Posts Tagged ‘risotto’

A Collaborative Effort

Veggie Risotto

Though it didn’t start out that way, this week’s Meatless Monday dinner ended up being an incongruous amalgamation of several ideas and recipes.

Firstly, I wanted something relatively quick that wouldn’t heat up the kitchen too much.  That immediately put my original plan of revisiting last week’s awesome potato salad out of the running because the spuds needed to be oven roasted.

Next, I considered peas because I’d spent all that time shucking 2 quarts of them on Sunday, so I might as well use them before they went bad.

From there my mind wandered to risotto, and initially settled on a light spring pea and parmagiano version.

But before long I started to recall the delightfully nutty braised fennel I’d made courtesy of a Serious Eats recipe (initially sampled for a pared down version of the pizza minus anisette cream, which by the way makes one outstanding pie!).

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Culinary Repurposing Is The Name Of The Game

Dinner #1

I’ve never really been a big fan of leftovers.

I’m not sure why that is, but during my formative pre-divorce years, I don’t recall my family ever really eating them.  However, I remember surprisingly little from that period of my life.

Once I started living with my Dad though, leftovers became more frequent, but were usually transformed into something unrecognizable from the original meal.  Extra roasted chicken would morph into chicken a la king.  Oodles of spaghetti sauce became the basis for some seriously sloppy joes.  An abundance of mashed potatoes could either be combined to create fishcakes or the crust for a personal nemesis (shepherd’s pie).  Even though he had a penchant for scorching food and would probably be the first to admit that he wasn’t a very good cook, my Dad always managed to put enough creative energy into feeding us to ensure that nothing was ever wasted, yet our tastebuds wouldn’t be bored.

And yet somehow, over the years I’ve still only occasionally bothered to reinvent my leftovers into new meals.  More often than not I only cook enough for the Everyman and I, or when I’m cooking something slightly larger (like soups, beans or lasagnas) I just freeze the rest until I feel like eating it again.  It doesn’t really help that I don’t care for the taste of meat once it’s cooled (particularly poultry) which is a quirk I cannot explain but developed when I was a small child.  As best I can describe it, the food tastes like “fridge” to me after it’s cold and has always held little to no appeal for revisiting afterwards.  Inevitably, it just ends up hanging out at the back of the fridge until I remember to throw it out.

But obviously that’s wasteful, not to mention incredibly stupid.

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