Monday, June 22, 2009

My Default Meal

Do you have regulars? I mean meals that you make again and again, by default, when you've lost your inspiration or all you've got in the house is the a mess of greens that need to be used today and a few tiny potatoes? This is mine. It's infinitely adaptable. In the past I have added: sliced radishes, leftover spicy take-out green beans, pecans, chickpeas, leftover asparagus, grated Parmesan, vinaigrette instead of hot sauce... you get the idea. This incarnation is:

One Bowl Meal for One
multiply as necessary

Pile of greens (spinach, in this case, one small bunch), washed and roughly chopped
5 small potatoes (fingerlings or baby yukons, cut into bit sized pieces)
One large shallot, thinly sliced
Hot sauce (I'm a Frank's Red Hot kind of girl)
Chopped fresh herbs such as chives, basil or parsley (optional)
One egg (optional)
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a wide (preferably nonstick) saute pan. Add the potato pieces, toss to coat with oil, and cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes to steam the potatoes. Test for doneness by piercing a big piece with a knife. You know what a cooked potato feels like, right? Once they're cooked through, remove the lid and let them cook in the oil to crisp up a bit. Add the sliced shallot and toss to combine. Continue cooking another 3-5 minutes until the potatoes have some golden brown spots and the shallots are soft. Remove from pan, set aside.

Don't clean the pan, return to medium heat and add spinach. Sautee, turning often with tongs. If necessary, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Cook until wilted and tender but not soggy, 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove to plate.

Add a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce or tangy vinaigrette, top with potatoes and shallots. If you like, top with an over-easy egg and sprinkle with some fresh chives or basil.


  1. Ha, this pretty much looks like my dinner tonight!

  2. I always have long-grain rice on hand. You can make killer fried rice by finding everything in your own produce inventory that won't amount to a full meal and adding to the rice. I add the soy sauce from the millions of extra packets in my junk drawer from my past Chinese food nights.

  3. Looks delish! The egg and fresh herbs are the clinchers for me.

    I usually opt for a frittata (of sorts). Just grab the cheese, veg, pasta, meat remains in the fridge and toss into the eggy pan. Let the heat do all of the work...

  4. This looks good!

    I tend to make chicken or eggplant parm or spaghetti carbonara.

  5. Kickpleat - we find ourselves on the same page again! Heh heh.

    Cresencio - Rice is a great idea! Next time I'm out of potatoes, I'll try rice.

    Jen - I know, the egg is key, right? I think I'd probably eat cardboard flakes if they had runny yolk on them. Also, pasta in a frittata? I've never heard of that but now I'm intrigued..

    Megan - spaghetti carbonara! Yes! I wonder if I have any bacon around...

  6. This is my kind of leftover meal for sure! I always fall back on some sort of egg dish or pasta.

  7. this sounds so simple and so delicious. perfect for hot nights. and i am definitely a fan of saying, "let's have cheeseburgers" from time to time, too.

  8. this food is looking seriously good!!!

  9. Yum, yum, yum. This should be MY default meal. In fact, maybe I'll finally get the chard tonight. (We ordered falafels last night. FAIL.)