Taking EDF to the Next Level

As you may have noticed from my various posts on the subject, I am in a constant state of eating down the fridge and/or cabinets.  One key to doing this successfully, I have found, is to keep a few interesting ingredients on hand, lest eating down the fridge become an exercise in tedium.  The ideal add-ins are shelf-stable, or at least will stay good in the fridge for six months or so.  A well-stocked spice rack is a good first step.  I am realizing, though, that there is a whole other category of these add-ins, a top shelf, if you will.  A jar of  capers or sundried tomatoes in oil, for example.

One way I have identified some of these premio foods-to-have-on-hand is by checking out some favorite food blogs and cookbooks and noting things that seem to pop up again and again.  The latest addition to the fridge door is  white miso paste, purchased at Korean Korner.  My new go-to food blog, Everybody Likes Sandwiches, features it often, in everything from tofu glaze to coleslaw.

Also, once you have miso paste, making miso soup is about as hard as boiling water.

Easy Miso Soup

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Eating Down the Fridge: Egg Foo Young

Lately, when it comes to reconstituting my leftovers into dinner, it seems that there has been an “Asian-inspired” theme.  (I say “Asian-inspired” so that I can sidestep any claims about the dishes’ authenticity.  I made it from stuff I found in the fridge.  I know it is not authentic.)  Whether it’s a weekly dose of fried rice or a bowlful of curry, I have definitely been getting the Far East vibe when I open my refrigerator door.

The other day, as I contemplated dinner, I spied a half-empty bag of bean sprouts in the vegetable drawer.  I knew at that moment that I had received my mission.  Here’s why:  Once every few months, I go to my favorite cheap, exotic produce shop, LA Mart in Silver Spring.  I marvel at how inexpensive everything is, fill my cart with vegetables, and spend less than $30.  Without fail, a bag of bean sprouts materializes in my cart.  I take it home, use half the bag that night, and forget about the rest until I find the sad little sprouts, brown and slimy, in the bottom drawer a week later.  But no!  This time, I have seen them in time.  I would not let them go to waste.

I like bean sprouts a lot.  My husband is a bit more iffy.  Thus, I needed to use lots of them without serving something that appeared, despite whatever delicious dressing I concocted, to be just a bowl of bean sprouts.  Enter egg foo young.  A childhood favorite of mine, it is the perfect EDF dish because once you have bean sprouts and eggs, the rest is quite flexible.

Egg Foo Young

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What to Do with That Leftover Easter Candy

On Saturday morning, in my pajamas, I impulse-bought two pounds of coffee, two pounds of bacon, and a package of Reeses’s Peanut Butter Eggs.

I just moved, so this was the entire contents of my fridge, besides a case of beer (obviously). I realized I had no idea what I was going to do with six peanut butter eggs and all that bacon, so one of my friends tweeted that I should combine the bacon, coffee, and chocolate….and my new favorite bacon and eggs were born. I left out the coffee because…well…I just did. The suggestion may have been a joke, but I’m pretty sure these peanut butter bacon strips are going to be the next big thing. Or at least replace bacon & eggs in my house.

Bacon and (Peanut Butter) Eggs

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Carb Attack: Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese

As some of you may know, our very own gansie has been on a mission to find the best grilled cheese in DC. One place she hasn’t yet ventured is my kitchen. What you see above is a mac ‘n’ cheese grilled cheese. Only you ESers would appreciate something as beautiful as this and wouldn’t mind that it means you have to hit the gym or an extra hour or two (or in my case actually going for once).

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Leftovers Week: Laundry Room Turkey Coconut Curry Soup

laundry room turkey coconut curry soup

Luckily for my family there was a culinary student chef in the room when it came time to carve the Christmas turkey. And there I was, carving a turkey with tongs in my great aunt’s laundry room amid detergent and dryer sheets. The turkey, which had been cooking for what looked like days, sat in a roaster placed on top of the washing machine. The turkey cooked for so long in fact, that the meat just fell off of the carcass. Yes, this happened. Bless my great aunt who does all of this on her own and refuses anyone’s help. Even a chef’s. Ah, the stubborn Czech.

After the Christmas turkey had been “carved,” green bean casserole consumed, and stomachs bulged over belts, the leftovers were put in doggie bags for us to take home.  What to do with this uber-cooked turkey? Well, soup of course.

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Leftovers Week: Roast Chicken Pot Pie

HerbedRoastedChicken

As regular readers of ES might know I have difficulty pleasing my BF — in the kitchen. One of the food items that doesn’t sit well with MrsBritannia is dark meat, and I have to be honest it doesn’t sit well with me either, especially on the bone, unless it comes in a basket sitting on a bar with a beer.

The day after Christmas, at least in the U.K. and many parts of the Commonwealth, is known as Boxing Day, a Victorian-era tradition when the wealthy would provide gifts and leftovers to their servants, so they could enjoy a day off for the holidays themselves.  I was brunching across town on Christmas, so I didn’t have any leftovers the next day (fortunately I didn’t have any hired help to disappoint, either). So for Boxing Day dinner we decided to make a roasted chicken and vegetables. As most of our friends were recovering from Christmas themselves it was just the two of us, which made for plenty of post-Boxing Day leftovers, including dark meat. I put out a call for what to do with the meat and I was given a couple of good suggestions, including chicken croquettes and a pastel de choclo. But I played it safe and went with chicken pot pie.

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Gridiron Grub: Remixing the Mixto

Mixto

A Cuban sandwich is simply a variation of  ham and cheese originally created in Cuban cafes as an easy lunchtime meal. Later on, Cuban immigrants brought it to South Florida where it is still very popular. Traditionally the sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Simple enough, unless, like me, you live in an area where it is almost impossible to find good Cuban bread and when your previous attempts at duplicating the sandwich just didn’t turn out quite right. Despite previous failures I thought I would again attempt what the Cubans call a mixto sandwich, but make some changes to kick it up a few notches.

I  attempted this right after Thanksgiving so I decided to incorporate turkey instead of roast pork to make my Remixed Mixto Sandwich. Ingredients and prep are simple because after hosting our first Thanksgiving, Black Friday and a trip to visit family a few hours away, I was beat on Sunday when game time rolled around. You will need: sweet honey cured ham, turkey, Gruyere, cranberry dressing, bread and butter pickles, mustard and ciabatta.

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