Now that I've gotten that out of the way, HOLY CRAP. I got schooled the other day. My new neighbor is a professional chef. He's not even a sub-par professional chef, he's a real professional chef. He's become pretty close with my boyfriend, so it's not unusual for him to be in my apartment. The other day, he asked us if we would like it if he cooked us dinner. My answer was a pretty enthusiastic yes.
I asked him if he wanted me to go to the store and pick up some food, but he was already looking through my fridge and my cabinets and he had the beginnings of a plan in his mind. I truly thought that I had no food in the house, but he pulled out a few straggler veggies that didn't get used up in other recipes.
I watched him chop through a pile of vegetables in a quarter of the time it would take me to make such uniform little slices. Some carrots, celerey, green onions, and yellow onions went into a pot with some olive oil and salt, along with garlic that was popped out from the insides of garlic-stuffed olives. Broccoli went into the broiler until it was brown and beautiful. Jasmine rice went into the pot and toasted for a minute until he doused the whole thing with some vegetable broth, which was also sitting around unused.
I had some pine nuts sitting around that were definitely on the verge of going bad, but they were toasted on my stove top. In a cake pan. Craziness was ensuing. The remnants of a jar of roasted red bell peppers got chopped into tiny bits and thrown into the mix near the end along with some olives. Even some leftover pizza sauce was used in place of tomato paste, which was absent from my fridge.
The verdict? Amazing. I mean, maybe it was just rice, but it was some pretty damn delicious rice that came from what I presumed was garbage laying around in my fridge and pantry. I'm not even sure which other seasonings were used during this process, because it honestly happened so quickly. The broccoli was mixed with some salad greens for a side salad, and everything seemed to blend together perfectly. I definitely learned a few things, but mostly I learned that I'm a pretty wasteful person. I'm bad at keeping an inventory in my fridge, and before I know it there are creepy mystery items hanging out in the back that get dumped into the garbage. Once a week, I'd like to try and create something like this by going through my cabinets and seeing what I come up with. Even if it's gross, it has to be a good learning experience for me... right?