Something Out Of Not Much
6:00 PM, Saturday night: Despite having an 8:30 PM reservation to one of Los Angeles' most beloved restaurants (Sona- to which neither of us had ever been), J and I found ourselves in a heap on the sofa, exhausted from running around in unusually muggy weather all day. We got into the do-you-wanna-go-well-I-don't-care-what-do-you-wanna-do? conversations which basically made us realize that a pricey restaurant like Sona should be saved for a time when we were totally feeling it. J tuned into the Raider game while I stared glumly into the refrigerator (I know mom- I shouldn't stand in front of the fridge with the door open!) wondering what to make. Since I'd assumed we'd go out for dinner I hadn't really done my grocery shopping, I was looking at a few veggies in the drawer, plus an array of condiments, some random nubs of cheese and one baked chicken breast that sat alone in a Tupperware. Not very promising.
Upon further investigation (read: I looked in the freezer) I found a badly beaten up Whole Foods ready-made pizza crust that was bent out of shape and hiding underneath bags of frozen corn and a bottle of vodka. At least I had a jumping off point now! I took it out, saw that it was intact and let it thaw back into its normal flat shape on a cutting board.
Since I didn't have any marinara or pizza sauce, I decided to do a kind of white pizza with what I had. After combining some sour cream, grated parmesan, grated gruyere, 1 egg yolk, lots of cracked black pepper and chopped basil into a paste, I spread it onto the thawed crust all the way to the edge, then covered the whole thing in thinly sliced zucchini which I'd salted and drained. Dinner was starting to come together! A grating of parmesan finished up the "flatbread" as I like to call it, and I popped it in the oven.
I was lucky enough to have one ear of corn and one gigantic tomato which came together, with some basil, to form a simple salad. Then I took the lone chicken breast and made a chicken salad and thinly sliced what I had left of a baguette to serve with it. I normally don't do the carb/carb dinner combo, but it seemed to make sense!
So, this is the dinner that came out of having to create something with what was there, and it turned out pretty well!
I think I'll try to do this more often- instead of buying more groceries, just try and create a meal out of what's already there. It forces you to be creative, and is a good way to use up leftovers.
What's in your pantry/fridge?