Friday, November 26, 2010

fancy schmancy pantry drink: seasonal harvest punch of deliciousness

This is hella fun over the holidays
I like a nice libation. In fact I am known to in flusher times have 2 or 3 varieties of fizzy drink, a bottle of something I have never tried, like pinaepple aloe juice or whateva and an ice matte latte or three to offer myself and impress my guests.   An assortment of drinks makes me feel rich.  At verrrry least I like to add some lime to a pitcher of ice cold water in the fridge. Get into it.

I inherited an orange from the reception bowl at some hotel my friend was staying in and the rest was randomly in my pantry.

from pantry:
a few sticks of cinnamon
an apple juice juice box
one can of sprite
one can of soda water

add on
half small carton of mulling spice 1.95

total cost: 1.95
(relatively expensive for a pantry raid punch but WORTH IT)

ok basically we are recreating apple cider but cutting it with sprite and soda water so it is lighter and crisper on the palate. Those mulling spices are intense people use em in wine and hot toddies but in this it makes the drink taste fa-bu-lously exotic without the heaviness and dryness you get with regular apple cider or mulled drinks.
Ingredients in there were cinnamon, cloves, sugar, orange peel and some other thing i cant remember.

basically throw in the mulling spice, the juice box and the fizzies to taste. Float orange slices in there and the cinnamon sticks.
pour over ice OR
pour over a glass of bourbon whiskey on the rocks. Yummtastic

vegetarian rice a roni hippie dippie food bowl

Ok put on your hemp t shirt and ergonomic sandals made of pleather and alfalfa fiber,  and slap on the all natural geode deodorant.  This version of pantry raiding takes the vegetarian eastwest trend by its dreadlocks and actually uses the practice of pantry raiding to show you how rice bowls are basically a pantry raid anyhow.
Another subletter another radically bare pantry left me with the following ingredients:

From pantry:
One frozen soy nugget
a bag of knorrs chicken rice and pasta side dish
a half bag of trader joes broccoli and green bean mix
big fat raisins
a bag of walnut halves
siracha (obviously)

add ons: none
total cost : $0

Ok so basically i channelled all those rice bowls my actor slash musician friends subject me to at vegetarian restaurants that present a pseudo eastern pseudo mediatrraneaun semi middle eastern flavor in what is essentially a risotto with veggie staples on top (soy, wheat gluten, tempeh etc) and dressed up with some kind of eastern take on ranch dressing (goddess dressing, creamy lemon whateva sauce, etc)

So if you want a more hippy dippy version of this dish stir in some ranch sauce with capers and extra garlic and voila.

For this, I threw the trader joe's bean, pea, and brocc mix (which had some butter and cheese type of things in it so the ranch was not necessary) and stir fried it up. Then i threw in the one sad about to be freezer burned soy nugget and heated that too.  Meanwhile the rice-pasta thing which normally tastes a bit like hospital food on its own, I amped by throwing in the big fat raisins to the mix for a nice lil juicy semi moroccan feel.  When the rice was done I put it in a bowl. topped it with the beans and the lone soy nigget, drizzled in siracha and added a handful of walnuts.

All these textures in one bowl felt very restauranty (and by restaurant I mean vegetarian place where white people with dreadlocks and chinese tattoos are the servers and  that sells rice bowls for 9 or 10 bucks.)

Tasted so much better because it was FREE

Sunday, November 29, 2009

lemon rosemary salsa pasta with grilled chicken on top rescued from dinner

So Julian brought me a couple of DELICIOUS roasted lemon chicken breasts from whatever fabulous party he had catered that day which prompted a beautiful exploration of how to combine salsa sauce and pasta sauce (i had about a third of a bottle of each in fridge) as well as finally use the giant sprig of rosemary that has been sitting in the crisper for oh, 2 years.

from pantry:
rosemary sprig thing and actual rosemary in it
salsa sauce
marinara pasta sauce

add ons
lemon chicken breast from Julian's gourmet cooking. could be any leftover chicken thing you have


the fun part is the i combined salsa sauce and leftover pasta sauce to make the sauce with a tiny splash of sriracha and then took the rosemary and used that to tie the flavors together. It was actually delish!! the lemon with rosemary added to spicy tomato base PERFECT. This pic uploaded sideways. you get the idea though. didnt add any additional seasoning because salsa sauce took care of that.

Raid your friend's pantry

Yeah one thing i have learned is that if you visit your friend who is probably also part of the poverty jet set like you and me, on the day before they travel to an out of town gig or go visit their parents in Australia or go cat sit at their friend's beverly hills pad for  a week, you can raid their pantry of perishables.  Just go :"should I take your milk and eggs and cheese or whatever? I dont mind taking them off your hands so they don't go bad". sounds like you are doing them a favor but actually you get to pantry raid in a different zip code!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

brown rice eggs for brekkie mmmmm

from the pantry:
a half a thing of takeout chinese brown rice
pepper flakes
a dollop of parmesan artichoke dressing

add ons leftover half bagel and ramikin of cream cheese from craft services at dr phil.
              2  eggs ($2 for the dozen)

cost: $2

check it out.  nothing is wasted -- that little bit of rice from takeout or leftovers adds crunch texture and some rice protein to eggs.  Pepper flakes mmmm spice her up! the dressing is a thing i might have invented.  From door of fridge when doing a scrambled egg, instead of little bit of water or milk, adding dressing adds instant seasoning and flavor. Annies Artichoke and Parmesan is great example of a thick gorgeous dressing that can be repurposed in this mix.

Bagel and cream cheese were pulled off craft table at dr. phil and i took em home instead of throwing out uneaten portion because um, hello fabulous breakfast!! pic is mediocre but it tasted sooooooo good.

What the farfalle? tuna casserole.

Get crazy with your spices and ingredients.

From Pantry:

1 beat up can of cambells cream of mushroom soup
1 half box of random farfalle pasta
half a bottle of salsa
half a bottle of spaghetti sauce
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
parmesan (or garlic i can no longer tell what it is)

add ons: none

total cost today: 0

Right-- real quick this is from childhood and i still love it and it has a very homey taste.  cook up your pasta. Stir in the Campbells cream of mushroom soup over low heat which by the way is apparently a staple for a zillion recipes. Classic. anyhow. then pour in the tuna and stir around for awhile. If you wanna get fancy pour whole mix into casserole dish top with parmesan or whateva cheese and breadcrumbs and bake for a few minutes.  Me, i just season with the salt pepper and flakes, throw in some parmesan on the top (although it could be garlic i don't even know where i got that dispenser), and away we go. mmmmmmm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Asian influenced american chicken chili rice in a bag mashup

from the pantry:
chicken chili leftovers (could be any kinda thing like it)

a beef broccoli rice in a bag thing
1 persian cucumber
8 peanuts

add ons: none
cost today 0$

So the chicken chili was leftovers from a catered party my friend went to which is kind of sort of an add on but it could be pretty much any chili/casserole/meat thing.
The idea was to make something good with the " knorr's sides" rice in a bag broccoli and beef flavor which sat in the pantry for a long time because is just seemed so SPECIFIC. I cooked that up and heated up the leftover chili, which got put on top of the seasoned rice side, then topped it with some peanuts and sliced cucumber, with sriracha sprinkled on it.  A kind of indonesian spin on a pretty all american side dish and protein.  It ended up being a pretty delicious and it looked sort of like dinner at aunties house in jakarta. sort of. That pack of persian cucumbers went a LONGGG way.