There are a few items that are always in my pantry/fridge/freezer.
Frozen Chicken Breast
Cream/Half and Half
Baking Supplies (Butter, Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Milk etc.)
When I made a list of these items I had a vision of two Italian-inspired dishes I’d just seen the recipes for. Spaghetti with Lemon on Smitten Kitchen and Chicken Picatta from Giata on the Food Network site. When I looked up these recipes, they both used many similar ingredients and all of them were on this list! I also figured I’d whip up a Green Salad and it would be a complete meal! Both of these dishes are pretty simple and easy and I am actually still in awe of how few ingredients were needed!
In terms of dessert, I actually changed my plan last minute. Originally I was going to make a Coffee Cream Pie I saw on Martha Stewart the same day I made my proposal for the meal. At that time I had almost every ingredient so it seemed perfect. But of course in the last couple weeks I’ve been baking more than ever (more on why later,) and I used up many of the things I needed. So- rather than defeat the purpose of the challenge and go out and buy the stuff, I changed my plan to make Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and caramel sauce. Not only did I have pretty much exactly what was needed, but it seemed like it would go with the meal better. Even when I’m stuffed with lemony-buttery-pasta-y goodness, I always can go for a scoop of ice cream at the end!
Everything I made was simple, easy and delicious. It was so satisfying to cook a meal using so few things and I felt good about using what was sitting in my fridge. This felt especially good because the meal fell on my last night in NYC before heading to Maine (today) for a month. I had a chance to use up a few perishable ingredients as well as cook a meal for my family when they came over to say goodbye.
Recipes: I will give the links for the Pasta and Chicken dishes below. Later this week I will do a separate post for the dessert :)
Pasta: Smitten Kitchen
Chicken Picatta: Giata via The Food Network