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Oct 16, 2010 11:23 AM

My boyfriend challenged me to a "lets use all this food we have in the house" battle

So this morning as my boyfriend was cooking breakfast and i say - let's go to the farmers market! And his response was - NO, look at all this great food we have and how full the refrigerator is!

Then, he challenged me to an iron chef battle. We each are going to cook a 3 course meal today and we will be judged on creativity, taste, and presentation. And we aren't allowed to go to the store for anything. I instantly became giddy like an 8 year old girl who was just told she was getting a pony.

And the truth is, we really do have way too much food in the house. That's part of my problem...way to many options! And I kind of feel like i have to cook him something that i haven't made for him before.

So here are some of the ingredients I have:

frozen shrimp
green lip mussels
lots of avocado
feta cheese
monterey jack cheese
parmesan cheese
heirloom tomatoes
1 apple
butter lettuce
greek yogurt
half and half
coconut milk
brussel sprouts
1 artichoke
whole wheat tortillas
fresh pasta and ravioli
marscapone cheese
some frozen fruit and vegetables

then i have a lot of regular pantry items like pasta, chicken stock, seasonings, and snack foods, etc..

thought it might be fun to get some suggestions from all of you before i finalize my menu. Let me know your thoughts!

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  1. 1st course.....a big salad with butter lettuce, big homemade croutons from the baguette, some tomatoes, avocado, and cukes with a lemony vinaigrette, or will grilled chicken on it...or some kind of chicken-avocado butter lettuce wraps with a dipping sauce (depends on whats in your pantry though)

    2nd course....maybe fresh pasta with small-diced roasted apples, roasted brussel sprouts and parmesan cheese, thats kind of fall-like....depending on the spices you have, a coconut-milk based curry with the shrimp or mussels or both

    3rd course....fruit compote from the frozen fruits with greek yogurt....assuming you have rice, maybe a coconut rice pudding.....if the baguette is old, a bread pudding for dessert....depending on how many lemons you have, maybe a lemon curd with the mascarpone or the greek yogurt folded in with like crispy sugar dusted whole wheat flour tortillas thingies--that would be wacky and innovative.

    1. Start with a greek salad with steamed artichokes; oil, vinegar & oregano vinaigrette

      second course: If you have red wine & either marinara/spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce, whisk the wine & sauce together in a large skillet, bring to a simmer and drop in the mussels & shrimp (peeled & deveined). Add some grated lemon zest or lemon pepper seasoning, salt & parsley. Let the seafood simmer for 8-10 minutes tightly covered with a lid. Meanwhile, slice the baguette thinly on the bias & toast some crostinis. Serve seafood with the broth in shallow bowls with the crostinis.

      Third course: You don't say what kind of fruit you have but if you have frozen strawberries, you could pan cook them with a little brown sugar & balsamic vinegar. Serve over mascarpone whipped with greek yogurt or half & half, lemon or orange juice & the citrus...maybe a bit of vanilla and powdered sugar.

      1. too late now, but i might have done...

        shrimp stuffed artichokes and mussels in a lemon butter broth

        stuffed chicken breasts with jack r tomatoes, feta, veggies served w/ an heirloom tomato salad and battered and fried avocado slices

        coconut tres leches cake - with half and half, milk and coconut milk

        other things that sprang to mind:
        tapas like chicken, jack, avocado, tomato, etc quesadilla bites
        toasted ravioli with sliced roasted and caramelized brussel sprouts and browned butter
        cucumber raita
        chicken salad with greek yogurt, apple, curry, onion on a scooped and toasted baguette
        ...the ideas abound...

        please report back and let us know what you AND he did :-) hope you win!

        1. What an awesome boyfriend!