If you’re the chef, you get to decide what’s for dinner. Share a favorite recipe with us and check out how I give leftovers new life.
This month I’m doing a Pantry Challenge. What that means is that I’ve been trying to make good use of the things that we already have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. It’s been a good experience overall.
While I didn’t intend to shave a ton off the budget, we did spend less on groceries. I’ve almost got the freezer ready to thaw. And, the cupboard is bare. Or almost. (You can read my goals for the challenge here.)
This last week of the month has involved a lot of “experiments”. Having written a cookbook, I have gotten my family pretty well-accustomed to experiments.
I hold my breath as I bring something to the table, wracking my brain to see if there’s an alternative food item in case this is a train wreck.
I’m thankful that so far this month we haven’t had to run out for take-out after I’d served a meal. That has happened before! Even I didn’t like what I made.
This month, however, it’s been pretty good cheap eats. If you’ve missed it, you can read through our daily log and see how I’m “really” feeding my family. Yes, really.
One type of experiment has been to makeover leftovers so that they are new and different the next day. This is totally in line with a pantry challenge — as well as the theme of Ultimate Recipe Swap this week: Chef’s Choice.
I worked in an upscale restaurant years ago and observed one interesting practice that got embedded in my single, twentysomething mind. To create the day’s specials, the chef scanned what he already had in the refrigerators and created something on the spot.
He didn’t dream something up and then go get the ingredients. He worked from his pantry first.
See? A Pantry Challenge is cool, after all.
This pasta dish is made up of leftover spaghetti from the night before as well as the Easter ham that I sliced and froze month’s ago. Yes, really. And it was totally fresh. It tasted just as good as it did on Easter Day. I had a tomato and basil from the produce box and just a bit of cream.
Chef’s Choice. Delicious.
Recipe: Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 cups cooked spaghetti
- 1 cup chopped ham
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook one minute, stirring. Add the cream and red pepper, stir.
- Add the spaghetti and ham and toss gently over low heat until heated through.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the tomatoes and basil right before serving.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Remember: Each week at Ultimate Recipe Swap, there is a posted theme. You are welcome to share any recipe that fits the theme and contains a link back to Life as MOM. If you’re curious about the upcoming themes, I have a calendar here. This week’s theme is your choice.
If you have a recipe that fits the theme, please link it. However, things like Beef Strogonaff will be deleted from Chicken week because it doesn’t contain chicken. Please keep this meme as helpful to others as we can.
And don’t make me the bad guy!
What is your recipe of the day?