I love made-up dinner. Made-up dinner doesn't mean we were so poor and/or lazy today that we had imaginary food; it means I felt inspired to grab things I already had in my kitchen and create something random. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. Tonight it worked, and was full of awesome. AND it was cheap! Oh so tasty. A little too spicy for my kids but OJ and I loved it, and it made enough to feed us for at least two meals.
I like to call it Nicely Spiced Mess O' Beans.
Things I grabbed:
2 small white onions
6 cloves of garlic
1 beef bouillon cube
1 small can green chilies
1 medium can pinto beans
1 medium can kidney beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can white hominy
Tastefully Simply Bacon Bacon mix
Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning Mix
Tastefully Simple Fiesta Party Dip Mix
ground white pepper
light brown sugar
In a medium pot, I put about 2 T of olive oil and warmed it on medium heat. While the oil was warming, I diced the two onions and added them to the pot. I pressed 6 cloves of garlic in and sauteed for a few minutes, until translucent. Sprinkled in about a tablespoon of the Bacon Bacon - would have friend up some regular bacon but my bacon was all frozen, which does not lend itself to 'instant bacon for dinner'. Then I added in the beef bouillon cube (I would have added ground beef if I had it, alas! But this gave it a nice, hearty flavor) and the can of diced green chilies. Cooked those for another minute or so, then added the cans of pinto beans, kidney beans, and diced tomatoes - all undrained. I drained the hominy, rinsed it, and added it to the mix.
Next, it's time for seasoning! I did about 2 T each of the chili powder and brown sugar, and the rest of the spices I just did about a teaspoon of each, just enough for some flavor. I figured I'd let it simmer and then adjust as needed, but I have to tell you, no adjusting was necessary. It was just perfect, a really great blend of flavors. Hearty, warming, with a nice little kick to it. A great chili-stew-southern style bean type mix. YUM.
This is hominy. It's processed corn. Don't worry, I didn't know what it was either, until I did a Native American meal a few weeks back. I thought I had heard it was a corn thing, and I was vaguely afraid the recipe I'd found was calling for that weird diseased corn that's a delicacy somewhere, and I was like OH HELL NO, but thank god, hominy is not diseased corn. That's cuitlacoche, and for the love of god, if you didn't know that people eat diseased corn ON PURPOSE, you probably don't want to click that link. Anyway, that's NOT hominy. Hominy is delicious and undiseased. It's very mild and provided good body to the dish without the over-sweetness of full-on corn kernels. I recommend trying it, it seems quite versatile.
I also cooked up some of this Moist Sweet Cornbread I found over at The Daily Dish. I'm a huge fan of sweet corn bread and this was EXACTLY what I was looking for when I went searching for corn bread recipes. Perfect. I think I have to rename it for my purposes though, because my husband hates the word 'moist', and he loved the corn bread until he saw the name. So when I make it, it will henceforth be known as Tasty Fuckin' Corn Bread. It made a ton, too. Enough for me to stuff myself silly at dinner, still have some for an evening snack, and have plenty left over for dinner number two.
Can I get a what-what? Let's hear some of your favorite made-up dinners!
- with love from K-Pidge