Apartment Cooking? Basically ‘Chopped’

After living in my apartment for a month and cooking for myself, I’ve realized something. Apartment cooking is basically like the Food Network show “Chopped.”

In “Chopped,” contestants get a basket full of the most random foods possible then have to create a hopefully delicious meal in only 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the chance to win $10,000 after making dinner…

And that’s what it feels like when I’m making dinner after work. One day, I’ll buy food for a particular recipe and make it. But then, later that week, I have all those leftover ingredients I have to use up, but there’s not enough to make that dish again (and I rarely want to eat the exact same meal for an entire week. There was that weekend where I ate pizza for five meals straight, but that’s a different story).

But unlike “Chopped,” I don’t have the benefit of having a fully stocked kitchen in addition to my four or five really odd ingredients. So, apartment cooking might just be harder than “Chopped.”

So, one week I got home from work to an odd assortment of food in my fridge and cupboard. I had bread, eggs, butter, shredded pork, almond jalapeño jack cheese and asparagus (Note: I had some other food as well, such as pasta and oatmeal, but these are the ingredients I used that night). Naturally, that night, I made an omelet stuffed with shredded pork, sautéed asparagus and jalapeño jack cheese.

Another day, I had some veggie soup (the base to my spaghetti sauce), shredded pork, romano cheese and a fridge full of other random food. That night, I had veggie soup mixed with the shredded pork and romano cheese, and it was surprisingly good.

And last night, I had pasta, sautéed chicken, lemon juice, chicken bouillon, garlic, romano cheese, asparagus, butter and flour. I turned that into a quick pasta and blanched asparagus dish with chicken and a lemon-butter-garlic-chicken broth sauce, sprinkled with the cheese. Now that was good.

I’m sure that I’ll have many more cooking adventures a la “Chopped” as this summer continues … and then I’ll get back to college and have the same fun but with less cooking tools!

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