Sunday, 20 May 2012

A Capsule Larder?

Food is something I generally take a lot of pleasure in, and during revision time deciding what to eat and making it is a great form of procrastination  relaxation. My brain seems to go into overdrive thinking of things I MUST EAT NOW, not helped by the likes of Smitten Kitchen and Pinterest. Yesterday it was bruschetta, today it's been gyoza and cake, some are easier to satisfy than others. I managed to assemble a pretty good bruschetta from what I had in the fridge/cupboard but I have to admit that I do not have the time or kitchen for attempting gyoza.
I'm also faced with the challenge of using up everything I have in the freezer before I move out at the end of June. I could take it all home since I only live an hour away, but most of that stuff was bought in larger quantities to save money, and merging it with my family's larder would be throwing that away. I intend to move out again (and back to Bristol) as soon as I come by some form of paid employment so the less perishable things (e.g. spices) can stay separate, but I also want to reduce what I'm lugging home.
I'm definitely not a minimalist when it comes to keeping my cupboards stocked, I reckon I could go for a good few weeks without buying anything if forced, and my supply of dried fruit and frozen peppers means I might not get scurvy too. Bonus! So, I am living a form of Ready Steady Cook for the next few weeks, anything I buy will be scrutinised for how well it combines with what I already have.
There are some things I will definitely top up on; milk, butter, bread & instant coffee are my essentials. Orange juice, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and good cheddar join them form a sort of capsule wardrobe of food.

From the making of scalloped tomatoes last year, needs less bread.

Now I need to come up with combinations to do away with the many, many things I already possess. There are grains, pulses, pasta, sugar & flour and tins of soup in the cupboard; sun-dried tomatoes, a tiny jar of lemongrass paste, a large jar of mayonnaise, four lemons, several baking potatoes I don't seem inclined to eat and ever-changing fresh things in the fridge; and in the freezer two duck breasts, four sausages, a chicken kiev, a bag of rocket, a bag of peppers & a tub of vanilla ice cream.

Ideas thus far:
  • Sausage stew with tomatoes & beans (super use-y up-y)
  • Duck breasts with roast potatoes or green lentils (a treat for post-exams?)
  • Lemon & rocket risotto (the recipe on the back of the rice box, never tried before)
  • Thai curry (lemongrass & a can of coconut milk & peppers?)
  • Coconut macaroons (bag of dessicated coconut)
  • Wholemeal flour cheese straws (use egg yolks leftover from macaroons)
  • Nutella ice cream (4 parts ice cream + 1 part nutella, mix & refreeze. Far more likely to be eaten than plain vanilla!)
  • Quinoa/orzo salads for library day lunches (+ sun-dried tomatoes)
Are any of these ingredients screaming recipes at you? Let me know!

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