Return of the Pantry Raid

The Pantry Raid is a simple technique for creating a meal without running out to the store. It means raiding the refrigerator and the pantry for a few things that together might just make a meal. Let’s see how the Daisy Reality Show explains a pantry raid to the bumbling assistant director.

Daisy: Let’s see. Leftover rice, but not quite enough. I’ll add to that.

Assistant: Add what?

Daisy: Go in the back hallway, please, and pick out two cans of kidney beans. If I don’t have two, get kidney beans and something else.

Assistant (doubtful): Beans? Oooohkay.

Daisy: Trust me. She digs into the produce drawer and finds two peppers, one green and one red, about 1/4 of each left. Oh, and grab a small onion while you’re there, please!

Assistant: I haven’t figured out how any of this can actually feed a family.

Daisy: Watch me. The end result will resemble red beans and rice – a good meatless meal on its own, or one with a little meat added. She dices the peppers and the onion, throwing the onion’s peeling into the compost bucket beside the sink. 

Assistant: Rice, beans, onion, peppers – now what?

Daisy: Well, that would be enough if I had a bigger batch of rice. Since I don’t, I’ll make a small pan of quinoa to stretch it. The flavors will mesh nicely.

Assistant: What’s quinoa?

Daisy: Never mind. Just watch. This is a classic pantry raid. I’m throwing together the last of the peppers, an onion, and sauteing them in a pan. When they’re soft, I’ll add the cans of beans. When that has heated through, I’ll add the leftover rice and the quinoa I just cooked. Sprinkle a little dried red chili pepper and garlic salt, and we have a tasty main course or side. Excuse me, I need to reach the meat drawer.

Assistant: Meat? I thought you said meatless.

Daisy: It can be meatless, but I happen to have a few andouille sausages left after last week’s jambalaya. They’ll be perfect either diced and added to the mix or served on the side in hot dog buns.

Assistant: What did you call this?

Daisy: A Pantry Raid. The first word has an R in it. It’s not the kind of thing your frat house fantasized about doing to the girls’ dorm. Pantry. Food storage.

Assistant (blushes): Oh. I get it.

Daisy: Next lesson? Planned-overs.

So we leave the family members at the O.K. Chorale with their tasty meal, courtesy of a creative cook and a pantry raid. We’ll return to the Daisy Reality Show some other time – maybe after the family eats. Or maybe after the director gets tired of her bumbling assistant and hires someone new. 

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