In September I formulated the Chutney Challenge. Find something old that is languishing in the back of your cupboard in just use it. Because I listed the many, many bottles, jars and bags that I need to either use or lose.
Here’s the trick: don’t let your family read the expiration dates on the bottles before dinner. I mean, those bottles are sealed. The contents are just fine. So what if the company doesn’t make that product any longer, and has, in fact, gone out of business? Ain’t no big thing.
Moroccan Grilling Sauce. This was almost too easy. Poured the bottle over some boneless chicken breasts and grilled them. Tasted fine. Tasted like chicken. Marinade was a trifle sweet, but not bad. Served with couscous (for a pantry double play), and carrots roasted with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cumin, garlic and salt. I have to do carrots that way again, they were delicious.
Red Dragon Asian Sauce and Dressing. Well, hell. Got leftover chicken anyway, made Asian chicken salad. Lots o’ greens, snow peas, bean sprouts, cucumbers, a yellow pepper and chicken. The dressing was great, because it had a little kick of heat that crept in as you kept eating. I think this would be a great dip for pot stickers. Or could be awesome on chicken wings, but I’m on a chicken wing kick right now, and would probably eat them in a boat or with a goat.
Remember the Red Curry Dipping Sauce? Well, there I was, about to make a meatloaf that called for some tomato sauce. Wait! What if I subbed in the curry sauce? Which I did and it was delicious. I will say, I’m not the world’s biggest meatloaf fan to begin with, so it doesn’t take much to make an improvement on most recipes.
Next up was the Spicy Bulgogi Barbecue Sauce. What to do, what to do. Then I came across a recipe that everyone seemed to be talking about on Pinterest. It’s designed for a 9×13″ pan. You put a line of boneless, skinless chicken breasts down the middle of the pan, then pile small new potatoes (or cut up mature potatoes) on one side, and green beans on the other. As I had just been to the farmers market, I had the potatoes and the green beans. The interweebs says you’re supposed to sprinkle a packet of Italian dressing mix over everything, then pour a stick of melted butter over the top. Um, why are we taking the skin off the chicken if we’re just going to pour a bucket of another animal’s fat over the top? I don’t get it.
But I dutifully assembled the dish, and instead of butter and dressing mix, I drizzled the bottle of Bulgogi sauce over everything and baked it at 350 till the chicken and potatoes were done. And it was seriously delicious, a little bit spicy and maybe a trifle too sweet for me. As you can tell, I don’t like my savory dishes to have too much sweet in them. But I realized I could try this recipe again any time, just changing out the sauces. Maybe try carrots in place of the green beans. If you attempt this at home, be sure you cut up the potatoes. I believe I also chunked up the chicken, so it would be cooked all the way through.
Next up, I need to use up more couscous. And what will I do with the green curry paste? I haven’t even mentioned the metric ton of fruit jam we now have, thanks to Thing 2’s experiments in the kitchen with a friend this summer.
What’s lurking in your cabinet? What are you going to do with it, hm? Tell me, i want to know. I need the inspiration!
And today’s bonus WTF moment: the spellchecker here wanted me to turn skinless chicken breasts into sinless chicken breasts. Because that’s a thing.