Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thai beef and wild rice salad

I forgot to take a photo of today's recipe. Sorry.

Yesterday I posted my harangue about making soup from bits and pieces of stuff you find on hand. Today I will compose a salad, again using small amounts of miscellanea sitting in the fridge, the pantry, the crisper drawer (another excellent hideout for stuff).

The problem with the crisper drawer is that everything in there is in a plastic bag. So it can take a bit of doing to get a clear picture of what you’ve got. This is where the inventory system I talked about yesterday re-emerges today.

Ironically enough, Mark Bittman (the “minimalist”) in today’s NY Times food section goes on at some length about lists so that things don’t get lost. I’d almost think he read my blog.

But seriously, folks, in our house Peter and I have finally begun to exhibit some discipline and keep frequently updated lists on hand for the contents of the fridge and freezer. I simply stick a piece of paper (actually from a notepad) on the door of the fridge and write and cross off whatever goes in or comes out. You can do it. Once you get a sense of how much more efficiently you use the food you’ve paid good money for, you’ll be patting yourself on the back (as we are now doing frequently).

Today’s recipe used only items I had on hand and fell into the category “use it, or lose it.” Here’s what the inventory led to:

Thai beef and wild rice salad
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup finely diced celery (with leafy parts if possible)
2 scallions, green and white parts diced fine
3 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
2 tbsp chili/garlic paste
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
2 cups cooked wild rice
6 oz. cooked steak

Put the first 6 items in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the rice, mixing everything thoroughly. Give it a taste and add more of anything you think it needs (for me it was a bit more fish sauce).

Cut the steak into thin slices across the grain. Over medium-low heat, warm the steak in a non-stick skillet for a few minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of soy sauce. Serve the rice in bowls topped with steak slices.

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