Sunday, October 2, 2016

Well, Here's the Experiment..... Clean out the Kitchen!!

I decided this week to do everything I could to use up the things I have in my house, rather than go to the grocery store.  So, except for soy milk, I am not going to the store this week.  It's a week of experimenting.

I went through all the cupboards and the freezer and the refrigerator to figure out what I have and it's going to be an exciting week.

Oh, using stuff from the garden is totally acceptable.

I've been thinking about doing this for a time, and now seemed like the perfect opportunity.  
the first dish that came from my experiment, was a bit of a mix.  We had Vietnamese pho the other night and I had some rice noodles left over that I wanted to use.  

Chicken, Mushroom, and Eggplant Saute over Rice Noodles

3 tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
8 oz. of crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
6 large cloves of garlic sliced thinly,
1 small eggplant, (about 1 1/2 cup), diced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 chicken breasts diced in 1 inch cubes
3/4 c. of white wine
8 ounces of medium width rice noodles
1 1/2 tsp of smoky paprika

grated romano cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, and add the onion and the crimini mushrooms, saute until the onions are golden and the mushrooms have started to give up their liquid.  Add 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper, or 1/4 tsp of pepper.  Add the garlic, and let it saute until it takes on a golden color as well. Stir in the chicken pieces and cook until done, Add the eggplant and the cherry tomato halves and saute until the tomatoes have broken down and the eggplant is tender.  

Meanwhile, boil water in a large saucepan, turn off the heat and soak the rice noodles until they are tender.  

Once the eggplant is tender, add the smoky paprika, and adjust the taste by adding any salt or pepper.  
After you drain the rice noodles, add them to the chicken and vegetable mix.  

Place about 1/4 of the mixture in a pretty bowl, and sprinkle with grated romano cheese.  Serves 4

My husband who was skeptical really enjoyed it.  

Today's dish from the stuff in the house is a green bean gratin.  

Green Bean and Tomato Gratin

2 tbs. sunflower oil
1 lb. of green beans washed and trimmed
1/2 small yellow onion, finally diced
1 shallot, sliced thinly
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly 
3 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 tbs. Trader Joe's Every Day Seasoning (This is the best stuff in the world. It contains sea salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, coriander, onion, garlic, paprika, and chili pepper.)  It's super on everything.  
1 c. panko 
2 tbs. olive oil

Heat the sunflower oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the green beans and saute until they are tender, but still have a bite to them.  Add the onion, shallot, and garlic and continue to saute until they are tender.  Add 1 tbs. of the TJ's Every Day Seasoning, and saute for another minute.  

Adjust with salt and pepper and then place into a lightly greased casserole dish.  I use an oval dish.  Take the roma tomatoes and layer them over the green beans.

Heat the olive oil in the same medium skillet and add the panko.  Toast the panko lightly and then spread over the top of the tomatoes.  

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the tomatoes are bubbly and the panko is golden.  

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