Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the good, the bad, the tasty

Sometimes, when I'm really hungry and I don't have much "quick" food around, I eat strange and possibly gross things. It's not that uncommon for me to eat what is essentially a tuna fish sandwich sans bread. Yes, tuna in a bowl, with mayonnaise and salt and pepper. (Although, to my credit, that usually a meal I eat in case of extremity, when my body is clamoring and I have no time and no leftovers. Usually.) And Erica once called me and asked me what I was doing and I guiltily replied "Eating cold instant mashed potatoes from my fridge..." While I love food and cooking, sometimes my body and its strange and somewhat unfortunate metabolism remind me that food is not solely for comfort, it is for fuel.
This week hasn't been quite that bad, but I have had opera every night and it's been cutting into my cooking schedule. I rarely cook except at night, because I never know how long it will take and I'm loath to risk spending a whole day on something I thought would be quick. (Apparently, I'd rather eat dinner at 11 PM.) So this week has been a careful rationing of leftovers and quick food like Trader Joe's pre-packaged simmer sauces. Last night, spurred on by hunger and the fact that I had one pot clean and no real veggies, I made the following, which was not half bad:

Cheesy Rice

1/2 cup white rice
dried tart cherries
mozzarella cheese

Cook the rice. Halfway through, add a handful of cherries. When it's cooked, add a bunch of shredded cheese.

Not really a recipe even, but not my worst "throw together what I have in the fridge" meal, not by a long shot. But this afternoon, I decided that a sweet potato that I had sitting in a bag on the floor had to go into this recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. And that was, admittedly, better than my cheesy rice. Here's my (very slightly) adapted version, which I am eating as I write. Good for lunch for one.

Spicy Crispy Sweet Potatoes

1 sweet potato
1/2 heaping teaspoon coriander (ground or seeds)
1/2 heaping teaspoon fennel (ground or seeds)
1/2 scant teaspoon dried oregano
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the sweet potato into wedges, not too large or too thick. (I cut off the ends, sliced my sweet potato in half hamburger-style, and wedged from there.) Mix the spices in a bowl and mash around with a glass for a finer grind. (This is important especially if any of your spices are still in seed form. Also, of course you can use a mortar and pestle or a clean coffee grinder instead.) Toss the sweet potatoes, spices, and some olive oil in a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, then 20 more minutes.


Rosiecat said...

Where is MY sweet potato? Where, I ask you, WHERE?

It occurs to me now that Sweet Potato would be a very endearing nickname. A little earthier than Muffin but just as cute! It's sort of a variation on Pumpkin, which is what I call my niece. I could be Aunt Sweet Potato!

ammie said...

It's in my fridge, waiting for the next time we meet ;)
It's interesting how many pet names are food words. I wonder what exactly that means.

Lauren said...

yeah, a lot are animal words too . . . but i think more are food words. maybe because it makes the beloved more diminutive, or more able to be possessed and consumed?

ShanaRose said...

my worst "throw together what ever is in the fridge and eat it stat" meal was brown rice and hummus mixed together. no, i absolutely do NOT recommend it, honey pie. ("honey pie" makes "you" more diminutive perhaps, but rather than be possessed and consumed, "you're" more likely to be spread over one's skin in a sticky, treacly massage.)