eating down the house

October 19th, 2007 · 12 Comments

img_2547.JPG

i buy food.  often.  esoteric ingredients are my game.  a real chef would love my pantry but i’m just a mere wannabe.  yet i continue to believe that if i own all these potential elements of a dish that i will be able to transform my meals into something extraordinary.  you see, when it comes to cooking, i’m not big on technique.  so instead i try to go big on the understanding of flavors – as in what works together.  i’m constantly on the quest for what exists out there in the culinary universe that will blow me away.  having said all that, i’ve come to the realization that my pantry is out of control. and i was thinking that if i didn’t shop for anything but obvious perishables for awhile that i would be forced to use what i already have.  why, i could make it a challenge…  i love a good challenge…  ok claudia, you’re on!

excellent!  who knew this would be so easy?

so to begin with, last night’s dinner was nothing more than a no-brainer exercise of what was going on in my fridge/freezer.  i defrosted a pound of ‘raw, peeled w/tail on’ tiger shrimp from plumgoodfood.com, consistently the best source of shrimp that i have found in this town.  i chopped up a bunch of mustard greens that still looked pretty damn good from last saturday’s csa haul.  and then i used my leftover cooked farro, chopped tomatoes and a healthy dollop of gremolata along with two of delvin’s beautiful chili peppers, finely minced.  one pan.  no mess.  no fuss.  and better yet, no guilt due to no waste.  (my grandmother used to kiss the stale bread before she threw it away, although i’m sure if it was challah it was french toast on sunday morning…)

this was not a to-die-for dinner that i’d have served at a gathering.  the mustard greens were actually a bit sharp and over-powering for this quasi – italian dish. but they existed in my immediate universe and i refused to run out for the more well matched rapini or spinach.  and in less than 15 minutes from start to finish we were eating pretty wholesome and healthy stuff.  and i, in my own grand way of thinking found myself saying out loud - this so doesn’t suck.

Tags: farro · greens · seafood

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Summer // Oct 19, 2007 at 10:47 am

    HA!!! I love it when an accidental meal “doesn’t suck.”

  • 2 Klinde // Oct 19, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Looks better than things I throw together at my house! I aspire to do greater things and fall short; however, I can also “blame” the fact that I am married to a German on the whole I have pork and potatoes kind of thing… :)

  • 3 Mary Coleman // Oct 19, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Here’s to the world of discovery! Plumgood is one of the best! Don’t know how I lived without them.

  • 4 Jennifer Hess // Oct 19, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Well, it looks lovely, and I’d be delighted to be served a dish like this.

    You’ve got me craving mustard greens now.

  • 5 ceeelcee // Oct 20, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Would they make your grandma a Challah-back girl?

  • 6 alec // Oct 21, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Love the philosophy. Love the food. Excellent idea.

  • 7 FireDog // Oct 22, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Fun experiment! Looks great.

    I’m gonna give it a go from my own freezer and overstocked items. I’m a little skeered but I’ll gather up my courage and step in to the unknown. You make it look easy.

  • 8 mr. pink // Oct 22, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I made a butternut squash soup the other night that would have been wonderful. Except the freezer bag I emptied into it turned out not to be garlic-chicken stock, as I thought, but a leftover mango smoothie. Not an experiment that should be repeated.

  • 9 wild mushroom and sausage bolognese over strozzapreti // Oct 26, 2007 at 1:26 am

    [...] keeping with my ‘eating down the house‘ challenge, the only ingredient that i needed for last night’s dinner was some [...]

  • 10 fluffernutter // Oct 26, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Oh wow! I’m doing this right now too! I’m in Week 3 of thoughts like, “Is that a lump of frozen chard in the plastic bag, or is it roasted hot peppers?” “What can I pair with the buckwheat.” Today’s challenge: Must. utilize. nori. So glad I’m not alone in my freakiness. Not that there’s anything wrong with it…

  • 11 cook eat FRET - saffron pasta with pancetta, shrimp and snapper // May 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    [...] may soon be time for another month or so of "eating down the house". it could use [...]

  • 12 Minimally Invasive » Your Thanksgiving leftovers // Nov 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    [...] in the leftovers, though I forced myself to use the contents of my fridge and pantry in a stab at eating down the house. We ended up with a North African-inspired couscous dish that took maybe 30 minutes to make, but [...]

Leave a Comment