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Jul 29, 2010 03:22 PM

Clearing out my pantry...

In anticipation of moving house sometime in September I'm trying to put a dent in my various staples so we don't have to shift or throw too many things away. I have plans for golden raisins (carrot cake), candied ginger (muffins and cookies) and will probably throw in the almonds into most baked goods. We have three huge bags of rice (brown, basmati, etc) we'll be eating more rice, I guess!

I need some inspiration or ideas for some tahini (not hummus, though) - I'm making a tomato and chickpea salad with a tahini dressing. Another delicious salad idea with a tahini dressing would be welcomed!

There's a bottle of sesame oil as well. Haven't used it to fry things in but use a few drops here and there because it's strong. Any ideas which will use some up?

Spices: celery seed and fennel seed are two I'm not sure how to use up, even just generally (ie not apropos of moving).

I have a jar of preserved lemons as well.

There's a bag of malted milk powder (the sweet drinking kind) I bought on impulse. Can't see myself drinking much in the summer - any tried-and-beloved baked good (or other) ideas?

Ed to add: also cornstarch/cornflour and icing sugar, but I guess shortbread is possible there!

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  1. Lots of challenges for us, limoen!

    For another salad using tahini, maybe this one from epicurious...spinach salad with grilled red onion and tahini vinaigrette--we've made it twice and love it! If you are not a radicchio fan, red pepper strips work nicely

    I always use celery seed in creamy-style coleslaws, if that helps at all. Also Epi has a damn-fabulous recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant that uses 1 teaspoon of the FENNEL seed but I always add more (you crush it up a little or well, I do for more fennel flavor)...that recipe drives me wild...pretty much in these hot days of summer I don't even use the chicken in that recipe...just love the spicy eggplant and tomato mixture over brown rice.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I LOVE eggplant, the recipe sounds amazing! I'll defiitely look that one up.

      1. re: Val

        When you do the Moroccan chicken and Eggplant without the chicken, do you use the same proportion of spices and other stuff, and double or triple the amount of eggplant? I want to try that!

        1. re: MazDee

          MazDee, I just use 1 medium (around 1 pound) eggplant...diced and roast in oven as directed (leave the peel on for more color and nutrition)...then saute the onions, garlic and spices together...add tomatoes and then the roasted eggplant and let that all simmer together for about 20 - 30 minutes...the hit of lemon juice towards the end is fabulous, too. I keep the spice measurements the same as in the recipe except I like increasing the fennel to about 2 teaspoons. Also, last time I made it with just the eggplant, I used a regular 15 ounce container of tomatoes NOT drained...recipe calls for them to be drained which seems silly--you want those juices!

      2. Short reply off the top of my head: Think weight and need to refrigerate.
        Tahini - use instead of Peanuts..pad Thai?
        Sesame oil - Move with it if it is new and pretty full. It is a flavoring to me, not a frying medium.
        Pretty much, the decision to me would be "how much did this cost me? vs. How much would the cost/pain /hassle to me to move it and not toss it?" Also think can friends use it?

        I DO hate moving.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Quine

          +1 for Quine on the sesame oil (oh and on the I DO hate moving)..for me, it's really an embellishment at the end of cooking a nice Asian dish...but not something to cook in.

          1. re: Val

            I agree - but sometimes recipes/people will suggest frying in sesame oil which seems a bit like using walnut oil or hazelnut to cook...

            1. re: Val

              I uncovered a recipe for Hainanese chicken rice which uses sesame oil, so might spend the next few weeks cross-referencing recipes and making my 'perfect' chicken rice (aka claypot chicke rice, which is similar enough, though I never ate a chicken rice with mushrooms)

          2. Cornstarch - pastry cream, my recipe calls for like 1/2 cup of the stuff

            1 Reply
            1. re: AndrewK512

              Love this idea - pate a choux time!

            2. Sorry that it's another chick pea salad, but this warm butternut squash, chick pea and tahini salad from smittenkitchen's blog is quite wonderful. I subbed some cumin for the recommended allspice, which she left out anyway. The cumin worked quite nicely.


              3 Replies
              1. re: bear

                Another thought. My son toasted some fennel seed, crushed it in a mortar and pestle, and added it to a basic vinaigrette of shallots, garlic, dijon, thyme, evoo, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. We marinated some flank steak for a couple of hours and then grilled it. The fennel added a wonderful level of flavor, and was just different enough to make the dish special. I was sad we didn't have any fresh fennel to grill or shave to serve on the side. Would have been a great complement.

                1. re: bear

                  sounds great!!! might try that with chicken soon! thanks for the idea, bear!

                  1. re: Val

                    Seconded...this sounds sweet and sharp and lovely, and marinating meat in vinegar makes it so tender. Will definitely try this

              2. The malted milk powder could be used for ice cream--either on it or in it-- (David Leibovitz has an online recipe.) I once saw this ice cream flavor scooped into spheres and covered with chocolate (of a sort that would harden and make a shell) to become giant "malted milk balls".

                1 Reply
                1. re: blue room


                  For the malt powder. I've made this cake as cupcakes and people LOVE it. I "only" used 2 sticks of butter for the icing, and next time I will try with cream cheese. You will use almost a whole jar if it's the carnation kind of malt powder that I have.