Monday, March 21, 2011

Whose dish is on the chopping block?

You may be blurry, but I can still see you,
Aaron, Alex, bald guy, and Ted.
My family is a little obsessed with the Food Network, and one of our favorite shows is Chopped. It always amazes me how creative those chefs are. And sure, even though we all sit there critiquing their choices with the mystery ingredient like we know what we're talking about ("Why did that guy use arugula? Totally clashes with the sheep brain."), we all secretly wish we could cook half as well as the first person chopped.

What I like is when they introduce their dishes to the judges, and proudly title them with the fancy descriptions they've come up with. The peach infused mango relish, the julienne salad with a watermelon reduction dressing, panbroiled panko crusted tuna with a tangerine zest...

It'd be fun to be a good cook and make fancy little dishes. And it might actually be easy with an entire fridge and pantry at your service, with every spice and ingredient you could think of. When I go to cook dinner, it usually goes like this: I'd love to make meatloaf tonight. What do I need... Bread crumbs. Don't have those, but I could make some quick toast. Eggs, have those. Mustard seed. No, but I have the condiment - it'll work. Spices, sure salt and pepper are great. Wait, do I even have ground beef? No...but I have pork chops. Porkloaf it is!

Don't worry, I've never actually made porkloaf before...but it probably wouldn't taste half bad. Just add some bbq sauce and you're good to go.

Tonight no such fanciness will be attempted. On the stove are potatoes, which in an hour will be creamy smashed potatoes with butter and cheese and maybe a dash of seasoning - if one of them smells appropriate when I open the lids. Next I'll reheat some left-over pork from the other night, add some ketchup on the side (or as they would say prefer me to say, "With a tomato and honey glaze"). Then I'll take some frozen veggies out of the freezer, steam them, and add some butter and salt. Doesn't matter what the veggie is - butter and salt work just great. If we're lucky, I'll wash some lettuce greens, add some parmesan cheese and a homemade Italian dressing, and voila - salad! ("A fresh green salad prepared with a vinegar and olive oil drizzling.")

Come on, you know you want to just pack up and head over to share in this amazing meal. And people wonder why I never host dinner.

Just an fyi: prune pancakes don't really work.


Kiera said...

dude, dinner tonight for me: frozen peas, no butter, spaghetti, yes butter, frozen clams casino from aldi premade. you win.

LuAnn said...

We're actually trying something new tonight--a rice & lentil custard casserole. It's in my La Leche League cookbook. Now, if only I could make it sound more exciting! Stay tuned!

Marie Therese said...

did you actually try making prune pancakes?