Thursday, May 05, 2011

Dinner for Two

My Grandma Lillian is an experienced hostess who is quite accomplished in the kitchen and notorious for buying and making excessive amounts of food.  She has multiple refrigerators and freezers, all jam-packed, and she can never understand why her four guests can't finish a homemade feast that would easily satisfy ten people.  If you leave her house hungry, she considers the evening a failure.   

I've inherited a few of my grandma's culinary habits, mostly involving baking too much dessert, and I also find myself frequently making enough food for more than two people.  There are multiple reasons for this phenomenon: I enjoy eating leftovers for lunch and/or dinner, I'm occasionally too lazy to halve recipes, or I have the full amount of an ingredient and need to use it.  

Sometimes recipes will say that they serve two, but we'll get more than one meal out of them.  Pasta, for example, is often written into recipes as a half pound for two people, but we just don't eat that much, especially if there are other hearty components to the dish.

Last night I wanted something simple and healthy that wouldn't require a big trip to the grocery store.  I knew I had about a half pound of ground chicken in the freezer (Grandma Lillian can document her freezers' contents in her head, too) and decided to make a Thai dish that I'd found a couple years ago on Serious Eats.  I made it even easier by using frozen, shelled edamame instead of green beans since the grocery store beans were pathetic.  (This picture is also pathetic, but I didn't want to get up for my camera while I was eating, so my phone had to do.)  Miraculously, the grocery store had organic, locally grown holy basil, which is hard to see, but it made a big difference.  

For a quick dinner, this has a ton of flavor and is a healthier option than Thai takeout.  With white rice, it yielded just a little over two servings, and the extra was already consumed today. If my grandma had made it, she probably would've doubled the recipe for herself and my grandpa.  The leftovers would be lost for weeks in her overflowing fridge, or maybe just force-fed to an innocent friend or family member.  

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