Monday, February 7, 2011

A Lesson in Graduate School- Do with what you have...

So it's Saturday've had a late lunch and it's past dinnertime. You are too lazy (poor) to go to the store to get dinner fixins'...what do you do? I know I struggle with this quite often, having the mindset that cooking involves going to the store, buying exact ingredients, and making a three course meal. However I think one of the most useful things to know how to do, is cook with what you have.

I found myself in this exact predicament this past weekend, and ended up making some delicious shrimp fried rice. I had some leftover frozen shrimp, a lemon, a red onion, a tomato, an egg and some 90-second instant rice I found in my car (yes you read that correctly..who keeps rice in their car? This guy). One of my favorite ways to cook is tossing everything into a sautee pan with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and that is exactly what I did. I thawed the shrimp (just run it under cold water for 5-10 minutes), breaded it in flour and some Emeril's Essence to give it a little spice, and threw it in a pan with the chopped onion and tomato. I cut the lemon in half, squeezed it with the rest of the ingredients, and let the rinds sit in the pan so everything could soak up the flavor.

Right before everything was done (make sure the shrimp are pink and the onions are soft) I cracked an egg right in the pan (no shells!) and fried it, so I could cut it up into little pieces to toss into the dish.

As the rice was cooking rather quickly in the microwave, I tossed everything together and turned the heat on low before throwing the rice in with everything else.

Voila! Shrimp fried rice on a Saturday night, minimal effort involved.

Yesterday was also the Superbowl, which for me usually means amazing food. This year, I was pretty proud of my attentiveness to the game as well as what I was shoving in my mouth. I wore a Packers shirt and everything! I went to Osh Kosh (B'gosh) which is about an hour and a half away, to spend time with a friend's family.

My food contribution, was one of my absolute favorite dishes as a child, Strawberry Angel Food Cake. While not the most attractive dessert (even less so without a trifle bowl), it is deeeeelish and not terribly bad for you.

2 3-oz or 1 6-oz package(s) of strawberry Jell-O

2 10-oz packages of frozen strawberries, thawed with juice

2 tablespoons of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 10-inch angel food cake, torn into pieces

1 pint whipping cream, whipped

Dissolve Jell-O in 2 ½ cups of boiling water.

Stir in thawed strawberries, sugar and salt.

Cool in refrigerator until it begins to thicken.

Fold in whipped cream.

Cover bottom of a 9” x 13” pan (this can also be done in a trifle bowl, or really any's just a little less well-formed) with half the torn angel food cake pieces.

Add half the strawberry/cream mixture.

Repeat layer of angel food pieces and top with remaining strawberry/cream mixture.

Refrigerate 4-5 hours and enjoy! It was a big hit at the party....easy to make and tons of flavor.

*This last picture is a Sunday morning treat...just regular old chocolate chip pancakes but a little cinnamon in the batter.

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. —--Harriet Van Horne

1 comment:

  1. Cait cool concept for a blog! That shrimp fried rice looks amazing. I will be reading regularly.