Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Delicious Mistake!

One of our New Year's resolutions this year was to make do with what we had in the freezer, cupboard, and in the a quest to save money and utilize what we have! So far, we have done farily well. It has even been an exciting little culinary experiment; what can we make tonight?!

But in all honesty, there are nights when I don't want to think, or prepare; I just want to eat and be done. On those nights, I try to clean out the refridgerator. But on Wednesday night, I had no leftovers in which to choose from, so I looked at what else I had (in the freezer, pantry, and fridge). I found frozen tomaotes from last years garden, and decided I wanted to prepare my favorite tomato feta dish: You simply take tomatoes, toss them in olive oil and garlic, and roast them until reduced. Then you add lemon juice, parsley, feta and bake again until the cheese is melted. Its delicious with chicken, shrimp, and white fish added with the cheese and baked until the protein is done. Served with crusty's a perfect meal!

So, with that meal in mind, I thought it would be fun to use my frozen tomatoes to make this dish and instead of fish or poultry as our protein, I wanted to use some bulgur I had in my pantry. So I placed my tomatoes in a pan with garlic, bulgur and some water (to cook the bulgur) and placed it into a hot oven. As I watched it cook, I realized that it was turning into more of a soup than the casserole-ish dish I was hoping for.

Seeing how I didn't want to waste this food, I acted quickly to try to make the most of it! I removed this 'soup' from the oven and placed into my cast-iron saucepot. I brought it to a boil and then simmered it, uncovered, until it thickened and the bulgur was done. At this point, I essentially had tomato soup. But I had a small amount of taco meat and beans left over in my fridge so I added them, along with a good amount of cumin, chili powder, pasilla chili powder and salt, and created a very hearty chili! I whipped up a quick salad and toasted a seedy baguette to go along with it, and dinner was ready!

It was delicious! The sweetness of my summer tomatoes was perfectly contrasted by the slight spice and saltiness that I added. The bulgur made a beautifully chewy, nutty, and hearty addition to this chili, along with a few beans and venison. We devoured most of the pot it was so delicious!

So no matter what mistakes you make in the kitchen (with the exception of a few), it can be fun to see what you can do with it; a challenge. So instead of throwing it out because it doesn't fit into your original plan, seek a new plan. Look to your pantry and freezer, cookbooks and magazines for ideas. Who knows, a disaster to one could turn out to be the best dinner you've made!

Have fun with it and enjoy!

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