March 24, 2009

Waste Not...

I have a new rule for this cooking challenge.

Do NOT waste food.

And by that I do not mean, "Eat everything in sight." I do not mean, "Eat it all, even if it tastes gross." And I do not mean, "Well, it only smells a little funny. I'm sure it'll be fine after I cook it."

Tonight's dinner is an example of this rule.

After making the Natchitoches Meat Pies on Sunday, I had browned, seasoned ground beef and pork leftover as well as some sun-dried tomatoes that were used in Chiqui's Creole Dip.

To make sure I didn't let them become disgusting petri dishes, I sought out a recipe amongst the 45 cookbooks that have not yet been used. Easy enough, right? Mostly, except that I kept finding recipes for things like Tamale pie, which I've made before (breaking the "it's gotta be new to me" rule) or Shepherd's Pie, which I couldn't really imagine with a spicy meat base.

Well... You know... Maybe if I had used some sweet potatoes instead of potatoes...

Wait. Nevermind. That would not have adhered to the waste not rule per se since
I would have had to buy more ingredients. Anyhow...

I went for the meat spaghetti sauce from the 12th edition of the "Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book." Having no tomato paste, I figured that sauteeing the sun-dried tomatoes in their own oil would serve as a nice substitute. I tossed in the previously browned meat, a couple of cans Hunt's Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, some oregano and a pinch of thyme; let it simmer; and then poured it over spaghetti. Add a little grated parmesan, and dinner was done!

All-in-all, this was a way super easy dinner. But if I had had to chop up all the veggies and brown the meat tonight, I might have skipped it because of the mess and time required.

Lesson learned? If you're going to brown a bunch of meat like I did on Sunday, then brown extra for a future meal and save yourself some time.

Oh... And on a closing note. I didn't hurt myself this time. Phew! Still all bandaged up though.

And check out all the bandages! Four in all... Woo. Hoo. Or not. Bleh.

P.S. No. I have not made spaghetti sauce before. That's the sort of thing that comes in jars and is for lazy dinners.

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