Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 29, 2011 03:16 AM

Some ideas for dinner with basic store-cupboard stuff

I'm going to be away somewhere quite remote without much in the way of a supermarket. I'll be cooking for family. I need ideas of nice enough meals i can make with basic ingredients. I'll probably be able to get my hands on: pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, onions, potatoes, garlic, eggs, possibly some grated cheese, tinned tuna, ham, tinned corn, mustard, some dry herbs, milk, olive oil, butter, flour, sugar, bread... and, well, that's about it!

It doesn't have to be gourmet, but I'd like to be able to do something other than pasta with tomato sauce every day. Any ideas gratefully received!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not so sure of being able to create complete meals as the only vegetable you have listed is tinned corn but a few suggestions for individual dishes include potato hash: cube up & pan cook (using the olive oil) potatoes, onions, garlic & herbs. You could pair this with eggs & ham for a complete meal (breakfast or dinner).

    With the ham (using breadcrumbs, eggs & herbs) you could make ham croquettes or fritters, which you could serve with a rice pilaf & corn and perhaps a mustard sauce.

    French toast, pancakes or waffles, either can be served for any meal

    Pizza (if you can get yeast)

    Tomato pudding as a side dish

    Hope this helps!

    1. A strata made with onions, potatoes, cheese, herbs, milk and eggs? Many kinds of soups could be made with those ingredients and served with some focaccia or rolls and a salad. Garlic spaghetti is my "go to" when the cupboards are lean. Spanish tortilla would use the potatoes, onions and eggs.

      1. Even though corn may be fibrous, it's a starch, not a vegetable. So, for healthy meal planning purposes, you don't have much to work with. Any of the starches you have listed can be used with the other ingredients for stratas, casseroles, fry pan or oven single dish meals. Think Spanish rice, gratins, potato pancakes, Spanish omelets, Crostini, potato or tomato soup, creamed ham or tuna, take some yeast and salt and you've got flat breads, focaccia, etc.

        1. 1) When we lived abroad my mother used to make corned beef hash by combining canned corned beef with sliced boiled potatoes, then she would put this in a baking dish, heat it in the oven, make holes in it, break an egg into each hole,and bake it again until the eggs were set. 2) For years I have made clam chowder using canned minced clams, potato, onion, butter, and milk. 3) You can make a good corn chowder using canned cream-style corn, milk to thin it, a little instant mashed potato to thicken it to taste, and anything suitable you care to add---onions, bits of sausage or bacon or ham, sliced potatoes etc. 4) Kedgeree: saute onions with butter and curry powder. Add while hot to hot rice. Before serving, fold in any tinned seafood you have (tuna, salmon, clams, oysters, crabmeat, little shrimp) and garnish with quartered hardboiled eggs.---serve with hot buttered toast and hot tea. 5) I should think you could improvise a tamale pie using cornbread mix and canned chili con carne. 6) Drain liquid from canned pork & beans, add generous ketchup and brown sugar, and bake with something on top, half-buried in the beans---sliced onions, chunks of ham (it comes canned). 7) Dried chipped beef, creamed, on toast, the famed SOS of Army fame. It's good. Will you have refrigeration? A baked ham or half a ham in the refrigerator inspires an infinite number of casseroles, and cheese leads to grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese souffle', and cheese omelets.

          1. It doesn't sound like you will have fresh meat so here are a few main dish ideas.

            Stirfry with ham, rice and veggies or noodles, ham and veggies.
            Tuna Noodle casserole
            My mother used to make ham biscuits with gravy (we were poor).
            Ham and bean soup would be great and works well as leftovers.
            Ham hash (nice for breakfast)
            Ham and eggs
            Rice pilaf with whatever meat and veggies you have.

            Finally, if someone in your group is an outdoor enthusiast, and depending on how remote you will be, perhaps someone could set some traps for rabbits. I realize this option is probably not feasible but I thought i would throw it out there.