With a week to go, our food situation is getting to be...dire. I mentioned that I created a list of all possible recipes/food that we could make/eat so that we would use up as much food as possible in our fridge, freezer and pantry. This has led to a "culinary trip around the world", as I like to announce at the dinner table every night.
Two nights ago, I had planned on making Vietnamese Noodles. I had not ever made these before but they were going to use up carrots, rice noodles, fish sauce and peanuts. Bonus that Maggie went with Nate to work that day so I could just concentrate on having dinner ready by the time they got home and not make dinner with a child on my hip.
While making the sauce for the noodles, I realized it smelled...fishy. I have only ever made something with fish sauce one time before and I didn't recall this occurring. Oh well. Proceed.
The smell was so potent that I could not even think of eating these noodles. I checked the bottle. The fish sauce was expired. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Why I didn't check this before the dish was made, I do not know.
So...consulting the master list, I decided to go with the "polenta bake". We had about a 1/4 bag of polenta left and on the bag it had a "easy recipe" to combine the polenta with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese and bake it. Well, quickly reading that, I dumped the uncooked polenta into a casserole dish, poured on the tomato sauce and then sprinkled the cheese. Phew! Dinner was going to be saved.
Nate and Mags arrived home and I said, "We are having quite a international dinner tonight! BUT...you may not want to eat half of it." I asked him to try the noodles. He thought they were good but had a "fishy aftertaste". Puke. I tried eating them. I did. But the "fishy aftertaste" was too much for me.
Back to the polenta. After about 20 minutes in the oven, I thought the polenta was probably done. I pulled it out of the oven and literally it was still dry polenta. with tomato sauce. We consulted the polenta bag again and decided that they probably meant to put COOKED polenta in the dish. So we just added water to the mess and put it back in the oven. It ended up being ok.
I had to laugh when Nate told Maggie, "Mags: Mom is usually a good cook. I am not sure what happened tonight but don't worry."
I redeemed myself last night when we made Jess's Couscous Salad (and used up dates! more carrots! couscous! pinenuts! a can of chickpeas!) with Falafel wraps (using tortillas instead of pitas and Trader Joe's frozen falafels).
Tonight - it's Pasta Potpourri!