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What would you do with the things in my fridge?

likaluca Jul 14, 2008 05:27 PM

I am a complete, utter mess when it comes to planning, so I thought it would be interesting to present the contents of my fridge/pantry/potato drawer to you and see what you guys would do with it. (Note: there isn't too much that isn't in my pantry--ancho chili powder, many indian spices, polenta, rice, blah blah blah--so go for it)

1 medium bunch swiss chard
4 Avocados
Can of crab meat from Trader Joes (not bad, actually)
Fresh spanish onions
Limes
Lemons
2 containers baby bella mushrooms
Shallots
1 head boston bibb lettuce
1 large zucchini
2 Medium Artichokes
Herbs---parsley, thyme, mint (from fire escape garden), cilantro, basil
New Potatoes
Garlic (fresh, but not "green garlic" from market)
Eggs (yummy eggs from farmers market)
Bacon

In freezer--lots of sausage (lamb sausage, hot italian sausage), Roughy, ground beef, cubed beef (for stew).

Notable pantry items:
Lots of good canned plum tomatoes
Many, many beans (black, navy, black eyed peas, kidney)
Barley
Farro
Buckwheat flour

Thoughts, anyone?

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  1. LaLa RE: likaluca Jul 14, 2008 05:45 PM

    I would do a frittia with artichoke and Bacon with a side salad of the bibb lettuce with a vingerette of lemon and lemon zest and roasted garlic new potatoes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LaLa
      s
      soupkitten RE: LaLa Jul 14, 2008 07:49 PM

      yes! but for me, the frittata would be hearty: made with steamed chard, bacon, new potatoes, herbs, the spanish onions, some baby bellas (& the good farmer's market eggs of course). served over a bibb lettuce salad, as you say!

      tomorrow: grilled artichokes, zucchini & potatoes, with lamb sausage with a side of pureed bean, citrus juice, evoo & shallot "hummus."

      then a nice hearty beef, baby bella & red wine stew, perhaps served over barley or farro, or egg noodles-- but i love it over polenta, which the op possesses!

      1. re: soupkitten
        likaluca RE: soupkitten Jul 17, 2008 06:41 PM

        all of this sounds super delicious. Its a bit late to make dinner, but I think I see a hearty frittata in my immediate future.

        I think I'll just slice the potatoes super thin boil them briefly and then add--how do you deal with these when cooking?

        1. re: likaluca
          s
          soupkitten RE: likaluca Jul 18, 2008 08:22 AM

          i like to slice the potatoes very thin and cook them in a little butter--or in this case bacon fat, because i've already cooked the bacon in the same pan & removed it to drain. you can cook the potatoes with the onions (& mushrooms, if using), in the same pan as you make the frittata (no need to clean the pan). cook until completely tender and a little browned, then remove from the pan, let cool (very important, or they'll start to cook the eggs before they hit the pan), and then fold the potatoes into the beaten eggs, s&p, & other ingredients. pour the egg mixture back into the hot pan. if you're adding any cheese to the frittata sprinkle it evenly over the top after you've folded the cooked edges toward the middle to cook the eggs a time or two. a lot of frittata recipes call for briefly running it under the broiler to finish it, which makes sense if you're cooking it in a restaurant, but if i'm cooking one at home i finish the top with a culinary (brulee) torch. if you have one of these, i find that using it makes a lot more sense than heating up the broiler (& the kitchen) for 1/2 hour just to cook some eggs briefly. you also have some more aesthetic control--it's fun, you look cool, you get to use a culinary torch for something other than brulee, etc.

          boiling the potatoes for the frittata would work too & be a little lighter, but frying them with the other veggies, in butter or bacon fat, adds more flavor. no matter how you cook the potatoes, a hearty frittata w potatoes & bacon will be lighter than a plate of hashbrowns w bacon & eggs would be, esp if you add more veggies or serve it over salad greens.

          i know you didn't ask for all of that, but you've got me thinking about frittatas. . . have fun! :)

    2. b
      bw2082 RE: likaluca Jul 14, 2008 05:47 PM

      farro risotto with the chard thrown in... sausages on top and salad with the other veggies

      3 Replies
      1. re: bw2082
        m
        MIss G RE: bw2082 Jul 14, 2008 06:10 PM

        Faux cassolet or stew with the lamb sausage, beans, onions, and plum tomatoes. Crab rolls or salad with avocado, lime Bibb, shallots, herbs, and mayo or a homemade dressing

        1. re: MIss G
          likaluca RE: MIss G Jul 14, 2008 08:02 PM

          I do a crab salad I found on the food network site with Sriracha, avocado, lime, mayo and cilantro. Yum.

          1. re: MIss G
            a
            anni RE: MIss G Jul 15, 2008 10:51 AM

            Re the cassoulet, that is precisely what I was thinking I might do!

        2. Sam Fujisaka RE: likaluca Jul 14, 2008 06:05 PM

          Two meals. For tonight:

          Make homemade mayo with the eggs, touch of mustard, lime juice, and oil; steam the artichokes (in the MW). Serve as starter.

          Finely dice and sweat the Spanish onions, baby bella mushrooms, garlic, bacon, and zucchini. Grill the lamb sausage. Boil and slice potatoes. Plate sausage on the sautéed mix; and serve potato cut in thick rounds alongside.

          Finish with lemon – mint sorbet.

          Tomorrow:

          Chilled multiple bean salad dressed in vinaigrette served over bibb lettuce and topped with julienned basil, salt, pepper.

          Poached or steamed roughy with ginger, garlic, (maybe with scalding toasted sesame oil) and topped with scissor cut shallots; served with blanched Swiss chard with spritz of lemon juice

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            likaluca RE: Sam Fujisaka Jul 14, 2008 08:05 PM

            Sam--Monday night dinner at your house is a whole hell of a lot different than at my house. I'm gonna save that first idea for a saturday but I'm all about the poached roughy idea.... sounds delicious!

            1. re: likaluca
              Sam Fujisaka RE: likaluca Jul 14, 2008 09:42 PM

              Wish we were cooking together on Saturday!

          2. l
            lgss RE: likaluca Jul 14, 2008 07:13 PM

            Soak black beans for tomorrow, cook them (in a pressure cooker, cover them with water, bring up to pressure, at high pressure for 6 minutes then natural pressure release) then saute garlic, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, and whatever spices you like, add tomatoes and top with quartered avocado and cilantro!

            1. chefathome RE: likaluca Jul 14, 2008 08:21 PM

              Oooooh...I love challenges like that!

              Barley risotto with shallots, wilted swiss chard and sauteed mushrooms sprinkled with fresh herbs.
              Many types of pesto are makeable from your herb choices. Great on risotto.
              Zucchini ribbons sliced with mandoline and sauteed in fat rendered by bacon (bacon added back, of course) and sprinkled with mint (and topped with cheese - hopefully you have some cheese!).
              Herbed new potatoes with aioli using fresh eggs and garlic.
              Lemon lime granita.
              If you have spaghetti you could make a killer spaghetti carbonara with the bacon and eggs and garlic.
              Crab salad (using up your crab and onions and lime) served on bibb lettuce leaves with avocado slices.
              Polenta with sauteed mushrooms and tomato sauce using your plum tomatoes and basil.

              1. c
                cimui RE: likaluca Jul 15, 2008 07:10 AM

                how about buckwheat flour crepes filled with...

                1. sauteed zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and shallots and crumbled sausage; or
                2. avocado and crab meat topped with cilantro and a squirt of lime if you have it

                or a quiche made with a "crust" of sliced new pototoes layered with butter and baked till crusty. the egg filling can include bacon and/or sausage, shallots, mushrooms (any of the veggies, really) + a bit of parsley and thyme

                1. JungMann RE: likaluca Jul 15, 2008 08:32 AM

                  Bibb salad with avocado, shallots, cilantro crab and a wasabi-lime dressing
                  Caseless lamb sausage sauteed with chopped mushrooms mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, allspice, ancho powder, feta
                  Served atop shredded potato and zucchini pancakes with frizzled mint

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JungMann
                    c
                    cimui RE: JungMann Jul 15, 2008 11:13 AM

                    potato / zuke pancakes = very good idea. yogurt, too, if OP has it.

                  2. f
                    fallingup RE: likaluca Jul 15, 2008 08:48 AM

                    Mm, lots of good stuff you got there! The first thing I would think to make would be a mushroom curry. Recipe would be simple: saute about a cup of diced onions and a few minced cloves of garlic, add sliced mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or so, season simply with salt, turmeric, and chili powder, and continue cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the mushrooms don't stick and burn, and finishing with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro.

                    This could be served alongside a farro or barley salad. You have a lot of good base ingredients for that: garlic, onions, zucchini, more mushrooms, parsley, mint, basil, plum tomatoes.

                    I'm imagining another main meal based on the crab meat and roughy. You could make a delicious Spanish-style seafood soup/stew with these two ingredients, flavored with fresh herbs, plum tomatoes, spices from your pantry, spanish onions, garlic, diced bacon. It would be delicious with cubed potatoes and chopped swiss chard in it. Top with a fresh avocado salsa. You could also make a similarly flavored stew without the seafood, using the sausage instead.

                    1. likaluca RE: likaluca Jul 15, 2008 11:35 AM

                      These are some seriously good ideas y'all. I'm so glad I posted--lately I have just been disorganized and stuck in my cooking routines. I think this should (a) help me get through the old fridge and (b) make some deliciousness. Cheers!

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