Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creative Cooking with What's on Hand

Last night my husband asked me, “What’s for dinner?” I usually have a plan, but last night I really didn't have anything in mind. Luckily, I had some ingredients to work with — basmati rice and chili garlic sauce in the pantry, Swiss chard and green beans in the garden, just-finished-curing homegrown garlic, a shallot in the root vegetable bowl on the counter, and some pulled chicken in the fridge.

Chopped, fresh-from-the-garden Swiss chard

I heated up a mixture of sesame oil and olive oil in a sautรฉ pan, then threw in minced garlic, diced shallots, green beans, and chopped Swiss chard stems. I seasoned the veggies with ginger powder, salt, and pepper. I let them cook for a few minutes, then added the chicken. Next, I added some liquid: chive vinegar, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, and the chili garlic sauce. I finished it off by adding the chopped Swiss chard leaves until they were wilted. I served the chicken vegetable stir-fry over brown basmati rice.

Veggies sautรฉing in sesame and olive oil

My husband was a little apprehensive about my odd mixture of ingredients, but the results were surprisingly delicious — he even went back for seconds!

The finished stir-fry, made from ingredients on hand

A little creativity in the kitchen can save you a trip to the grocery store and give you new ways to use up your garden harvest!

— Kristy L. Rustay, Marketing Manager


Maryellen said...

Looks yummy Kristy!
I have found ome of the best meals are "creations" made from ingredients on hand...especially from the bounty of a summer garden!

Rainforest Gardener said...

I love the chili garlic sauce. I'm always sure to keep plenty of spices in my pantry, along with some asian sauces in the fridge. Even the most boring food can be great with a little flavor!

Kristy Rustay said...

I always feel like I am cheating when I use the store-bought, jarred sauces — but sometimes they are just so much easier. I have also tried to re-create sauces that I bought and liked, but they never quite taste the same — the garlic-chili sauce is a perfect example.

Rainforest Gardener said...

Its always nice to have a little of both... store bought and from scratch! Homemade sauces end up going to waste for me anyways.