotion, from feeling, than from thinking. And you should feel lousy next time you scrape your leftovers into the garbage.
That fat you skim from the top of your chicken soup is a good place to start feeling better. I toss it with par-boiled potatoes, salt and pepper and oven-roast it. Instead of greasy waste, you’ll end up with the best-roasted potatoes you’ve ever had. And you’ll feel good.
Top-of-the-chicken soup schmaltz-roasted potatoes
4-5 potatoes, scrubbed (unpeeled), sliced into cubes or wedges
fat skimmed from the top of the chicken soup
olive oil or additional oil if needed
2 fresh or dried bay leaves (optional)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a quart of water to a boil. Toss in potatoes and boil until barely beginning to soften, about 7 minutes.Drain the potatoes and let dry. Toss with shmaltz that you’ve skimmed from cooled chicken soup. (Butcher shops and some markets may offer chicken fat for sale too). If there’s not enough fat, supplement with oil
Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer, add salt and pepper and bay leaf, and roast until brown and crispy, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to crisp on all sides. Remove and serve hot! Makes 4 servings.
This article was originally published on the Forward.