Friday, March 5, 2010

What's for Dinner? It's Friday Night and There's Nothing in the Fridge!

Depending on your grocery day, the night before (in our case - Friday) proves to be a bit of a challenge when it comes to producing a meal at dinner time.

This time, I took all the scrap greens from our fridge and made a lovely soup from them: collard green stems, 1/2 broccoli and spinach. I also included 1 sweet potato and 1/2 a cauliflower head for a smoother, less 'gritty' texture. Once they simmered in chicken stock and water with a floral bay leaf, I blended the lot with the hand blender. A bit of cream and milk, some butter, seasoning and viola!

For a side dish, I made a bit of a junkie version of a 'fettuccine Alfredo'. Now, this was neither made with fettuccine, or a proper Alfredo sauce, but this is the closest thing I can relate it to.
I cooked a large shell pasta until just short of al-dente. (They finish cooking in the oven).
I made a cheese sauce starting with a roux (butter and flour cooked together and lightly browned) then added some heated milk, s&p and a bit of Chicago seasoning. Once off heat, I stirred in some grated Romano and Parmesan cheese because I didn't have the classic cheddar or Gouda. With a bit of sour cream, a tbs of cream cheese and minced garlic, I folded in the drained pasta and returned everything to the cheese sauce pan and into the oven for a final browning for 30 minutes. Halfway through I added some buttered bread crumbs, as I often do with gratinated pasta casseroles. It makes me feel like a bit of a 'Leave it to Beaver' type of housewife. There's something wonderful about participating in one of those traditions that have been practiced by my Grandma and long before - for good reason.

Not bad for having 'nothing to work with.'

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