Friday, January 22, 2010

Cooking from an Empty Fridge

The last few days have been a little busy; it's been the kind of week where you don't get around to showering, much less wasting an hour at the grocery store.  So last night, with approximately an hour between musical rehearsal and Matt's arrival, I opened my fridge to discover seven different cheeses, six pounds of frozen ground beef, a jug of milk, one lemon, three tiny roasted chicken thighs, four brussels sprouts (from weeks ago, going bad), some jars of salsa and jam, yogurt, and a bag of freezer-burned sweet corn.


What's that cooking show where the judges give the chefs four or five totally random ingredients and make them cook something involving all of them?  This is how I felt last night.

That being said, I also had an onion, some canned beans, assorted baking goods, and all my spices in the pantry...

Taco night!

I heated some black beans on the stove and tossed in the frozen corn and a chopped onion.  Lime and fresh cilantro are sort of the hallmark of black bean and corn salsa; unfortunately I had neither, but the lemon and some salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper sufficed for seasoning.  Once Matt arrived, he set to work shredding the chicken thighs and heating the meat, also seasoned with lemon, salt, and cumin.

I found a quick and easy recipe for home-made tortillas on Sparkpeople (just flour, salt, baking powder, oil and water).  They came out sort of oddly; until I started rolling them with my rolling pin, they were too thick and puffy, but once I used the rolling pin, they became very thin and crispy.  This resulted in Matt getting chalupas and me getting tostadas, but whatever -- last night I went from zero to HOMEMADE TORTILLAS.

We topped them with salsa, two kinds of shredded cheese, and a little of the plain yogurt to mirror sour cream.

For initially being so stymied by my empty fridge, I have to say I'm pretty proud of the result.  And perhaps the greatest takeaway -- aside from the fact that there IS IN FACT A USE for that freezer burned corn that you've kept for two years buried behind your ice cream -- is that making the homemade tortillas took literally an extra fifteen minutes.  In the past, I would have just popped some Ortega ones in the oven to reheat; easier, sure, but these were so much cheaper and healthier.

(Of course, that extra time doesn't include clean-up, which Matt graciously took care of...)

Finally, I'd whipped up some chocolate cupcakes earlier in the day to bring to my clinic team meeting; while baking those, I had some extra batter, which, for lack of anything better to do with it (I considered eating it, but womanfully refrained) I tossed in a bread pan and cooked into a small loaf.

Topped with a leftover cupcake (dusted with powdered sugar), some thawed frozen fruit, an ounce of melted/artfully shaped/re-hardened Theo chocolate, and OH MAN...

Empty fridge: 0.  Juliet: 28083792038409.

1 comment:

  1. I look in my fridge and think WHAT CAN I MAKE WITH THIS RANDOM FOOD!?! very often. I am glad to know that I am not alone. You did much better than I ever have. :) The artful chocolate, BELLISSIMA!