Let’s start off by stating the patently obvious – this dish isn’t likely to have chef Thomas Keller banging on my door, frantically begging me to hand over the recipe any time soon.
Crafty use of leftovers? Check!
Discovery of a new vegetable assortment in the freezer section of local supermarket? Check!
Steak? SPROUTS?!! Checkety, check, check, check!!!1!
This was the final outing for the leftover satay sauce from the chicken dish I made earlier in the week.
I’d already used a small bowlful as a dip sauce the night before, making a quick supper of it along with some cucumber, carrot, and celery batons.
After another night in the fridge, making 2 in total, the flavours had really had a chance to develop. Thicker, and tastier. The fridge pixies had worked their magic yet again.
“Dad, what are you doing in there? The cat’s terrified!”, demanded Paleovirtus Jr.
“I’m cooking lunch!”, I retorted, somewhat indignant.
I can only assume that the source of the cat’s discomfort was my latest experiment in the dark arts of leftover reuse. To be perfectly frank, I was more than a little nervous myself. I think all that frantic meowing was his way of saying “Man-father, are you serious? Stop. Please stop! STOP NOW! NOOOOOOO!”
Pytt I Panna, literally “Bits in the Pan”, began as a hash created to use up leftovers.
Other Swedish dishes, such as the meatball of legend, or Janssons Frestelse, may be capable of being scrubbed up and polished to a fine finish, and wheeled out at those 2 high-points of the Swedish culinary year, Midsummer and Christmas, but never Pytt I Panna.
I don’t think Pytt is bothered, though, to be honest. It’s happier doing what it does best, feeding families who want a good, honest, meal during the working week, one that isn’t going to seriously dent the budget.
The combination of prawns (or shrimp, as some of our chums refer to these delicious little crustaceans) and spinach, is, for me, one of the best demonstrations of the magic, the sheer alchemy, of Indian cuisine.
If someone were to give you a bowl containing just cooked prawns and sautéed spinach, you would probably be thankful, but also slightly underwhelmed and a trifle disappointed.
Were they then to snatch the bowl out of your hands before you could reluctantly tuck in, add a splash of sauce carefully crafted from several select spices, and then return it to your possession, I would wager a pretty penny that you would now be more than happy to fill your face.
Just before the reactor core went up, the technicians at Chernobyl were allegedly conducting some kind of experimental systems test. Experiments sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Bad consequences.
Admittedly, the pairing of two sets of leftovers that rarely, if ever, get to share the same plate is not quite on the same scale as the scorching and poisoning of millions of square miles, and is not likely to lead to mass panic and emergency evacuations, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t apprehensive about how this latest creation to stumble out of the Frankenfridge would taste.
Europe and Mexico, squished together out of sheer necessity. Well, hunger and idleness, more like. Still, “..the Mother of Invention…”, and all that. Worked for Zappa.
Even re-heating the schnitzels in the microwave seemed to be compounding the insult to the culinary gods. I then began to worry about the possible side effects that might arise when hot pork meets cold salsa straight from the fridge. Without thinking, I gave the schnitzels a liberal dousing with Louisiana Hot Sauce.
Oh Lordy, this couldn’t end well. “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
I was simply too hungry to turn back now. Abandoning what bit of common sense I have, I began to eat.
What can I say? It felt so right, it couldn’t be wrong.
Yesterday I felt well rough.
I knew I was in trouble when I got out of bed and didn’t want to go out on my early morning bike ride. “You’re ill, aren’t you…?”, commented Mrs. Paleovirtus as I limped back to bed.
Tux only knows what hit me. Some lurgy or other. Whatever it was, it never quite managed to put me completely out of action, but it did mean that I wasn’t exactly overkeen on cooking, which, given the fact that my digestive tubules were dancing to the “What Goes Down Just Might Come Up Again” Calypso, was probably a good idea.