Note to vegetarians (Kathi): Lot of meat mentioned below! LOL
Some of my favorite foods taste even better, to me, when they're either reheated the next day, or the day after that, or when they're cold after being in the refrigerator overnight.
Now I know a lot of people like munching on leftovers, but I often get some strange looks when I share that I like to eat a lot of my leftovers cold. Is it just me? Really?
I come from a large nuclear family: dad, mom, five kids. And I come from a culture where it's important that there's always enough food, even if unexpected company should happen to show up — like when one of us would ask a friend over for dinner; or my dad would bring home some young airmen (he was a senior master sergeant), who were usually from Guam and hadn't had a real home-cooked meal in forever; or if a relative happened to drop by right before dinnertime. So dinner had an abundance of food, to make sure all bases were covered — that hungry kids got seconds or guests had enough to fill their plate and satisfy their appetites.
That usually meant that there were leftovers, which we'd either sneak late at night, or have for breakfast or lunch the next day.
Now sometimes, I think you really need to reheat leftovers. Spaghetti and chili both taste better the next day, after they are reheated. Soup, of course, needs to be served hot. But for most other foods, that's not the case, at least to me.
My favorite leftovers, like revenge, best served cold:
• Fried porkchops. God I love a cold piece of fried pork or three, along with some rice (hot or leftover).
• Fried chicken. I actually think fried chicken is BETTER cold than it is hot, but that's just me. On the rare occasions when I get KFC takeout, I usually just get a box of chicken (their sides suck ass, except the red rice, which is ONLY served in Guam KFCs ... unless there's one in the CNMI; I'm not sure if there is one there). But I don't eat it as soon as I come home. Instead, I take the box (sometimes the bucket) and put it in the fridge for several hours, to get it nice and chilled. Mmm ....
• Chamorro barbecue. Whether it's spare ribs, short ribs or chicken, I'll take it all nice and cooled down.
• Steak. The first time I ever had my own steak was about age 15 or so, at a Sizzler. In my house, it made more sense to buy those giant steaks that weighed about three pounds a piece. We'd soak them in a marinade made of soy sauce and vinegar, spiced with black pepper and onions. Then we'd grill them up and slice them into strips about an inch wide. Much cheaper and more efficient for a large family. And damn did they taste extra good the next day.
• Roast beef. Is there anything better than making your own big sammiches (hoagies, heroes, submarine sandwiches, whatever you want to call it) out of thick slices of cold, homemade roast beef the day after enjoying the same meat hot with gravy and mashed potatoes? Not to me there isn't. God those sammiches taste divine!
• Grilled beef brisket. My dad would slice brisket into thin little strips, soak them in marinade and grill them up. It was almost like beef jerky, though not anywhere near as tough. And the next day, these little strips of heavenly cow meat were simply divine!
So what did I have for dinner tonight (last night, for you folks reading this in the a.m., stateside time)? I bought one of those supermarket rotisserie chickens that are already cooked and brought it home ... then stuck it in the fridge for two hours so I could enjoy it leftover-style.