mcgyverThe weather in Queens isn’t pretty today. The meteorologists are calling it a “wintery mix” but that is nothing more than a blatant euphemism for, “like hell, if hell weren’t so hot. You will definitely fall on your ass at least once.” The stuff falling from the sky has been changing every hour or so – we’ve seen snow, sleet, freezing rain, regular rain, ice and everything in between. There are a good two inches of a substance on the sidewalks that I would describe as ice soup.

We walked like lame, miserable penguins to the gym and then walked like lame miserable tired penguins home from the gym. And just as I was about to comment on how glad I was to be inside for the night, we both realized that we didn’t have anything to eat. Sure, we could call a delivery boy, but we’d probably have to tip him $20 and look directly into his sad eyes, which would have inevitably been creepily frozen open.

Perhaps, I thought, we would starve.

But, thinking back to the sexy tight-jeaned hero of my youth, MacGyver, I was inspired – MacGyver, who could build a bomb out of a pen cap, a water hose, a lamp stand and a piece of chewing gum! MacGyver, who could do anything he set his mind to as long as he had his Swiss Army knife and a roll of duct tape! This icy dinner-less situation was my own personal Murdoc, and I would hunt down a solution to the problem just as McGyver hunted down international assassins.

I started through the cabinets, the awesome MacGyver theme song running through my head. I found the only real protein we had in the house: frozen shrimp pushed up in the back of the freezer. I went through our dried goods and rustled up some whole wheat pasta.

In a large saucepan, I did what any good Louisiana girl would and started up a roux – I didn’t have any butter (and like cooking healthy) so I used two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two table spoons of flour. I browned the oil and flour while whisking it on medium heat. Then I added 1 and 1/4 cups of 1% milk and kept whisking, until it was as thick and smooth as McGyver’s silky mullet.

To the white sauce I added a small chopped white onion and a well-drained can of diced tomatoes. To season it, I added a small bay leaf, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. After letting it simmer for about 15 minutes (to cook the onions and mix the flavors) I added 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and the shrimp. (I know you’re not supposed to mix seafood and cheese, but I’ve seen Red Lobster do it and, obviously, The Lobster is the leading authority on cooking seafood.)

I added the pasta to the sauce, and I was done. I didn’t even have to use chewing gum.

Meanwhile Ben, who was acting as Macgyver’s closest friend Pete, created a delicious salad with vegetable odds and ends he found. Within 20 minutes, we were sitting in front of a full hearty and healthy meal. It wasn’t half bad.

The best part of the experience wasn’t the food at all. It was using my analytical thinking and my creativity in order to forge something unique yet functional. Its simple, obvious moral was perhaps even as simple and as obvious as the morals that MacGyver learned at the end of each episode.