We love cooking shows, especially the challenges. If you've ever watched "Chopped" that airs on Tuesday night, you know they give the competing chefs a mystery box of ingredients to work with. Hubby keeps saying that we should have mystery box nights where we just pull a variety of ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator and cook it all up. Last night, I decided to try it.
I had four small half chicken breasts to start with and I just started grabbing stuff. I had a package of cremini mushrooms and a shallot in the fridge that needed to be used so I chopped and sautéed them in a hot skillet with the last of a jar of minced garlic in water. (This is my favorite new thing. I always buy fresh garlic, but YD's BF cooked for us one night and brought this jar of minced garlic, then left it here. I have been using it more and more often because it not only tastes great, but it's so easy!) I am a huge fan of creminis and shallots - they produce such a wonderfully rich, earthy flavor together. Chopped the chicken breasts into chunks and threw them in the skillet, too.
Digging around in the pantry I found half of a 16 oz. package of orzo, which is tiny pasta that looks kind of like rice. I started that boiling. Also in the pantry, there was a 12 oz. jar of Heinz Homestyle Mushroom Gravy ... okay, that sounds good.
I wanted another vegetable besides the mushrooms, so I grabbed what was left of a bag of frozen corn out of the freezer and dumped that in the skillet. Then, the jar of mushroom gravy. Hubby walked into the house about this time and said it smelled great!
After I drained the orzo in a strainer, I mixed it into the skillet with everything else. We had bread and butter with it and, I have to say, considering I made it up as I went along just using up stuff that needed to be used, it was very good.
So, just for fun, try mystery box night ... and let us know what creative meal you come up with!