Wednesday, December 3, 2008

cleaning out the fridge meal

I wondered what we were going to eat for dinner almost all day yesterday. I pondered fast food. I thought about defrosting the chicken soup in the freezer, I was indecisive and unsure of myself...until about 4 o'clock. I trudged into the kitchen to face my dilemma and was wonderfully surprised. I came upon 1/3 of a bag of organic frozen green beans ( the big Costco sized bag, not your standard grocery store size), 1/2 of a bag of peas ( grocery store size), 2 frozen chicken breasts, some fresh baby spinach, a bag of bow-tie pasta, some leftover lunch ham, the last of the parmesan, and a few cloves of garlic. Of course I also had wine, I always have wine...I mean it's me...who would I be kidding to act surprised by that little find? Certainly not you. I steamed my beans and peas till crisp tender and dumped them into one of my giant bowls, retaining the water to boil the pasta in ( you'll have to add some more of course). I chopped my chicken into small bits and started them on medium heat in the cast iron, sprinkling with salt and pepper. When the chicken was cooked through I removed it from the pan and set it aside and I threw in the 2 oz of sliced lunch ham and cooked until it was a little crispy, then removed and added to the chicken. In the pan to dislodge the crispy bits I tossed in some white wine and then garlic, reducing and adding a little chicken broth ( another constant-don't act surprised), salt and pepper. When the pasta was cooked I strained and added to vegetables reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water which I tossed in as well as the chicken, ham,garlicky wine sauce,parmesan and fresh spinach. Sprinkle with a little dried dill and red pepper flakes, mix it all up and serve. This fed 4 teenagers, 2 grown men, and myself. It was so bulked up with the vegetables it was enough for everyone to have a decent helping. it was good.

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