You know the game.  I have [x] and [x] and [x] in my refrigerator which I need to use up.  What shall I make for dinner?

Here’s the list:

  1. A ‘smidge’ of ground beef, left over from tostadas
  2. Chopped green onions, also left over from tostadas
  3. 1/4 cup of “hard sauce” left over from a Christmas pudding we shared with our neighbor over coffee this week.  Hard sauce is made from butter, powdered sugar and brandy.

And the timer’s running….What are you making?

Here’s mine, and it was pretty good

Thai Throwdown

(with apologies to Bobby Flay)
  • Handful of ground beef or very small beef cubes
  • Handful of green onions, chopped
  • 2 T hard sauce
  • 2 cups fresh spinach with stalks removed
  • 1 stem lemon grass
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil (thank you to sister Patti for telling me that fresh basil can be frozen)
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • Handful of dried shiitake mushrooms (buy in bulk; it’s so much cheaper)
  • Clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 beaten egg

Over medium heat, warm the beef, mushrooms and hard sauce.  Add the garlic and enough boiling water to make as much soup as you want (isn’t being a definitive cook precise?).

Add the spinach, basil, mushrooms, soy, fish sauce and simmer until mushrooms have softened and flavors have combined.  Add vinegar and stir gently.  While still stirring, pour the beaten egg in a slow gentle stream to form the threads.  Serve in bowls and enjoy; take the lemon grass bits out first!

PS – if you don’t have any hard sauce, not to worry.  Throw a little sake, plum wine or sherry in, cut back on the amount of vinegar because you’re not counteracting any sugar at that point, and it will probably be magnificent.

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