Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fridge and Pantry Purge

Yesterday was another messy, sleety, snowy day in New England. I drove to work with white knuckles and came home in the same condition. I had to do something to ease the tension in my body so I decided to cook. I also decided to go through my fridge and pantry and use up some of the ingredients that have been hanging around (maybe just a little too long). This post is not really a recipe, it's a method that I sometimes use that gets me to my desired result- dinner!

I had 3 pieces of bacon which I cooked up, crumbled and set aside. Then I drained most of the bacon fat from the pan and left about a tablespoon in. To the bacon fat I added 3 ounces of chopped baby spinach, 4 ounces of chopped mushrooms and 2 very sad looking scallions.

At this point I still wasn't sure where I was going with this, but after a quick look in my pantry, I decided I'd re-mix Dan and Jerry's Chili Mac, and make it Bacon Chil Mac. I cooked 1 cup of Dreamfield's elbow macaroni, opened a 16 ounce can of pinto beans and combined them with the bacon, and spinach/mushroom mixture. I was on the road to happiness.

Good thing I save my bacon fat because I then decided to saute a medium size onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste in another tablespoon of that aromatic fatty bacony goodness.

I pre heated my oven to 350 degrees, opened a 10 ounce can of Rotel and looked at the unopened salsa con queso I bought on sale ages ago. So yeah, 3 tablespoons of that creaminess went into the macaroni mixture too.

I spritzed my trusty old souffle dish with cooking spray and put this delicious looking mixture in the oven (covered) for 25 minutes.

Then I added a few handfuls of low fat shredded cheddar cheese, popped the casserole back in the oven (uncovered) for 8 minutes and dinner was ready.

I toasted up some corn tortillas and sprinked the chili mac with cilanto and was a very happy camper. The weathermen/women are predicting a little more snow for tomorrow, but I've got leftovers to comfort me. And by the way, this microwaves beautifully, I had some for lunch today at work.


Melissa said...

Linda, this is such a great post. I think some of our favorite dishes come from cleaning out the fridge. I think it sparks creativity. Love it!

Didi Dalaba said...

Linda what an awesome recipe, seriously... all from cleaning out the pantry! So will be making these, I absolutely adore the flavor cominations!!

DeeDee2012 said...

Love everything about this recipe!

Linda said...

Thanks for reading gals. Sometimes I get so mad at myself for tossing out unconsumed food, so this kind of cooking seems to be my solution. Funny how I never have any uneaten sweets left over at the end of the week.