March 23, 2020

Plague Dinner # 7

Plague Dinner from the Pandemic Pantry - What to make with Potatoes and Left-over ground Chicken and 2 boneless Chicken Breasts?

Gnocchi and Chicken in a Creamy, Sagey Sauce.

Serves 3, but took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make, however...

It got RAVES!

I made gnocchi from scratch. Never a good idea. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. Use frozen or shelf gnocchi.

If you must know, I made a delicious gnocchi dough with 4 potatoes mashed and cooled, spread out on a pan to dry.

I put the spuds in a shallow bowl, made a well in the centre, added about 1.5 cups flour and 1 egg. Then I incorporated the potato into the egg and flour.

I dusted my board with flour and on it rolled a lemon sized chunk of of gnocchi dough and rolled it into a tube. Then cut it into inch-long pillows. Don't bother making them fancy by rolling them on a fork.

I made about 100 pieces. Like I said, the dough was tasty.

In the meantime I cut up 2 chicken breasts into chunks and browned them for about 8 minutes a side, turning meanwhile to avoid all pinkness. I added some salami slices and  added the left over ground chicken from earlier in the week.

Sauce: The cheapest, cheatiest sauce. In a Pyrex measuring cup I added a sprinkle of dried Italian seasoning, a squirt of chicken OXO, a glug of white wine and, because I had no cream, 1/2 a cup of milk and a tablespoon of cream cheese. I stirred it all around until the cream cheese was mostly incorporated. Add to the chicken a minute or 2 before serving.

Back to the gnocchi

In the 2nd largest saucepan I had, I dropped them into rapidly boiling water. I strained them out with a slotted spoon when they rose to the surface, in just minutes. My problem is that those gnocchi on the bottom got pretty water-logged.

I then added them to a hot pan of oil and garlic. Smelled great but only about 1/2 of them kept their shape.

But when they were all together on the plate, they replicated a Christmas dinner, according to George and Noah. The mushy gnocchi was like potatoes and stuffing put together!

They gave dinner a 9.4 out of 10. Lots of props for this one. 

Going to take a 2 day break from blogging. Tonight, I know for sure we're having Egyptian tomato soup, polenta and roasted vegetables. They're in the oven!

#pandemicpantry #plaguepantry #isolationdinners #selfisolation #plaguemeals #plaguedinner #pantrymeals 

March 22, 2020

Plague Dinner # 6

Spaghetti in Meat Sauce. 

You know how it goes. 

We used to have spaghetti every Saturday night when Noah was younger. Then we'd scramble to clean up so we could watch Saturday Night at the Movies on TVO. That's long gone, but I thought I could re-institute the spaghetti tradition. 

Not much different here. I tried to make the ground chicken more beefy by dousing it in beef bouillon. We enjoy spaghettini more than its thicker cousin. I added onion, half a green pepper and a handful of baby spinach leaves. 

Always a favourite. 8.9 out of 10. 

Next up: something with potatoes, eggs and 2 chicken breasts. 

March 21, 2020

Plague Dinner # 5

Brussels Sprouts Soup and a Kind-of-Jamie Oliver Pasta

Makes enough for 3. Took a leisurely 40 minutes. 

What can I make with left-over Brussels sprouts, rice and frozen spinach pucks?

This was a very green meal, but the greener the better, right?

To make the soup:

This soup was very similar in flavour to a main dish I made the other day, so therefore it was yummy.

So I fried some garlic in butter and added 10 tailed left-over Brussels sprouts. Then I tossed in some left over rice (with turmeric) that I made yesterday. (Rice adds a thickness to the soup and will be undetectable once I puree it.) To this, I added my friends lemon zest and mustard. Stirred it about and added 3.5 cups chicken stock. I brought it to a boil, then simmered for 20-25 minutes. Does it need salt? Then I pureed it with an immersion blender. 

The pasta I made used up some thawed spinach pucks. 4 or 5. Steamed.
Once cooled I put the steamed spinach in the "Oscar" blender that I've had since I was 21. I added 1 cup cottage cheese and a healthy dash of sea salt and about 1/2 a cup white cheddar. Parmesan would have been better but I didn't have any.  Then I "blitzed" it for about 10 seconds. 

I boiled the spaghettini for the required time and I added one peeled of garlic to the salted water. I drained the pasta, and rescued the garlic. I added the garlic to the spinach puree and pureed it again for a couple of seconds. 

The pasta goes back in the pot, the puree of spinach goes on top, and I stirred it about until all the pasta is green. 

(Jamie makes this with Savoy cabbage, ricotta and parmesan, but I had none of that). I also forgot to take good photos. 

The guys liked it and give it a 8.2 out of 10. 

Next. It's Saturday, so it has to be Spaghetti. Too much pasta perhaps? We'll see. 

March 20, 2020

Plague Dinner # 4

Chicken Torpedoes and Tangy Lime Chips

What to do with left-over 6-layer dip, ground chicken and 2 tortillas.

Made for than enough for 3. Took 45 minutes. 

I found this  tasty, however ground chicken is pretty bland and hard to spice up. Without going into too much detail I was going to make torpedo-shaped chicken patties and put them in tortilla wraps. However, unbeknownst to me, we had only 2 wraps left. So I had to improvise.

I took one pack ground chicken, mixed it up with 1/2 cup 6-Layer Dip,(it's gone now),  half a green pepper and about a tablespoon of minced onion, some mysterious chili spice Noah brought home from work and salt. I formed them in to 7, yes 7 torpedo shaped  patties and baked them at 400 for 25 minutes. 

While this was going on I toasted the tortillas in the oven on one side for about 4 minutes to firm then up a little.

I added 1 tsp lime zest to about 1 tb mayo and a squirt from my plastic lime. My lime is from Italy so I feel somewhat better about not using fresh! No Realemon here and added  salt and fresh pepper to taste.

Spread on the cooled tortillas. Put back in the oven for 5-6 minutes. 
When cool enough, scissor into equal-sized triangles. 

In the interim, I boiled some rice, added turmeric for colour and boiled some broccoli. 

The meal wasn't bad, but the guys were less than thrilled with the meat. They gave it a 70.5 out of 100. 

Tomorrow: Can I make soup out of the left-over cauliflower? Can I replicate a Jamie Oliver pasta?

#thePlague #PlagueDinners 

March 19, 2020

Plague Dinner # 3

Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts in a Lemon/Garlic Sauce

AKA Half a packet of Store-bought Gnocchi, Half packet of Salami, Brussels Sprouts

What can I make from the fridge without having to go to the store?

This one's a winner. 

Serves 2 no problem. 3...well that's another story.  Took exactly 25 minutes. 


Olive oil 
1/2 onion
6 slices of sliced mild salami
30-36 Brussels sprouts
1 garlic clove peeled
1.5 tb butter
1.5  tb flour
1 cup milk
1 tb lemon zest
1 tb mustard
Dash of white wine (optional)
1/2 package of store bought gnocchi

Here we go - 

Slice the onion. 
Slice the salami into strips

Tail the Brussels sprouts
Put the sprouts on to boil in a roomy pot for 15 minutes

Make the white sauce this way:
Soften the garlic in the butter for about 5 minutes in a small saucepan on medium/low. This will smell GORGEOUS. Smoosh down the garlic with the tines of a fork.
Add the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until all mixed.
Add a little milk until you have a smooth paste.
Add a dash of salt.
Add the remainder of the milk. Turn up to medium/high stir with your wooden spoon until no lumps remain and the first bubbles appear. Then reduce heat to simmer. 
Stir in the mustard and lemon zest. Add a very small splash white wine. Keep saucepan on very low heat. Don't let the sauce boil.

Next, fry the onion and salami in a little oil on a medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes

When the Brussels sprouts have about 4 minutes to go add the gnocchi to the pot. When the 15 minutes is up, drain. 

Turn down the onion to low. 

Add the sprouts/gnocchi.

Add the sauce. Combine

This was really good. My guys gave it a 9 out of 10. They raised it to a 9.4 when I made them pasta shells to go with the sauce. My original quantities were not enough for 3. 

Next time, what can I create with ground chicken, left over 6-Layer dip and some left-over tomato sauce.