Don’t let the title fool you. All of the food I’ve made for my challenges has been homemade. =)
But, sometimes it isn’t necessary to send Joe to the grocery to get food for a cooking challenge. Some of the trickiest challenges can be making a meal of what you already have in the house when you don’t want food to go to waste. And I never want food to go to waste. This is a time when I can try to get really creative if I want to clean out some ingredients before they go bad or to make room for what I plan to buy on my next shopping trip. I made up the challenge out of things already available in my home; that is what I mean by a homemade challenge.
To be honest, it has been a crazy week. We haven’t had single night where I’ve been able to get home at a decent time or Joe has been able to go to the store either. So, this challenge was focused on just making sure we had something for dinner tonight.
What did I come up with?
We were given a large container of already peeled garlic. We use a lot of garlic, but not that much.
I placed all of the garlic in a foil packet and covered it with olive oil. I baked it for about 40 minutes. Next, I seasoned some frozen perch filets we had in the freezer with pepper and put those in the oven to bake.
While they baked, I cut a spaghetti squash in half and started microwaving each half for about 5 minutes. While the fish baked and the spaghetti squash was cooking (does microwaving count as cooking??), I smashed six or seven cloves of garlic, added them to leftover cream cheese from my bagel challenge, frozen pepper strips, and leftover homemade pizza sauce from my pizza challenge. This resulted in a flavorful and creamy pasta sauce.
I topped the spaghetti squash “pasta” with the sauce, placed the baked perch on top, and topped it with italian cheese.
Our assessment was that the sauce was tasty; no changes necessary. The whole dish was good, but I wish I had had chicken or steak on hand instead of perch.
I still hadn’t used all of the garlic, so I found this website with an idea for making garlic butter. You can use it on garlic toast, steaks, pastas, in potatoes, soups, and….the possibilities are endless. It is still softened here, but will harden back into a stick butter consistency in the refrigerator. I’ll keep it safely stored away.
Maybe it will be helpful in a future challenge?