Ken
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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OK folks, here's the deal:

I need to cook dinner tonight and I'm low on inspiration. I have for (relevant)ingredients:

Organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Fresh Onion
Fresh Carrot
Fresh Celery
Fresh Garlic
One bottle mediocre champagne
One bottle of pretty good Cabernet Sauvignon (was hoping to drink this while cooking, but could be persuaded to cook with some of it)
Assorted spices, etc at my disposal - typical stuff you'd find in an average American kitchen.

I have noodles and rice available (probably).

I do not have chicken stock or heavy cream of any kind (everything I can think of with what is essentially mirapoix seems to need those two things). Nor do I have a ton of time. As a pack, my children have been known to strip the carcass of a large water buffalo when hungry.

We need to go shopping, but I won't be able to do so before dinner.

How would you improvise a meal with this?

NOTE: I understand and accept the inherent danger from posting this in chit-chat. I accept the risk!
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JessA
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Well, this is what I'd do, I'm not real fancy:

Cook up the onion, carrot, celery, garlic in olive oil salt/pepper with a tablespoon of butter until it's translucent.

While that's cooking, cube the chicken then add that in, cook until no longer pink.

Throw a cup of uncooked rice in and stir it around, coating it with the fat.

Add two cups of liquid (water/wine) add any other veggies you got, Add a tsp of dried thyme. Put a lid on it, watch it so it doesn't cook completely dry. It'll probably take about 20 minutes to cook.

Top with cheese.
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午餐先生
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Do any of you have any allergies? Because if you also have peanut butter and some oil and soy sauce (and a lime/lemon or rice vinegar), this is an amzing (and aptly named) recipe for peanut sauce to go with noodles.

Poach that chicken and some boil those carrots, mix it all up, and BAM. YUM. Only problem is it never seems to be enough.

But if you have allergies then avoid that like the plague.
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Ken
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Thanks Jess! Gave it a shot and my finicky eater kids ate it up.

I'm a pretty instinctual cook, but was just brain dead after New Year's eve and too much kid time this week...
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JessA
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BTW, I wanted to mention that's Amy Dacycyzn's Universal Pilaf recipe from the Tightwad Gazette.

You can make it a ton of different ways.

But the basics are as I said above:

-cook your aromatics in the fat of your choice

-Add the meat and cook (unless using canned, like tuna, or fish that cooks quickly then save for the end)

-Add the grain of your choice (rice, couscous, bulger, even pasta-just break it up in small chunks) coat that in the fat

-Add the liquid (usually twice the amount of the grain)

-Add any other veggies (broccoli, kale, zucchini, peppers etc etc)

cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring it a couple times and making sure it doesn't go dry. The cook time is how long it would take to cook the grain. ~20 minutes for white rice, more for brown.

Top with cheese or not.


You can mix up the flavor a lot using the appropriate combo of veggie and meat.

Go Italian
Add italian spices like basil & oregano
Use canned tomatoes for part of the liquid
Top with mozzarella

Go Thai
Use curry paste during the aromatics or powder with the grain
Use coconut milk and water for the liquid
Top with lime juice

Go Asian
Use soy sauce for the seasoning

Go Mexican
Use cilantro & chili powder
Add canned beans with the grain
Use canned tomatoes for the liquid
Add cheddar cheese on top


Anyway, none of this is going to be gourmet or perfectly seasoned but it serves well to get a decent meal on the table without a lot of thinking.









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Bat Profile
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Sandworms USA
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throw the celery away

Pound flat either pan sear or coat with cracker meal/bread crumbs/flour/ground breakfast cereal/ground potato chips

dice 1/2 onion, slice thin 1/2 onion and boil with that stuff you are calling champagne the garlic and add to a basic bechamel

top with fried egg and oniony bechamel


I'd probably just grind everything and make meat balls again with some sort of oniony bechamel over noodles.
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