Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Honey, What’s For Dinner?

Bloggers get a bad rap for droning on and on about what they ate for breakfast that morning. I want to put that complaint to rest by telling you what I made for dinner tonight.
No. This is totally different!
Anyhoo, I had some leftover slices of grilled eggplant in the refrigerator. But it wasn’t quite enough to make a side dish for each of us. Off to the pantry where I spotted a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts (always a big hit with Wonder Hubby). But I didn’t want to start tossing things together to make an improvised ratatouille. I wanted those yummy, smoky eggplant slices whole. So I finally settled on laying the eggplant into two individual casserole dishes. Then I drained and arranged the artichoke hearts around the eggplant. Color was needed. Back to the pantry where I found roasted red peppers. I sliced some up and added them. Done. Into the countertop convection oven.

Main dish? When in doubt: chicken. I quickly ground some salt and pepper onto a large chicken breast and pan seared it in a little olive oil. Something else - rice? pasta? I had some shiitake mushrooms Chuck had brought home from the local farmers' market. Maybe add them to some rice... Wait a minute. That reminds me of mushroom risotto, which I happened to have a bag of in the freezer, direct from Trader Joe’s. Done. But the chicken was starting to look a little boring compared to the side dishes. So I removed the chicken and deglazed the pan with a bit of balsamic vinegar and some sherry. Better. I sliced the chicken. I added a dollop of light sour cream to the vinegar and sherry mixture, stirred it gently and returned the sliced chicken to the pan. Covered, I let the chicken stay warm on super low heat in the improvised sauce. Ding! Out came the risotto from the microwave. I spooned some into two gratin dishes, then popped those into the oven along with the eggplant dishes to finish off.

Wine? Sure, why not? (Is there a "No" answer to that question?) Chuck arrived to pour a not too sweet Gewurztraminer from Washington state, as I ladled the chicken onto the mushroom risotto. Dinner was served.

Now wasn’t that better than cereal and milk?


purpleronnie said...

yum yum yummy!!!! sounds devine!!! any leftovers ????

dancingmorganmouse said...

Much better than breakfast - especially at our house, where it would be a blank post/page!

Pink Granite said...

Hi Ronnie -
Sorry, no leftovers, but I'm glad it sounded good to you!

Hi DMM -
We're big fans of brunch. Breakfast is a bit slapdash around here!

It's funny how sometimes I know exactly what I'm going to prepare and other times there's a lot of staring blankly at the items lining the pantry shelves. But when I tell Chuck I haven't a clue what's for dinner, his response is typically: "Oh Good!" That doesn't help me figure out what to make, but it does give me free rein in the kitchen!
- Lee