writeonthebay

Dirty Rice Does the Job

In Family, Food on May 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm

One challenge of a CSA subscription is not letting food go to waste. You don’t necessarily know what foods you’ll get in a box or how much of them, so it can be tricky to plan a menu and other food purchases. I suppose if you don’t like to cook, this could be a major pain in the ass. If you don’t know what to do with mustard greens and green onions and you don’t care to find out, they are likely to rot or get tossed in the compost.

Luckily for me and my budget, I like to figure out how to make what I’ve got on hand turn into a meal. What’s known as Cajun dirty rice (but what I grew up calling rice dressing) is a great starting point for inexpensive, quick and tasty meals. Saute some aromatics, brown the meat (generally ground), add the starch and seasonings, and your good to go. My husband calls it “camposino” food, and it is more on the peasant end than the haute level, but it gets the job done.

Tonight’s dinner was a quick and dirty cleaning out of the fridge. The kids and I got back from the farm about 5:30 and Richard had a meeting at 6:30, so I had to hustle. Between the fridge and today’s box from the farm, we had a pound of ground beef (originally intended for burgers over the weekend), broccoli chopped for crudite over the weekend, a bag of sauté greens starting to get yellow, more greens in the box, and loads of green onions.

1. Got water boiling for 1 lb. orzo (rice would have taken too long, and no, I do not ever use parboiled or minute rice. It is for the weak!)

2. Browned 1 lb. ground beef. Cleaned and chopped sauté greens. Chopped 4 green onions.

3. With two minutes left on the orzo, threw broccoli into the pasta pot.

4. Drained ground beef, set aside.

5. Sautéed green onions in skillet used for beef for a minute or two, added greens and sautéed until tender.

6. Drained the pasta and broccoli.

7. Combined all ingredients in the pasta pot with salt and pepper to taste.

Family of four fed (and dad out the door to his meeting) in under an hour. Greens and broccoli saved from a compost heap sentence. Mission accomplished. Thanks, dirty rice.

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