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Iron Chef Pantry - with a twist


tammylc
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I live in a cohousing community, which is a kind of co-op thing. We have optional shared meals several nights a week, but tonight's head cook canceled at the last minute. So I'm taking advantage of this opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for a while - cook a meal using only ingredients that are already in the common house - the dribs and drabs of leftovers that clutter up the fridge and cupboards. (And I'm willing to supplement with some of my own pantry supplies if needed, since I need to clean out my own cupboards as well)

I've set the attendance cap at 24 people. I need both veggie and carnie offerings, and we have a large group of gluten-free diners, so there needs to be enough for them to eat too - the main dish shouldn't be gluten-dependent.

Here's what I have to work with. I'd love to hear what you think I should do with these ingredients. I have a few things in mind, but don't want to taint your creative process, so I'll add them to the thread later.

Allez Cuisine!

Fruits and Veggies

**********************

2 cups fresh pineapple pieces

2 bowls of salad (use as is, use lettuce for something else?)

5 lbs frozen corn

5 onions

a few garlic cloves

dried currants

a little baby carrot and cooked broccoli

1/2 red/yellow/green pepper mix (from my house, but it's cut and i need to use it)

citrus (there's bottled lemon juice in common house, but I have tons of citrus at home I'll donate)

Protein and Dairy

********************

2 lbs sirloin tip steak

1 dozen eggs

1 c mayo

1 c sour cream

3/4 lb butter

1 c cashews

1/2 c sunflower seeds

lots of walnuts

(need a veggie protein - could use nuts/eggs, or i have beans at home))

Carbs

*******

8 frozen flour tortillas

3 dozen or more frozen corn tortillas

1 qt bag of frozen white rice

lots of uncooked white rice

2 pkgs of lasagna noodles, one regular and one whole wheat

corn chips

Condiments

**************

big can green chile enchilada sauce

large can chipotle en adobo

taco seasoning mix package

white miso

lots of spices and etc

lots of oils and vinegars

tamari

Dessert

**********

lots of leftover ice cream

full gamut of pastry ingredients to make easy cookies or whatever

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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It sounds like American faux Mexican to me, what with all those tortillas, 2 lbs steak as a flavoring, the enchilada sauce, the chipotle en adobo. the spices - corn, onion, spices - hopefully abundant cumin, salad ...

Maybe with the nuts you could cobble up a somewhat more authentic sauce?

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Yep, that's the direction I'm going... Current menu is:

Tostadas with beef or walnut "meat" topping (with onion, sour cream, and lettuce garnishes)

Corn with Miso Butter and Roasted Onions (adapted from Momofuku cookbook)

Fried rice with Mexican spices and veggie bits

Pineapple upside down cake for dessert

I'm up to 23 people, so I might try to throw one more thing together, we'll see. And I'll have to ponder your thought of using the nuts to make a closer to authentic sauce - that's intriguing. I'm off to start cooking now.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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COuld the tostada work with egss somehow....I do love the breakfast burrito..

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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For a veg option, I'd use the veggies to make a curry, if you have the seasoning. Puree a couple onions to use as the base of the sauce, you'll want a couple of cups of puree. I know it sounds like a lot, but, it isn't. Then saute some curry powder in oil, add the onion and any canned tomato product you may have to build the sauce. Then use the corn, carrots & broccoli, peppers and beans from your place. You can add a puree of cashew to make it 'creamy.' Serve with rice.

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COuld the tostada work with egss somehow....I do love the breakfast burrito..

tracey

I was going to say the same thing. It would be interesting using the walnut "meat" for that. You could do some spiced up fried 'taters, too, if you had some laying about.

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Thanks all - where were you earlier when I was planning this thing? Here's how it ended up...

Tostadas with either:

Walnut Meat (walnuts, olive oil, a little lime, bunch of spices)

or

Green Chile Beef (steak braised in the green enchilada sauce, then sliced thin)

I took some of the lettuce out of the salad and sliced it thin to top the tostadas, and also had lime wedges, sour cream, some taco sauce from the fridge, and chopped onions available for garnish.

Then I made the Momofuku corn dish with miso butter and caramelized onions.

The Mexican fried rice ended up turning into something that we dubbed "polynesian rice salad" - it had pineapple, cashews, onions, peppers, currants sunflower seeds (and I think a little coconut, not sure if that made it in), with a lime vinaigrette.

For dessert, pineapple upside down cake.

I used the eggs to make some hard boiled eggs for the kids, and also put out the carrots and broccoli for them, along with some pasta.

It was a busy few hours - frying the tostadas took a long time. But it was really fun to do. One of my neighbors suggested we make this a tradition for the last meal of the year - nice idea!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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