When I was younger, and my dad was away at sea and my brothers had gone out for the evening, my mother and I would sometimes take it easy from dinner preparation for one night and do something quick and dirty with the leftovers we had in the fridge. Now that I’m a grown-up, it’s the perfect thing to cobble together on nights when the Pie is out of town and all I want to do is plant my butt on the couch with a beer and watch the game. You just need three things: leftover spaghetti sauce (the chunkier the better), cheese, and rice cakes (this also works on pita, na’an, and any other form of flat bread).
Heat up the sauce a bit and grate some cheese.
Gren has realized I have the cheese grater out.
Gren is trying to inhale the cheese from where he’s standing. I love it when he wrinkles up his face like that because I know if he could see himself doing it he’d be totally embarrassed.
Line a baking sheet with parchment, move your oven rack to the middle, and turn on your broiler (don’t move it to the top or you will simply set all this on fire). Place your rice cakes(or flatbread) on the baking sheet. Top the rice cakes with your warm sauce.
Add grated cheese. Give some to your dog or he won’t go away. To make it less sad singleton, I added some fresh basil out of the garden and that made me feel a little less lazy and pathetic.
Broil until the cheese is melted to your satisfaction.
The Pie wanted a curry for dinner on Sunday night, so, because I like him and stuff, I made him one. Didn’t have all the ingredients I wanted (like fresh herbs, for one), but it turned out all right. It’s a good curry for cleaning out your fridge. But most curries are, of course.
I chopped up a bunch of vegetables, all nice and thin so they would cook quickly: carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and tiny potatoes.
Cube up as well some chicken breasts. Remember that you can cut meat with more accuracy (like thinner slices or smaller cubes) if the meat is still slightly frozen at the time. Not totally frozen (because that will ruin your knives), but still firm and icy.
Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a pan on high and drop in the chicken to brown.
Add in some spices, to taste. I added in here some garlic, ginger, and yellow curry, then added in extra cumin, corriander, and turmeric. I would have added cardamom as well but I didn’t have any.
When the chicken has browned but not completely cooked through, reduce the heat and add a can of coconut milk.
Bring the milk to a simmer and add in your vegetables, and cook until the veggies are as tender as you like them.
Serve over na’an with a dollop of plain yogurt or raita for cooling purposes.
Our vegetarian experiment is drawing to a close, and I hadn’t yet made a curry. I also had a lot of vegetables in my refrigerator that needed using. In addition, I wanted to take advantage of my new stainless steel compost bin from Lee Valley and cut up a bunch of vegetables. Hoorah.
I got the inspiration to make my own curried quinoa from fellow WordPress food blogger Lindsay at The Food Operas.
Dice up a medium onion, three medium carrots, three carrot-sized parsnips, a head of broccoli, a red pepper, and two stalks of celery.
In a large saucepan (preferably one with a wide bottom), heat up some olive oil and chuck in your vegetables. Cook until tender.
Pour in two large handfuls of quinoa, together with a can of coconut milk and a few tablespoons each of red curry paste and minced garlic (I like the stuff that comes in jars). Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Before serving, add a dash of tamari or soy sauce and some garlic chili sauce to taste.