Earl is fascinated with recipes, especially ones that use words like “Best Ever,” “Hubby’s Favorite,” or “Quick and Easy.” The one he handed me the other day was titled “One of the Best Crock Pot Meals I’ve Tried.” I don’t know who the person was who tried it.
The title was a little vague for my money, but vague has never bothered Sous Chef Earl. The lack of specific sizes for ingredients wasn’t a turn-off for him either. So I went to the store and did the best I could to purchase the right amounts of frozen tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and a block of cream cheese. The directions were simple: put everything in the crock pot together, cubing the cream cheese. Cook five hours on low.
This recipe’s title didn’t give a clue as to whether we were preparing soup, a vegetarian stew, or a thicker casserole. But instinct told me to hold back on the broth and cut the cooking time. At two hours into the mission, I tasted the concoction and admit that it wasn’t bad. It was, however, already cooked beyond al dente.
And the pot luck supper we were attending was still four hours away. I turned off the meal and kept it warm until the appointed time. Earl was a little concerned that we were bringing something we’d never made before, but I wasn’t worried. The people we were joining eat anything.
And they did. We came home with an almost-empty pot, and I decided to dub this recipe “Best Ever Hot Spinach and Tortellini Salad.”