Friday, September 25, 2009

UnRecipe: A-Team Montage Meal

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team. (courtesy Wikipedia)

*Cue awesome opening theme music, totally rad all-black van with red stripe along the side, and lots of 1980s controlled pyrotechnic explosions*

I had a refrigerator full of random leftover ingredients from various meals. Something needed to happen, lest mass spoilage take over. And I had not the awesome manpower of Hannibal, Face, B.A. Barracus, nor their uncanny ability to break out "Howling Mad" Murdoch from the psych ward for yet another weekly hour-long episode. I took matters into my own hands. By the Power of MacGyver cooking, inspired by several seasons' worth of A-Team montages where the team inexplicably built a fully loaded armored vehicle out of some bailing wire and an old beater Volvo, I set to work, creating new meals of scraps and spare parts.
I pity the fool who doesn't like this blue cheese and tomato tart - Photo by Wasabi Prime

There was a bit of pie dough remaining from the goat cheese and roasted plum tart. I also still had a handful of fresh Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes from blog buddy, Picket Fence, as well as chunks of leftover blue cheese. It wasn't an armored tank miraculously pieced together to raise hell on some vigilante baddies, but a rustic blue cheese and tomato tart was certainly disarming on an edible level. I flattened the spare bit of dough into a rough circle, put a thin layer of fig jam (yes, I realize I'm addicted) on the bottom, crumbled the cheese over that, and dotted the whole tomatoes over the surface. I folded the edges in, so it created a low wall, and drizzled a bit of olive oil and lemon thyme over the top before popping it into the oven to bake itself to roasted cheesy goodness. Delicious results that would convince even the ill-tempered B.A. to agree to get on a plane.

The broiler hides all manner of odd-shaped vegetable scrap sins - Photo by Wasabi Prime

Waste not, want not, even if that includes melon-baller shaped scraps of vegetable innards that were saved from hollowing out several yellow table squash for the Meatless in Seattle post. I know, it's weird that I kept them, but there was enough to take up a big plastic yogurt container and it felt like a terrible waste to simply toss them. I was hell-bent with the conviction of Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, to use up those odd-shaped scraps. Sauteeing the squash with more refugees from the vegetarian meal like homemade pesto, and tossing with cooked penne pasta, I put the creamy mix into a baking dish, covered with leftover fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and placed it under the blazing coils of the broiler to get browned and crispy. Sure, it wasn't fancy, but this impromptu baked pasta had delicious flavor of summer pesto with the rich creamy texture of melted cheese, and no remainders of the Meatless in Seattle meal went to waste.

Chorizo is just another way of convincing us that pork truly is a magical animal - Photos by Wasabi Prime

A-Team, meet the Protein Team. A cryogenically-preserved bit of chorizo from the Way-Back Machine of stuffed pattypan squash yielded two egg-themed dishes. The leftover savory custard from the goat cheese and plum tart filled a spare ramekin, which was partially filled with the chorizo, and a mighty meaty quiche was created. The remainder of the chorizo was mixed with some defrosted mashed sweet potato. I had a little container of roasted, mashed sweet potato also in the freezer, no lie. I made pan-fried croquettes from this mixture, browning the outsides and then serving them up with a fried egg over the top. Not quite sure what kind of dish that would be, other than simply saying it was tasty and filled with comfort food delight.

At the end of several weeks' worth of meal leftovers and wayward ingredients, everything found a way to be incorporated into a new meal. As Hannibal would say during each A-Team episode, I love it when a plan comes together. Amen, to that. *Freeze frame, then let credits roll *

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  1. I love it! These are such resourceful ways of using up leftovers, and the results look just as yummy. That fried egg looks delicious.

  2. I agree, waste not, want not! I really, really LOVE that cherry tomato-blue cheese tart..and that baked penne too!

  3. I've done a lot of "McGyver" cooking myself. But yours are so much more imaginative than mine. All the dishes look great.

  4. Lovely dishes. I also love chorizo and with everything. I think we can be neighbors.


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