As soon as we turn the calendar page to November, we cooking and hosting enthusiasts already begin to think Thanksgiving. I’m hosting a “Friendsgiving” this weekend, celebrating our bountiful blessings with some of our closest friends. But when I took a look in my fridge, I realized there wasn’t much room for what I had planned.
I took stock of my fridge, freezer and pantry and got to brainstorming. (sidebar…also beginning to question why I have things like cocktail onions and candy leftover from Easter still in there)
I uncovered a lonely frozen filet mignon. Easy to make that the jumping off point for my dish. It’s clearly not enough for more than one person though….best to keep digging. I also discovered half a bag of frozen peas, a handful of fresh green beans, and some crescent rolls I forgot I’d bought. First thing I thought of was a beef pot pie. Easy comfort food.
I seasoned the beef with some onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and seared it in a pan. While that was cooking I sliced up some onion and garlic (two staples of any cook’s produce drawer) and I found some sliced mushrooms in the pantry, and reached for something else I always keep handy, beef broth. This dish was starting to come together.
After I let the meat rest for a bit, I sliced it up into cubes. Then, in the same pan that I seared the beef, I added a little olive oil and cooked the onions and garlic together. Once they were sweating in there, I tossed in the green beans to soften a bit, and then the mushrooms. (carrots would be good in here too, even asparagus if you have some of that sittin’ around) I mixed the meat with the veggies, and added some peas. Now, it was time to get to work on a sauce.
I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter and added an equal amount of flour, and quickly whisked it together to create a roux. Then I poured in, still whisking quickly, a few cups of beef broth. I left it on the stove at a medium heat until it thickened up. Then I seasoned it. Use what you like, or what you’ve got.
After I added the sauce to the meat and veggies it was time to get creative with my construction, since I didn’t have enough filling for a traditional pot pie or a standard pie crust. I placed some baking cups in a cupcake tin, and opened up the crescent rolls. I filled each baking cup with the meat/veggie mixture. Then I rolled the triangle-shaped crescent rolls into a ball and flattened them out…making mini-pot pie crusts. I baked my adorable little pot pies at 400 degrees for about 17 minutes.
By dinner time I had a nice meal, and bonus: by using up a couple of canned goods, a few items out of the freezer and the remainder of some of the veggies in my produce drawer, I created some much-needed space in my kitchen before I begin prep for “Friendsgiving!”
(Confession: the baking cups don’t help keep it together, only made clean-up easier. This won’t be pretty when you attempt to scoop it out of the cupcake tins, but it’s still tasty.)
What have you unearthed in your fridge/freezer/pantry that you’d like to use up before the most important meal of the year?