You know those times when you know you have so much good stuff in your fridge, but you know it will go bad if you don’t use it soon? Well, on Sunday night, I realized that was the exact status of my fridge. Thankfully, I knew all my roommates (and then some) would be wanting dinner from me, so it was the perfect excuse to make a bunch of different meals. Some might call this a chore. Some might call this silly. I call this capital F Fun
First up was a classic southern favorite: fried green tomatoes. There’s a restaurant in my hometown of Atlanta called Horseradish Grill which serves all classic southern dishes, and their fried green tomatoes are unreal. They are topped with a remoulade sauce, goat cheese, and candied pecans. Sometimes when I miss home I start to crave them. Trying to recreate them was not easy, but I think I did alright. Hopefully I get the real thing sometime soon.
Then I made my mom’s caesar salad. I had some bread that was a few days old, so croutons absolutely had to be made. My mom’s best friend gave her this caesar recipe about 15 years ago, and it is a staple in my house. It is more tart than it is creamy, but that dressing is so light and perfect as a compliment to a main dish or the star of the show. The salad is good, but it’s nothing without homemade croutons. I just toast them in a pan with olive oil and garlic salt. And a salad goes from drab to fab just like that.
I made chicken marsala for a group of big football players who live next door. They tend to smell food and knock on the door. All you need is chicken cutlets, lemon, parsley, mushrooms, and marsala wine. This recipe comes from one of those old, brown, pictureless, storyless, cookbooks that my grandmother probably got at her church for $3 in 1955. There’s really nothing to it, but it feeds a crowd and tastes, well, like your grandmother has made it for 60 years.
My roommates bought some veal scaloppine and herb pappardelle from Savenor’s the previous weekend, and she never used them. Can you imagine not using those the minute you buy them? Her excuse was that she spent the nights in O’Neill all week. Some people really just have their priorities out of whack. Luckily, I was there to save the day and make veal milanese before it was too late.
My other roommate went to Eataly on Sunday and brought home fresh cacio e pepe ravioli, hoping that I would have time to make them for her for dinner. I’m not one to say no to cooking for people, so even though I was already making a million other dinners, I knew I could make it work. I had some sage, so brown butter it was. Only took about five minutes and 3 ingredients, and it was probably the best thing I made all night.
Finally, I just emptied the fridge onto platters. We had some cheese, we had some veggies, we had some store-bought cookies and brownies (eyeroll. who bought these.) and I had a pizza dough, so I threw some of the veggies on the dough and voila. We had about twenty people in and out all night to enjoy my lets-empty-the-fridge-and-make-voute-a-restaurant night. I think I had more fun cooking than I did eating. Gonna miss this dorm life.