This question is a daily discussion around here and I know it is for most people. With
our world in ciaos, we often find comfort in the mundane. I am a professional chef and I think about food all time and when it comes to writing a menu or coming up with a concept for a menu, I often have to edit myself. Posed with the question of what to make for dinner daily at home on the other hand, well you may as well ask me to solve the the world's issues. I have two people to cook for and it is hard enough, and I can only imagine cooking to everyone's taste in a larger family. The question of what to make for dinner is more complex than one may think. There is a long list of questions buried in that phrase let's start with what do you have in the fridge and pantry? Does everyone in the household eat and like a lot of the same things? Is there a particular style of food your craving currently? Do you have to run to the store for anything? How much time do you have and what is your level or desire for cooking. Do you really want to do all those dishes? I personally love variety and I find it hard to eat the same thing or same style of food all the time. This is where stocking your pantry and fridge can open up your ability to create something or have the necessary ingredients needed for a recipe you want to try. I personally have always been a person that goes to the store and shops for a specific meal I want to make or just for the day, but that really changed when I was home all the time because of a world pandemic. I realized having a great variety of pantry items on hand made my dinner making job a little easier. Now I know there are those planners out there, that plan out their meals weekly and shop accordingly and I applaud you. If you cook on a whim or happen upon a recipe you want to make then some of the following tips and lists of pantry and fridge/freezer items may help you.
This past week for me was one of those weeks I was not feeling very creative and I wasn't able to make it out to the store. We ordered one meal out and picked it up curbside. I did manage to make a few meals, we had two Mexican food nights, a Asian inspired meal and then we found comfort in the "mundane" we had a burger and fries night (I had a chicken sandwich). It was the best one all week. I am going to share with you some yummy additions and "bump ups".
British Style Chips, Pomegranate BBQ Sauce, Grilled Vidalia Onion, and Smoked Mozzarella made this meal!
I wedged some Yukon gold potatoes and par-boiled them in salted water with a few garlic cloves till just tender but not falling apart. Then I drained them and set them aside till they were tacky to the touch. Then doubled fried them. Sprinkled them with salt. Rubbed thick slices of Vidalia onions with oil, salt and pepper and seared in a hot cast iron pan. On to the barbeque sauce it was so good sweet and tangy. Season ground beef and sear in a super hot cast iron pan to create a crust. Melt on the smoked mozzarella, top it all off with lettuce, tomato, the barbeque sauce so so good. I also roasted some broccoli to make sure we got our veggies.
Super quick and Easy Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. crabapple preserves (apple will be fine)
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. pomegranate molasses
2 garlic cloves
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
fresh cracked pepper
Toss it all in a saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer-done!
Check out the lists in the recipe tab to see if you can add anything to your pantry or fridge to up the game for the dreaded "what's for dinner tonight" question. Lists are categorized by region. There are currently three regions.