Sometimes I’m organized enough to know what I’m going to make for dinner. In fact, there are actual
weeks days when I even have a meal plan. I know, crazy idea, right?
But lately those days seem so far away and I consider it a success if I remember to pull something out of the freezer and not leave it in the microwave ‘thawing’ over night (that may have happened last week with some rather rank chicken).
When I was a kid, I don’t remember ever having a meal plan, or any type of schedule, like Monday is Spaghetti night, Tuesday is meat loaf, that some of my friends had. But I do remember my mom opening the cupboard doors, assessing the situation with a keen eye and then whipping together some culinary masterpiece. It was like our own version of Chopped*. What’s in the basket?
**(Disclaimer: I totally made up that list of ingredients, so they really have no bearing on my mother’s culinary abilities which, I assure you, are much more inspired than that.)
So, coming from such a creative culinary background, you would think I would have much more refined skills in this area. Well, I don’t. My skills as pulling together a meal from random ingredients are hit or miss. Last night, however, we had a hit.
I was feeling very proud of myself because I’d remembered to pull chicken breasts out of the freezer with enough time for them to partially thaw before dinner. But that was as far as I got. When it came time to actually prepare dinner, I had no clue. SO…it was time to play Chopped -Monday Night Family Edition.
Looking in the fridge, I spotted a jar of peanut sauce, (the lid was only kind of dried shut) and some salsa (who doesn’t have that?). I looked at my half dead cilantro plant on the counter, and thought, “I can work with this.” I mixed up my concoction and smothered the still frosty chicken with it. No time to thaw, the clock was ticking.
Time for the side dishes…No time for rice. (Everyone knows rice won’t cook fully during a Chopped episode) I grabbed some rice noodles from the depth of the pantry (probably not too stale) and digging through the fridge for some vegetables, managed to find a red pepper and some (mostly) salvageable bok choy.
Incidentally, this is what happens when Bok Choy has been in the fridge too long….
Anyway, the final result (sorry no picture) was actually really good. But that didn’t stop the judges from chiming in with their commentary.
Hubby: “Good flavors, but I’m not sure about the noodles.”
Boy: “I agree. I think I would have liked less noodles.”
Girl: “Well…(waving hand elaborately over her plate) I like everything about this dish. It works.”
And there you have it…Chopped – Monday Night Family Edition.