I made this up for dinner tonight from the odds and ends I had in the fridge from the weekend. This one's more about cooking without a recipe than trying to ever duplicate it again. There are so many random ingredients it would be a real bother to try to gather these things up from the grocery store. The main idea is to learn what flavors are complimentary and invent! You know way more about flavor combinations than you think. All you have to do is think about what you like to eat based on other dishes you like. For example, in this dish, I had a couple chicken breasts, some chiles, a few olives and some cilantro. It wasn't hard to think Spanish from this collection of ingredients. Then I thought about the way I wanted to cook them. I wanted something healthy, quick, and fresh tasting-- a stir fry! But there's no law that a stir fry has to be Asian, hence the Spanish Stir Fry. From there I wanted to use some zucchini, red onion, tomato and summer squash that had looked good at the Farmer's Market. I always have garlic around-- and there it was, dinner! If this seems like too many ingredients, that's okay; your invention could have far fewer or more, depending on what you have that you want to use up or include. What you don't put in is important though. The difference between a wonderful, freshly prepared dish and "leftovers", is restraint. Don't just empty the refrigerator, heat it up and pronounce it "dinner"! The fun is in finding the friendly combinations! Anyway, here's my "recipe", use it as a guide to making your own luscious, healthy and economical meal.
P.S. I also had an avocado that needed to be used, so I made some guacamole. I served a dab of it on the stir fry. It looked pretty and added even more fresh taste to the dish.
Spanish Stir Fry
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
2 red or green chiles, sliced
about 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 small tomato cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbl. olives, cut up coarsely
Heat about 2 Tbl. olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and saute for a few minutes. Add some salt and pepper. Add the squashes, tomato, garlic, chiles and sliced onions. Cook and stir over high heat until the veggies are looking crisp tender-ish. Add the olives and cilantro and continue to cook and stir until the flavors are blended and the chicken is done-- about another 3-4 minutes. Squeeze the lime over all and serve!
1 small avocado mashed up
1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
squirt of lime juice
2 Tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
Mix altogether and serve with the above stir fry or chips.