i buy food. often. esoteric ingredients are my game. a real chef would love my pantry but i’m just a mere wannabe. yet i continue to believe that if i own all these potential elements of a dish that i will be able to transform my meals into something extraordinary. you see, when it comes to cooking, i’m not big on technique. so instead i try to go big on the understanding of flavors – as in what works together. i’m constantly on the quest for what exists out there in the culinary universe that will blow me away. having said all that, i’ve come to the realization that my pantry is out of control. and i was thinking that if i didn’t shop for anything but obvious perishables for awhile that i would be forced to use what i already have. why, i could make it a challenge… i love a good challenge… ok claudia, you’re on!
excellent! who knew this would be so easy?
so to begin with, last night’s dinner was nothing more than a no-brainer exercise of what was going on in my fridge/freezer. i defrosted a pound of ‘raw, peeled w/tail on’ tiger shrimp from plumgoodfood.com, consistently the best source of shrimp that i have found in this town. i chopped up a bunch of mustard greens that still looked pretty damn good from last saturday’s csa haul. and then i used my leftover cooked farro, chopped tomatoes and a healthy dollop of gremolata along with two of delvin’s beautiful chili peppers, finely minced. one pan. no mess. no fuss. and better yet, no guilt due to no waste. (my grandmother used to kiss the stale bread before she threw it away, although i’m sure if it was challah it was french toast on sunday morning…)
this was not a to-die-for dinner that i’d have served at a gathering. the mustard greens were actually a bit sharp and over-powering for this quasi – italian dish. but they existed in my immediate universe and i refused to run out for the more well matched rapini or spinach. and in less than 15 minutes from start to finish we were eating pretty wholesome and healthy stuff. and i, in my own grand way of thinking found myself saying out loud - this so doesn’t suck.