Buying the Wrong Thing at the Store Doesn’t Make You a Donkey

4 07 2010

Ever tried to save your own ass in the kitchen? This happened to my friend, K. She emailed me on Friday, dismayed at her blunder at the grocery store. She said she had gone to the store with the intention of buying feta cheese to make a watermelon and feta salad she’d been reading about. When she got home and unpacked her groceries, she realized that she had, instead, bought gorgonzola, which probably wouldn’t taste too good with watermelon. So now what?

What’s where I come in – she asked me to help her come up with some solutions so the accidental purchase wouldn’t be a total loss.

Option #1 – Beef Tenderloin
Roasting a beef tenderloin and then topping with gorgonzola is an easy solution – the rich flavors seem to go together perfectly. Serve with some roasted potatoes and a simple salad and you have a meal to be proud of.

You could also top a salad with tenderloin slices and crumbled gorgonzola. I’d probably dress it with a simple vinaigrette for a lighter option.

Option #2 – Roasted Asparagus
Snap off the woody stems and oven roast asparagus – for best results, lightly coat with EVOO and a little kosher salt. Toss with toasted walnuts and gorgonzola for a luscious side dish.

Option #3 – Pasta
Gorgonzola easily turns into a creamy pasta sauce. A simple variation is to combine 2T unsalted butter with 1 1/4c milk and 8 ounces of cheeese and bring to a slow boil. Yes, this is an easy version of cheese sauce, but I think it’s a bit runny and doesn’t really cling to pasta the way a sauce should.

Instead, melt 2T butter and then add 2T flour. Stir until you have a roux. Flavor the roux with some salt and pepper, and then begin to slowly add 2c milk (you must slowly add the milk and continue to stir over low heat. Milk that is brought to the boiling point too quickly tends to curdle, which is a surefire way to send someone to the ER).

Once you have combined all of your milk with the roux and the texture is smooth, start to add the cheese. Continue to add cheese until you have reached the desired texture – you will probably need between 1 1/2c and 2c of gorgonzola. This sauce is thick and rich, as well as terrific on pasta or veggies.

For a lighter option, cook your favorite pasta and combine with your favorite veggies, and then top top with gorgonzola crumbles. I just made this tonight with fresh tomatoes from my garden and spinach, and it was great. Can’t wait to take this with me to work for lunch.

Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever gone to the store and bought the wrong thing? What did you do to remedy the situation?