There are times when you need to cook something up and you don't have time - or the desire - to run to the store. Company's coming and it's not part of the weekly menu/budget plan.
If you keep a stocked pantry (see earlier posts on that), then you can have the thrill of being able to throw something together that tastes great from the stuff you find on your shelves, and in your fridge. Plus, you get that amazing feeling of creating something ... and a mysterious appreciation for the Iron Chef America competitions.
Here's what I brewed up over the weekend, and it was lick the bowl good:
Reba's Thai Peanut Pasta
1.5 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 T soy sauce
4 T water (play with this, you don't want it too thick or too runny)
Tabasco or red pepper flakes to taste (whichever is in the pantry)
1 T minced ginger (fresh is good, I used the crystalized ginger from the fridge because that's what I had)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped leaves
2 chopped scallions
pasta that you've got on hand (I used wide fett noodles b/c that was in the pantry)
Mix all this stuff together except for the peanuts, 1/2 of the cilantro 1 of the scallions, and the pasta. When you're ready to serve the stuff, cook the pasta al dente, heat the peanut sauce, toss them together. Scatter the held-back cilantro and scallions along with the peanuts over the top. Yum.
(This peanut sauce is good over chicken too, cut up the cooked chicken, toss with the sauce, use the same toppers (the peanuts and such) and serve over a bed of rice.)