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Klatsch: a week without shopping


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I am in!!, though being a vegetarian (who eats eggs! :raz: ), it will be hard for me to whip something edible every day, without fresh veggies and herbs!. My grocery shopping day is usually Saturday, so I wanna start this project right away! I am not a big 'milk' fan, so there's absolutely nothing that I need this week.

I need to raid my fridge and cabinet to see whats there.!! :rolleyes:

I am so intrigued by this, that I am planning to post about my experiences both here in the forum and on my blog. :)) Thanks for motivating me to take up something like this. :biggrin:

Siri

Edited by Siri (log)
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stuff migrates to the back

Man are you right about that. Look what I just found by going into the deeper strata of the freezer:

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Those aren't even old. Dave (the Cook) sent them to me in December. But the convection patterns in my freezer were such that they got behind the brisket and the chicken and disappeared.

Perhaps we can all start thinking about what the heck I'm going to do with two frozen, smoked trout next week.

Steven-I think I just might be able to help! I found some smoked fish in the deep recesses of my chest freezer last night and came up with an idea for this morning's breakfast. (I have an old-style chest freezer-the kind of freezer where everything gets lost).

I found a package of frozen fish in the depths of the freezer that I had bought at the local Asian market, (next to the flying fish roe-aha-another discovery!)-

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I let the fish thaw in the package and then transferred it to a ziploc bag with some olive oil to add moisture, then refrigerated the fish overnight-

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The ingredients for breakfast-smoked fish, eggs, dried dill and Mexican crema, (in the background). I had the jar of crema, (sour cream), leftover as a garnish for some enchiladas I made a couple of weeks ago. The plastic package in front holds some Swedish rye crackers I had bought during the holidays to serve with smoked salmon. I had put them in a bag and stowed it in the cupboard and forgot about it until last night. Amazingly the crackers weren't stale. I flaked the fish into beaten eggs, then stirred in a bit of the sour cream and seasoned the mixture with salt, pepper and dried dill. I have some green onions, (not yet at the slimy stage), that I used as a garnish-

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Breakfast this morning-

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I've quickly learned that I can do it without having to stop by the market every day after work. I don't need to buy those black peppercorns to make a "Steak Au Poivre" tonight. I have a steak, a very good Prime Rib steak from Costco in fact, and I have a chimichurri sauce in the fridge that I served with salmon last week. So I won't spend the time and money to drive 10 miles for black peppercorns. I'll make do with what I have and save the "Au Poivre" preparation for another time.

I think this is a common problem that leads to accumulation and waste. How many times have I been cooking something when I've looked at the recipe, seen a small portion of an ingredient called for, and cycled down to the supermarket to get it? Then ignored the 3/4 full bag of it on my shelf for another month? Or six? I'm trying to be more flexible now - if a recipe calls for rosemary and I only have thyme, well; then, that goes in instead.

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. . . . I'll make do with what I have and save the "Au Poivre" preparation for another time.

. . . if a recipe calls for rosemary and I only have thyme, well; then, that goes in instead.

That's the way to cook at home this week. Reminds me of The Urban Peasant (who along with Julia and The Joy were the beginning for me) because he often said "we'll use it, because that's what we've got".

By the way, I'm not setting foot in a grocery store again until March.

Freezer pictures to follow . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Fat Guy, if you have some cream, you can make a deceptively fancy-seeming pasta dish with cream, some chives or scallions or onions, flaked smoked fish, and a lot of black pepper. This is a quick dinner stand-by in our house. Heat the cream, add the almost-cooked pasta, then the fish last.

I'm leaving town on Wednesday, and I don't plan to shop between now and then, but I do have a very full larder. Tonight we had calzones. I had started the poolish for the dough several days ago and then didn't have time to go any further, so it sat in the refrigerator. The crust was all the better for it, chewy and full of holes and tasty. The filling used a half container of ricotta that I got a week ago from our local caseficio, some chopped prosciutto from an end piece I got at the same place, a couple of some goat cheese left over from some beet & goat cheese ravioli a couple of weeks ago, chives from a pot on my window sill, parsley from the refrigerator, even half a beaten egg that had been sitting there a few days. Tomato sauce from a quart of tomato puree put up last summer. I made a simple salad of sliced fennel with olive oil and lemon juice to go alongside.

The only way I wouldn't be able to go a week is if I was out of onions and/or garlic.

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Another small snag: my potato and onion supplies are much lower than I thought they were. I have two large Idaho baking potatoes and four onions (two red, two yellow). I'm going to need to ration those carefully in order to accomplish all the cooking tasks I have in mind.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Hi, all; I'm new to this group but the idea of going a whole week using up pantry and freezer foods struck a responsive chord. I'd like to join in. I used to teach cooking and one semester my course was "meals from my pantry" -- the idea being that if you have a well stocked pantry you are in a position to whip together wonderful meals without trips to the grocery with long lists in hand. I gave out a list of the foods I consider basic to a well stocked larder, but I cautioned my students that they shouldn't just stock up on these things, but rather they had to use them regularly and only then replace them. Of course it was something of a matter of do what I say not what I do since my pantry and freezer are often so packed that there is no space for the new things I am constantly wanting to add. So I think I need to do this challenge more often than on a quarterly basis! My refrigerator is often a different matter since I shop frequently for fresh vegetables. However, even there I have so many pastes and condiments that once my brother -- who was ravenous at the time -- opened my refrigerator and said so much food and nothing to eat! I thought it was an accurate description since I had all the makings of wonderful meals, but nothing ready for the spur of the moment. So this challenge should be a great week for me.

Good cooking to all of us!

Phyllis

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I only cook for myself, and as such, have a barely stocked freezer and cabinets. I have sardines, from which to make a salad for my potato bread toast, a pound of bacon, for sandwiches on ditto, and a small rutabaga, to boil, mash and slather with butter and black pepper, of which I have lots. :wub:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Another small snag: my potato and onion supplies are much lower than I thought they were. I have two large Idaho baking potatoes and four onions (two red, two yellow). I'm going to need to ration those carefully in order to accomplish all the cooking tasks I have in mind.

I don't know what you have planned for your week ahead, but if it fits for a dish you are considering, you might want to pickle the red onions. Pickling is a great way to stretch out a red onion because it can then be used in so many ways-in salads, as a garnish for tacos or enchiladas, and a condiment for grilled chicken or pork.

The basic pickling brine recipe is a mixture of water, vinegar, pickling spices, salt, sugar and garlic. You slice the red onions very thin, add them to a hot brine, then chill in the refrigerator. They will turn into a beautiful pink color and last for weeks.

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As promised, current pix of my frigo:

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Freezer

The package behind the gnocchi is the whole chicken I'm planning on cooking this weekend. I'm thinking maybe roast chicken or something to start. I had forgotten about the smoked kielbasa I picked up from Union Square Greenmarket ("USGM" for short) about a month ago. There's also a monkfish fillet and some extra chicken gizzards from a while back. Hmmmm....

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Frigo

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The plastic bag in the top shelf is a couple heads of garlic.

Middle shelf #1: sage, eggs from Quattro, chili paste from a takeout place

Middle shelf #2: pickle relish, Italian parsley, ginger

Bottom: butter, fromage blanc, non-homogenized milk

REALLY late dinner tonight. Pix in a few.

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I said you wouldn't see anything from me until this weekend and technically it's already Saturday... :wink:

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Fettuccine with roasted wild mushrooms and pine nuts

These were a 1/2 lb. of creminis and a 1/2 lb. of oyster mushrooms I had purchased from USGM last weekend. And a good thing I used them since the oysters were a shade away from drying out to cardboard.

wild mushrooms, sliced

salt

pepper

olive oil

2 T. pine nuts, toasted

handful of parsley or other herb, chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes

lemon juice, to taste

cooked pasta

pecorino or P-R cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine mushrooms with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until mushrooms have caramelized. When mushrooms are done, add herbs, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Toss together with pasta and serve.

I've hit my first speed bump while making this. I have less than 1/5 bottle of olive oil remaining. I'm sure I can make that stretch over the course of the next eight days.

See y'all in nine hours.

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I'm going to join the party, starting today. (I shopped yesterday.)

I don't anticipate this to be much of a problem from an ingredient perspective, though still a challenge. My main concern will be fresh vegetables, and although I do have some here we generally tend to eat quite a bit paired with their protein friends.

Like someone else mentioned, I certainly have some odds and ends in the Asian section of my pantry that could use some investigation, like shrimp paste, quail eggs, canned bananas, and attap fruit in some syrup.

So, I'm assuming this means no going out for meals as well? I live in Brooklyn, and although we don't go out much for food because I cook at home every day we do find ourselves spontaneously joining plans with other folks at times.

I'm excited to work through some of the canned stuff. I have so many beans in there!

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Man are you right about that. Look what I just found by going into the deeper strata of the freezer:

gallery_1_295_26704.jpg

Perhaps we can all start thinking about what the heck I'm going to do with two frozen, smoked trout next week.

Or, I've made an awesome smoked trout risotto with leeks and lemons. You can find similar recipes online for that. Or just eat 'em on crackers with creme fraiche!

Edited by vyieort (log)
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I've got a 22 cubic foot kitchen fridge which includes a freezer, and a basement freezer which is small but full of pork, chicken and berries from the in-laws' farm. Freezer archaeology yielded the following surprise reminders:

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Top row, L to R: small hen (15 months), lamb leg (1 month), pork hocks (3 months)

Bottom row, L to R: tuna steak (6 months), venison (3 months), lamb loin chops (2 months), pork loin (15 months)

From the pantry I found four things that leave me wondering:

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Top row, L to R: bag of dry yellow things with a picture of pig's feet and the word ZHUSHOUPAIGUTANG (39 months), salted soy beans from Hong Kong (no date)

Bottom row, L to R: $0.45 preserved duck egg (bag says lead-free), a collector's edition can of Spamalot Spam

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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At this time of year I start using up long-stored food in preparation for the Passover cleanup. But I hadn't thought of going a week without shopping, just shopping less. OK, though, I'm up for it. I'll just have to run out for milk and eggs and maybe some lettuce at some point.

Tomorrow's lunch: lamb chops, pasta with oyster mushrooms & pine nuts (goniffed the excellent roasted wild mushroom recipe posted by SobaAddict), lettuce, rocket and dried-tomato salad.

Now what am I going to do with that box of halvah threads?

Miriam

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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Alright, I'm kicking off my week starting tomorrow morning, since I'm in the hospital on call tonight. Normally I would have gone shopping this weekend and picked up fresh fruits and veggies for the week, since I'm pretty well-stocked on staples. I'm already panicking about the fact I won't be eating much salad this week! Anyway, here's my pantry stash (from memory, since I'm at work...I'll post a fridge pic when I get home):

PANTRY

-1 can albacore tuna

-1 can black beans

-1 can garbanzo beans

-Dried spaghetti

-Rice noodles

-2 jars marinara sauce

-Oyster crackers

-1 package tomato/roasted red pepper soup

-1 butternut squash

-Brown rice

-Breakfast bars

REFRIGERATOR

-1 bag arugula

-Sheep's milk feta

-Parmesan

-1 bag shredded asiago/mozzarella blend

-Steamed asparagus

-Hummus

-Flour tortillas

-Greek yogurt

-Almond butter

-Strawberry jelly

-Plate of brownies :biggrin:

-Eggs

FREEZER

-A dozen frozen meatballs

-A batch of black bean/steak chili

-3 jalapeno chicken sausages

-A turkey sausage stromboli

-Chicken stock

-Pancetta

-2 bags of pizza dough

(Obviously I'm not counting staple ingredients like olive oil, spices, etc.)

I was planning on buying Arborio rice to make a risotto with the butternut squash and pancetta, but I guess I'll have to figure out something else creative to do with them. I'd also had a vague plan to use the chili to make enchiladas but again, lacking some of the ingredients I'll have to improvise.

I'm really only going to have to plan out dinners, since breakfast is usually a breakfast bar and coffee, and I usually grab a quick bite at work for lunch. The hardest thing is going to be, as I mentioned before, doing without fruits/veggies (which I usually buy a couple times a week). This is going to be fun!!

Edited by mssurgeon81 (log)

Sarah Fernandez aka "mssurgeon81"

Philadelphia, PA

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I think the next couple days will be easy for most people. I'm really looking forward to the meals from Wed - Saturday!

This morning for breakfast I had scrambled eggs with scallions and garlic, topped with parsley, and served alongside D'Artagnan bacon and toast. I'll post photos when meals are actually interesting enough to photograph!

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gallery_42214_6390_59987.jpg

Bottom row, L to R: $0.45 preserved duck egg (bag says lead-free), a collector's edition can of Spamalot Spam

Haha! Spamalot Spam—I didn't know they produced that. And a preserved duck egg—how do they go about preserving it? It looks like it's covered in hay, or wood chips! :)

Update: I found this on Wikipedia:

Century egg, also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, and thousand-year-old egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice straw for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. After the process is completed, the yolk becomes a dark green, cream-like substance with a strong odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavour or taste. The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg from around 9 to 12 or more.[1] This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavourful compounds.

The accompanying photo to the article says: "Century egg coated in a caustic mixture of mud and rice husk." Sounds somewhat scary.

Edited by vyieort (log)
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From the pantry I found four things that leave me wondering:

gallery_42214_6390_59987.jpg

Top row, L to R: bag of dry yellow things with a picture of pig's feet and the word ZHUSHOUPAIGUTANG (39 months), salted soy beans from Hong Kong (no date)

Bottom row, L to R: $0.45 preserved duck egg (bag says lead-free), a collector's edition can of Spamalot Spam

The pin yin "ZHUSHOUPAIGUTANG" means pig feet & rib soup. On the package the Chinese characters say SHOU PAI GU TANG. Never made it before, nor eaten such a dish, but hope that helps!

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All these questions and more will be answered in a forthcoming guidelines document. Soon.

As a side note, there's talk of this on the New York Times "Diner's Journal" blog and on Eater.com. I hope as many of you as possible will participate.

Steve,

You have lousy timing (or I have lousy timing). My son and my wife have both been sick for the last ten days, and I have been working extra hours. It's been 10 days since we last went shopping, and the shelves are pretty bare. ButI'll follow aong on the klatsch and share some ideas for what to do with ingredients as questions and comments come up.

Mark

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My saga, (which started with dinner on Thursday), continues. Lunch yesterday was a French Dip Sandwich-a great sandwich for using leftover bread and roast beef.

The ingredients included a good size chunk of leftover Prime Rib that had been sleeping in the freezer since the holidays, mini-baguette that had been in the freezer, onion, garlic, Campbell's Beef Stock, salt, pepper and dried thyme-

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I always keep Campbell's Beef Stock in the cupboard. I actually prefer it to restaurant-grade stocks I've bought online that cost quite a bit more than the retro Campbell's stuff.

The mini-baguette was part of a package of 8 that I bought at Costco a couple of months ago. The bread comes from Nancy Silverton's La Brea bakery in Los Angeles and it's shipped freshly baked to our local Costco-

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I thawed the Prime Rib just enough so I could slice it, yet still frozen enough so I could cut very thin slices-

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I combine all the ingredients for the jus in a saucepan and add the beef along with crushed garlic and sliced onion. I'll let it stew for about an hour for the flavors to combine and the just to take on the flavor of the beef and beef fat.

I toasted the bread in a little butter and dressed the sandwich with two more staples I always have in the refrigerator-mayonnaise and horseradish. I seasoned the beef stock with pepper, dried thyme and dried parsley, and served a nice dill pickle on the side. (I always have dill pickles on hand. Always).

The finished sandwich-

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*waves*

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Kielbasa from Flying Pigs Farm.

I had been thinking of what to do with the bunch of Swiss chard that's in my frigo. As much as I love carbs, pasta isn't yanking my chain this time. It'll probably be soup of some kind.

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This is 1 cup of Rancho Gordo Rio Zape beans in 6 cups of water.

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On a slow simmer. This went into a pre-heated 350 F oven where it will remain for about two hours. Instead of stock, I'll be using the bean cooking liquid for the soup.

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