The other night I phoned my wife, who was just leaving work, and asked, what would you like for dinner? She replied, wine. I knew at that point she had a rough day. I had just worked teaching back-to-back classes and simply wanted to go home and order take-out. I really didn't want to make another trip to the market, which would have been my third that day, nor did I want to cook again and then clean up pots and pans after cooking. I really didn't remember that I had much at home to prepare but took a chance and raided my own refrigerator hoping to find not only food but inspiration for something tasty to quickly throw together before my wife got home. The first thing I did was take care of her only request; I went to my wine refrigerator and selected a nice bottle of a 2000 Bordeaux, one with some age, history, and depth.I poured two glasses to allow it to breath.
Next, I scoured the cupboards and raided the refrigerator pulling out anything I could possibly use for my ad-hock meal. I found a container of wonderful homemade chicken soup my wife had made hidden in the freezer. I immediately identified it by the luscious pieces of chicken along with diced carrot and celery peering through the container. I placed the container in the microwave to start the thawing out process. I placed a small pot of salted water on the stove to start cooking some Ditalini macaroni to go with the soup. OK, now we have a start.
While going through the refrigerator I came across some various cheeses, two different blue veined cheese, a creamy St. Andre, and a semi-soft Morbier. Things were starting to look up. A left-over piece of Italian bread would be the perfect accompaniment toasted and coated with some apricot jam, all tastefully arranged on a plate with some sliced pear drizzled with aged Balsamic and topped with pomegranate arils and a few water crackers.
To balance things out I threw together a simple salad of romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, slivered red pepper, a touch of baby arugula topped with a sliced hard boiled egg, just to add a protein component. A drizzle of some unfiltered extra virgin olive oil and a splash of some fig melon Balsamic I discovered hiding in another cabinet. It's amazing the things you rediscover when you forage in your own larder.
The only thing left was a finish for my now stimulating ad-hock meal. Some sweet clementine segments and a few morsels of bittersweet chocolate would bring this wonderful meal to a memorable conclusion.
Next time you think you have nothing at home to eat, think again!