just me


In Chicken, Pasta, Pork, Vegetables on February 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Most delicious leftovers ever!

So, what do you do with a fridge full of odds and ends that individually aren’t worth squat?  You make a fry-up, of course! A fry-up isn’t necessarily fried, but it can be if you want it to be. In this instance, it’s sautéed, boiled, and simmered. It’s another one of those super-flexible things that we love – leave out what you don’t have, throw in what you do!

I love a good fry up for a number of reasons – the number-one reason being that I HATE to throw away food. I am all about the waste-not-want-not philosophy. I dig it, really. With all the people in the world who don’t have enough to eat, how can anyone in good conscience fill up a landfill with food? Food which won’t biodegrade, by the way, because you’ve sealed it so nicely in a plastic bag. Nice. Just don’t throw away food, okay? If you find yourself eighty-sixing the once-edibles, rethink you’re food shopping strategy – you’re buying more than you need. Plan your menu for the week before you go shopping. Stick to the list, and all that stuff. It’s better for everyone, including your wallet.

Fo instance, I just got back from the store, where I bought four clams, four mussels, and four scallops. The fish guy gave me a weird look, but I’m making a seafood risotto tomorrow, and that’s all I needed. And it only cost, like, $3.00. If I had gotten a pound of each, it would have cost about $25.00, and I would have a freezer full of shellfish, because we don’t eat these that often. I’d like to, but they’re pricey. All I’m saying is…PLAN.

Anyway, on to the fry-up. They take various incarnations, they do, and I was really happy with the way this one turned out. My fry-up rule is, “When in doubt, melt some cheese on it.” And I did, but only because I had to use up some cheese. This one would be good either way.



1 1/2 pounds chicken, pork, or both

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 Roma tomatoes, cut into large chunks

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 1/2 cup onion, sliced thin

about 15 stalks asparagus, chopped

2 cups spinach

16 ounces chicken broth

1/2 cup Marsala

4 ounces colby jack cheese, shredded

salt, pepper, basil

1/2 pound orzo, cooked


Do this first – combine the cornstarch and water, then add whatever meat you’re using. Give it a good mix (you can use your hands if you want – it’s an interesting sensation), and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Go walk the dog. Then wash your hands – you’re supposed to be picking that stuff up, you know!

Now, in a large skillet, saute all the vegetables except for the spinach over medium-high heat until slightly tender but not quite done (about five minutes).

Stir in the meat and the Marsala, and cook until the Marsala evaporates – about 5 more minutes.

Add the broth and the seasonings, then bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 2 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer.

At this point, add the spinach and the orzo, and continue simmering for about 7 minutes, or until everything is tender.

Remove from heat, and right before you serve it, I mean IMMEDIATELY before, stir in the cheese, just until it gets melty.This way, when you eat it, it will be all cheese-stringy and delicious.

The sauce in this dish is so rich and velvety that it feels like there’s a couple of pounds of melted cheese in there, but nope! Only four ounces in the whole pan. Awesome. So you don’t even have to feel guilty!

Just look at those cheese strings!


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