When Cravings Lead to Creativity

Having fun with food and 2 unique recipes


What do you do when you have a hodgepodge of ingredients and you are so hungry for something that you would eat your own socks? Well, let's leave the socks out. Today, chefs do more than follow recipes, they enhance them or they engage in what we like to call "Creative Cooking," where they create their own unique culinary creation, artwork, invention... Oh, here we go with the old Art vs. Science cooking debate.

Late one evening Nancy and I were in the mood for clams and linguini. The problem was… we had no clams and the stores were all closed. After a few unsuccessful calls to neighbors, we realized that we would have to do without clams; BUT, we wanted that taste! After reviewing our supplies, we came up with the following recipe. It wasn’t clams, but it was close enough and quite tasty.
Related Imagery
Prepping Leftover Turkey Thai
Leftover Turkey Thai

CC (Clamless Clam) Linguini

(Really there are no clams in here)
To a holding pan add:
(1/2) pound chopped shrimp           
(1) 6oz. can tuna (albacore)
(1) 10 3/4 oz. can condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
Using 1/2 stick margarine, saute finely chopped onions (½ a large onion) & minced garlic (4 cloves) or to taste.

Add the mixture from the holding pan above.

Add salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic to taste.

Cook until done, then add 1/2 cup of water and stir over heat until a creamy but runny consistency.

Pour over linguini, top with scallions, Parmesan cheese & red pepper flakes to taste

Our next adventure in creative cooking came when we had turkey leftover from Easter and, quite frankly, we were sick of turkey. We wanted something different, we didn't want the turkey to taste like turkey. Several weeks prior, Nancy had Pad Thai for lunch and really enjoyed it, so the wheels started turning. We had a large head of cabbage in the fridge and needed to get it out to make room. What ensued was interesting, but quite tasty.

Leftover Turkey Thai

1/2 cup flour                                 1 1/2 lbs cooked turkey, chopped
1/2 cup oil                                     1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
chili pepper, black pepper, salt, garlic powder     1 cup chopped scallions
3 Tbsp light brown sugar                1 cup chopped peanuts or beer nuts
1/2 head chopped cabbage             2 Tbsp red pep. flakes soaked in 3 Tsp oil
Red wine vinegar                           Sriracha sauce
Noodles or rice (3 cups cooked, optional)

First, you make a roux!
Mix equal parts flour and oil in a large, heavy bottom pot. In this instance, 1/2 cup oil and1/2 cup flour. Stir on medium low heat, constantly, until the color of peanut butter. Season with chili pepper, black pepper, salt and garlic to taste. Dissolve three rounded Tbsp of light brown sugar into the roux and set aside.

Coarsely chop 1/2 head of cabbage. Steam cook until just soft. Make space in the middle and add cooked, chopped turkey. Add breadcrumbs, and scallions to the cabbage/turkey. Next, pour the roux over the cabbage/turkey and sprinkle the peanuts or beer nuts over the top. Add the hot chili pepper flakes in oil to taste. Add the optional rice or noodles if you choose and mix all together. Season with Sriracha sauce and/or red wine vinegar, if desired, to taste. ENJOY!!

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  • Snooth User: Lippi
    699190 6

    hope it tastes better than it looks!

    Aug 16, 2011 at 6:25 AM

  • It looks wonderful, but what does not show in the picture is the romantic impitus that had you two lovers in the kitchen concocting something together. i want to hear the rest of the story, meanwhile, "WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE." save me the leftovers. PS I don't know a damned thing about cooking except opening a can of something to make a stew. Good luck on your book. Maybe we'll meet on the circuit selling our books. Russ Miller

    Aug 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

  • Snooth User: J Reagan
    915894 0

    So creative!!! Both recipes sound so delicious. When can we come for dinner?
    Love, Mom and Dad

    Aug 16, 2011 at 11:27 PM

  • Snooth User: tatwood
    375000 3

    I once saw a recipe for Pasta con Vongole Fugite, which I believe means "Pasta With Escaped Clams." That said, your 'recipe' sounds awful - margarine? condensed soup? Good grief!!! A bottle of clam juice, garlic, parsely, oregano, hot red pepper flakes and some dry white wine would be SO much better with the shrimp (and still no clams!)

    Aug 18, 2011 at 7:52 AM

  • Dear tatwood. The point of the article was being creative with what you have on hand, not to avoid "clams". I can appreciate your sentiment that the recipe sounds awful, it may or may not. The point is that it tastes great and was borne of creative fun in the kitchen with the ingredients on hand.. You didn't like the inclusion of "condensed soup", however, that ingredient is a part of a soon to be released secret recipe for Pasta Gravy. We think you'll like it. In all candor, some creative recipes will hit different people in different ways. That is something that is inherent in food and wine. Thank you for your interest and comments.

    Aug 19, 2011 at 1:02 PM

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