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Cooking from the Pantry and the Freezer-- a Challenge!

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In addition to trying to cook from all my cookbooks this year, I have resolved to cook one meal a week where almost all the ingredients come from the pantry or freezer. I love to grocery shop so much that I neglect all the staples on my shelves, and all the lovely stocks and sauces I've frozen for future use. Since this may also force me to look up my pantry staples in my neglected cookbooks, I may even be able to kill two birds with one stone.

Anyone up for a Sun-Sat weeklong Cooking from the P & F thread, Week of Jan. X-Y? I am glad to start things off starting next week if folks are game.

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  1. I'm doing the same thing!
    I just defrosted a wild goose. It's brining now.
    Found a frozen pie crust and some flaked coconut - coconut cream pie.
    A boudin blanc will be tomorrow's lunch.
    Found the rennet that's been missing. Making Creole Cream Cheese.
    Maybe this won't be so hard

    1. Cool...I am having storage problems (not enough of it). I have too much in my pantry and freezer. We cleaned out and reorganized the pantry today and it just looks so much better.

      I'm not sure if I can make a meal out of the stuff in my pantry and freezer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BellaDonna

        I'm certainly not strict with myself-- I sometimes pick one item from the pantry and freezer, and then go to the store to flesh out the rest of the meal. I just want to rotate the stuff that's on my shelves!

      2. Gosh, my pantry isn't nearly as interesting as yours! I did see a big can of carob powder and thought "Hmmm,what am I going to do with that?" But wow, a goose. We have exactly one large meatball and one porkchop in the freezer, meat wise.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gridder

          Squish up the large meatball with some peppers and onion and maybe a little sauce for a sandwich while you're watching a playoff game tomorrow.

        2. Meats in my freezer:
          Flank steaks (2) I buy these when they are being clearanced but still good
          NY Strip steaks (3)
          Organic ground beef (2 pounds)
          Pork chops (2)
          Cornish hens (2) I am desparately trying to get rid of these

          2 Replies
          1. re: BellaDonna

            Have you got couscous or rice or bulgur & pine nuts and dried fruit or onions in your pantry? Cook a stuffing and roast those birdies!

            I make lots of paprikash and stroganoff with my frozen meats. Of course, then I have to make sure I have sour cream in the fridge. It never ends!

            1. re: BellaDonna

              Cut those little hens into halves. Make a small amount of some kind of stuffing. You don't need much so maybe you can even use up some leftover rice. Tuck a little under each half, in the chest cavity, and place the halves in a pan. Roast. In no time, an easy Sunday night supper, maybe leftovers or lunch to carry to work.

            2. Meat in our freezer - 2 pounds of 90% lean ground beef, 1 pound of ground pork (what am I meant to do with that?!), an almost infinite quantity of skinless chicken breasts, 1 pound of ground turkey (yum), and half a dozen boneless pork chops.
              I could easily go the week without buying any more meat - we just stocked up a few weeks ago! But the pantry is kind of empty and we have no vegetables left at all (Saturday's shopping day), so an entirely 'use what you've got' meal would be pretty sad.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kajikit

                If I were you, I'd use the ground pork along with some of the beef to make a meatloaf or a batch of meatballs. I love to use a combo of ground beef and pork to make those.

              2. I bought the cornish hens to make Five Spiced Cornish hens (fried-not deep) and they usually turn out super delicious. However the last time I made that I let the hens marinade for almost a week (marinade was heavy in alcohol) and they tasted bad. So I have a bad notion with cornish hens (all in the head). I might just bake them and bring them to the homeless shelter.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BellaDonna

                  After a week, those suckers were bad, alcohol or not. Try again... only marinade for a day or less and then cook. Get back on that horse. And frankly, how many homeless people are going to welcome cornish hens for a meal? I've worked as a volunteer, and I just don't see that going over big.