Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cooking Between The Holidays

There are a couple of topics I could tear into today and work myself up into a full roaring rant.

However, it is the "Holiday Season".

I'll save my rants for the New Year unless something dramatic happens.

We had a nice Christmas out here this year. Hope all y'all had the same.

Last night I made a run up to Philadelphia International Airport to pick up a friend and his family. They spent their Christmas in Walt Disney World.

I'm positive they had a nice Christmas.

Glad I could help out with the logistics for them.

It sort of signaled the closure for my Christmas. All is complete.

I could be planning for New Year's Eve.

Of course, New Year's Eve isn't here yet. It can wait.

That leaves me square in part of the "Holiday Season" I like the best.

If you're like me, Christmas leftovers are fine for a day or two. After that, they become a chore to eat.

Really, how much ham, turkey, or rib roast can one consume no matter HOW it's cooked?

Today, with the leftovers safely behind me, it's back to cooking Winter foods.

Cooking Winter foods is all about having a few already prepared items on hand. Take for example, meat sauce. I always try to have a quart or two of meat sauce, marinara, or any other sort of gravy in the freezer during Winter. The stuff is so versatile, it doesn't make sense for me NOT to have it.

I trundled on down to the basement this morning to see what was on hand.

I spied a quart of meat sauce. It dawned on me I had a bag of large cheese stuffed shells up in the kitchen freezer.

That took care of lunch.

Next to the quart of meat sauce was a package of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Chicken is a fine meal anytime of year.

That took care of the main course for dinner.

In my opinion, the key to cooking on the "in between" days of the "Holiday Season" is to keep it as simple as possible, using as few dishes as possible.

I don't know about you folks, but it seemed like I spent a couple hours every day washing dishes of some sort.

In keeping with my philosophy of "simple and few", this is what lunch looks like:

Cover the bottom of two small baking dishes with meat sauce.
Place two stuffed shells in each.
Top with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese.
Spray two small sheets of aluminum foil with Pam cooking spray and cover baking dishes.
Bake at 410F for one hour covered.

It doesn't get any simpler than that short of gnawing on a stick of pepperoni for 10 minutes.

For the record, I find nothing wrong with the pepperoni "recipe" and have availed myself of it more than once.

You can look for my pepperoni recipe, and other simple favorites just like it in my upcoming cookbook, "I Ate WHAT Last Night?: Air Traffic Mike's Guide to Late Night Drunk Food".

It's been years in the making with plenty of painstaking research. The research has been conducted by some of the most competent experts in the field of drunk dining.

One of the biggest innovations is the recipes are printed in both large clear text and "blurry vision" text. The "blurry vision" text is a patented process the gang over at Air Traffic Mike Heavy Industries, LLC. (the official social think tank of Air Traffic Mike) developed. They think that "ShitFontsed", as they named it, will make it an easy read no matter what condition your condition is in.

We're all very excited.

More to follow.

In the meantime I have to tend to my pasta dishes.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

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