How can I use up buffet sandwiches?

We’ve had a “clever idea” email from Jos, telling us about their personal battle against food waste at work:

This sounds so cheap but I regularly “steal” the last of the sandwiches after meetings at work because they’d go in the bin if I didn’t take them. I eat some fresh, freeze others to eat later and grill the cheese ones. I rarely make my own sarnies these days!

Ah yes, free lunches. I used to organise academic conferences & courses as part of my job and the scavenger in me loved the leftover buffet. The best I managed was a very fancy meeting which included both sushi & steak (in too-big-to-be-easy-finger-food pieces, so very little was eaten). Later on in my buffet foraging career though, the catering people started getting more aggressive about health & safety and we weren’t allowed to take anything unless we could promise it would be eaten immediately — and that is something to consider when taking sandwiches or whatever: they’ve already been out of a fridge for several hours so some fillings may already be getting a bit past it. Consume at your own risk.

Assuming they’re still good though, I like Jos’ idea of grilling some of them and certain flavours may lend themselves to being made into an interesting bread and butter pudding (perhaps not egg mayo but we used to get wacky fillings like cream cheese & strawberry, which would be quirky but not insane in a pudding).

Anyone else a buffet womble? Do you eat them fresh or revamp them?

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2 Responses to “How can I use up buffet sandwiches?”

  1. Linda says:

    I think I’d always cook (sandwich press) versus eating fresh as you don’t know about the hygiene of all the people pawing them beforehand.
    I think layering them in an oven dish, pouring on a pasta bake or cheese sauce and baking to kill any nasties could be a good method. Some bits will be interesting, like the lettuce but only unusual, not actually bad.
    If it doesn’t work out then feed your chickens! (get some work chooks?) Bonus of chooks is the H&S people are happy.
    Love leftovers of all styles!!

  2. Melinda says:

    Buffet food at my school, when we have special faculty events, has a variety of futures. Sometimes we notify the behind-the-scenes, and thus easily-forgotten members of our staff- the custodians- that there is something that they are welcome to share. Sometimes we pack it up and put it in the fridge for the next day- where it also runs the danger of being victims of out of sight out of mind. And on some occasions, when everyone has had their chance and things certainly aren’t getting better, I’ll bring it home for the chickens. (They have a special appetite for pasta!)

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