Monday, February 8, 2010

Leftover D-lite, II (also vegetarian, even)

So I opened the bottom drawer in my fridge (actually, it's my brother's fridge, but it's 'my' drawer) and noticed that I had half of a sweet potato that I needed to use up. Also had a shallot in there. Was thinking that maybe I'd sauté them up together in some olive oil and a little salt and pepper and try that on for size. Once I got started, I decided to throw on a little ground coriander, since it was sitting on the counter from being used earlier in the day. Why not, right? Also out was my little jar of star anise (mostly pieces, at this point). Again, why not? Had some minced garlic in the freezer too, calling out to me. In it went. As it was cooking, I headed down to the basement to see what I had hiding. What I ended up bringing up was some cooking sherry and double strength vanilla extract. In they went (couple splashes of the sherry, 1/2 t of the vanilla). And y'know what? It was pretty darn good-

If I'd had some cloves, I probably would've added one of those, or two. Thought about adding some balsamic vinegar, but went with the sherry instead. Some onions would've been nice, but for some reason I held off. I considered slicing up a banana and tossing that in. Maybe a carrot? Some fresh squeezed lemon juice? Had some red bell peppers that I got cheap today (a buck each, approximately). Those didn't make it, though. I have other plans for those, which I'm going to write about here at some point (you'll want to read that post, I can assure you). Lots of stuff could have gone into this dish, and probably would've been very good too. The point is, why leave a perfectly good sweet potato sitting in the bottom drawer of your fridge, waiting until it goes bad and has to get tossed? Why just bake it like everyone else and eat it with butter and brown sugar (like everyone else)? Play with your food. Experiment. You don't need a recipe- this is how recipes get created! Specific amounts? Who cares? Just go with less than you think you need, and add more as you find you need it.

This is how I cook.

This is what I eat.

Not every single day, not all the time. But I've been really, really turned off lately by a lot of the store-bought processed junk I used to go with, and see everyone else eating all the time. I prefer fresh, simple, homemade stuff. Not exactly the guilty pleasure that eating a whole bag of pizza bites with Frank's Red Hot used to be, but hey, I'm losing weight and feeling better about myself, so it's all good.

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