Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Aack! What's for dinner???

Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer is doing a themed Works for Me Wednesday this week - what to make for dinner when there's nothing to make (actually, she said "fix" for dinner, but this girl grew up too far north of the Mason-Dixon line to say that without sounding ridiculous).

My real go-to standard when there is Absolutely Nothing At All In The House is stir-fry, usually Chinese or Thai style. It's deliciously, healthy and super-easy. We eat this way often. I just put up some rice or noodles, chop up a bunch of whatever is in the house, and wok it up with a bunch of Asian seasonings or sauces. Here's an example (with ingredients and instructions). It looks complicated if you're not used to cooking this way, but once you are it's a cinch. It also works well for me because I keep all the Asian stuff stocked at all times and then just need to throw in whatever veggies are around, and some chicken/beef/tofu (or not) as a protein. Plus, if you do throw in both vegetables and a protein, it's a great all-in-one dinner, no sides to fix. (See, there's that fix again. It's creeping into my NY born and bred vocabulary!)

For more American-style cooking, my easy there's nothing for dinner standard is sloppy joes.

Dice and fry up one onion
Brown a package of ground beef
Add a combination of:

Crushed tomatoes (I use the ones that come with garlic)
BBQ sauce
A bit of tomato paste to thicken
Tabasco sauce (or cayenne pepper, depending on my mood)
Perhaps some liquid smoke
And a bunch of spices (cumin, hot paprika, coriander, chili pepper, garlic, etc., or, if if I'm feeling particularly lazy just a whole bunch of McCormick's Mexican seasoning mix).

There are no real quantities, it's all to your own particular taste.

Simmer for about 20 minutes

Serve over warmed bread. Or, if you have no bread in the house (who me?) it works equally well over rice. Not that I would know...

Now, as we say in Israel, b'teavon, which is Hebrew for bon appetit.


J. Lynne said...

I remember when stir-fry was "discovered" in the 80's. We suddenly began having it for dinner all the time. It became one of my mother's standards. It was red beans & rice, spaghetti, stroghanoff, lots of shake 'n bake, and stir-fry.

I always liked sloppy joes but we hardly ever had those.

I wonder if I can make a vegetarian version of a sloppy joe. Hmmmm...

Janet said...

mmmm, that sounds GREAT!

Robin said...

I've done something similar with tofu so yes, I bet it would work.

Maddy said...

Wed = pizza, Fri = pasta , everything else inbetween is a pain because that's all they like to eat!

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Robin said...

Sounds like me Maddy, except that most nights are schnitzel with the occasional plain pasta thrown in. Itai eats pizza but Maya will only eat plain crust - no sauce, no cheese LOL.

Unknown said...

Sloppy Joes are always a big hit at our house.


Phyllis Sommer said...

lol! when we were in israel, our go-to meal was always pita and hummus. we make veggie sloppy joes from a box. that's another good meal...can you get that kind of thing in israel?

Fairly Odd Mother said...

And. . .since we never have thawed ground beef when we need it, I keep those 'soy crumbles'--I like Boca's version--in the freezer and use those in place of ground beef when I need it. Since sloppy joe sauce is so rich, you can't taste the difference and the texture is the same as ground beef. (we've had many a night of 'Aack! What's for dinner???").

I never think to try stir fry---I should give that a try sometime.

Lea said...

yummmm Robin, any leftovers... :-)