Monday, August 21, 2006

What's for Dinner?

I made a couple of things yesterday that I could take to to work for lunch, but I hadn't planned all that well, so I didn't really have anything I could use to make dinner. I half thought I would stop at the Big Apple on the way home from work and splurge on some pork or chicken, but I spent more at the grocery store yesterday than I had planned and I've almost used up my week's allotment of grocery money, so I decided to make do and scrounge around the kitchen.

I guess it's no surprise that I decided to make absorption pasta. I had one more jar of chicken stock in the freezer so I took it out and defrosted it. I already had the broccoli cooked up, but I didn't have protein. I looked to see what I had on my pantry shelves and my eyes were caught by a can of albacore tuna I've had hanging around for a while.

It may have been reading Kate's Tuna Casserole post over at the Accidental Hedonist that influenced my decision to go with the tuna. I used to make the ubiquitous casserole quite often when I was poor and Mac and Cheese was cheap. Over the years I refined my version, though. I never knew what to do with the cheese packet, so I started throwing that in along with everything else. It tasted good for what it was, but there are so many reasons why I will probably never ever make that again.

So it was a pleasant surprise when this came out tasting like a cleaner, healthier tuna casserole. I think it has to do with the way the pasta absorbs the stock--it's silky and creamy and somewhat reminscent of a cream sauce. It was very tasty.

But it was so much easier to make. I just sauteed some onions and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes, added a cup of pasta and stirred constantly for 2 minutes, then poured in about a cup of the chicken stock that I had heated up. I added some thyme and basil, lowered the heat, covered it and let it simmer for 10 minutes, then I threw in the broccoli and let it warm up for about 3 minutes. Next came the tuna, which I heated up for about a minute.

It made enough for 2 servings. Dinner tomorrow, too.

And I have some drumsticks thawing in the fridge. Time to make more chicken stock, and I can use the meat for dinner Wednesday night.

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