Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 174: Spring Cleaning

I've been trying to clean out my cupboards and freezer this week, and so I've decided to skip grocery shopping for the time being and make do with what I have hanging around. So tonight's dinner consisted of a lovely filet mignon, leftover from a box of steaks my mother-in-law sent a while back, canned green beans that I doctored as well as I could (my husband must be responsible for their presence in our cupboard because I can't recall ever wanting to buy canned green beans), and a rice concoction made with wild rice mix, butter, onion, garlic, frozen spinach, and some crumbled feta that's been in our fridge just short of too long. I was surprised to find that it turned out to be a pretty good meal. Even the green beans were okay, since I sauteed some garlic and heated them up in that, plus I added some kosher salt. Plus, they helped me practice my food tossing. You know--mixing things in a pan just by flipping the pan's contents over on themselves. I've been using a method Julia Child recommends in Mastering the Art of French Cooking for learning to flip omelettes: I put a handful of navy beans (also something that needed to be used from my cupboard--score!) in a sautee pan and I've been practicing flipping them. According to Julia,
A simple-minded but perfect way to master the movement is to practice outdoors with half a cupful of dried beans. As soon as you are able to make them flip themselves in a group, you have the right feeling; but the actual omelette-making gesture is sharper and rougher.
So I practiced with the green beans, too, since I didn't mind if I lost them (I generally hate canned green beans) but I found that I'm getting good at this. Anyway. Here's the recipe for the rice, which I'm counting as my thing I've never had before for today.

1/2 cup wild rice mix
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can chicken broth
1 box frozen chopped spinach, drained and squeezed to remove excess moisture
1/4 cup feta cheese (though more would be good, too)
kosher salt, to taste

Sautee the onion in the butter until translucent; add garlic and sautee about one minute longer. Add wild rice mix and sautee about two minutes, until it starts to smell nutty. Add chicken broth and bring to boil; reduce to simmer and cover; cook until broth is mostly absorbed (time will differ depending on rice mix; mine took about 40 min). Stir in spinach and cook until water is completely absorbed. Add feta and stir until spinach is heated through and cheese is distributed. Taste for seasoning. Enjoy!

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