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Made-up meals...... what have you come up with when there's 'nothing' in the fridge?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by anon4561, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. It was the night before we went on holiday, so I hadn't done a major grocery shop. All we had in the fridge was bacon and vegetables

    I fried onions, then carrots, courgettes, and the bacon. Added some garlic. Chucked in a can of tomatoes, then added some squash. Found a can of four-beans, chucked that in to, added a little bit of stock, some oregano, and some mint from the garden. Meanwhile I parboiled some potato and sweet potato, so threw that in as well, and let it all simmer for a while

    OH declared it a culinary delight, and said that I should just 'make things up' more often!

    Anyone else just make things up?

    (Incidentally... I consider myself to be a novice and basic cook, compared to you very capable people on here! X)
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I think it's case of knowing what you've got in and what works.
    The next step on in becoming an accomplished cook is moving from following recipes to being able to throw things together. So...knowing that you've got a handful of courgettes and some garlic in means you know you can whip up a sauce for pasta for example.
    Your example is similar, Annie - you had the ingredients for a simple stew and so made one with what you had in.
    Many of our meals are made on this basis...or are a little 'planned' in that I usually plan 2 or 3 of our weekly meals around main ingredients and then plan the remainder on what's going to be left over. So, where we had a risotto of broad beans and courgettes last, we've got broad beans and courgettes left today. I'll fry up the courgettes to have as a starter and we'll have the broad beans with pasta, olive oil and sheep's ricotta.
    There's always something to throw a meal together with.
    Just to be sure, there's always a tin of anchovies, tinned tomatoes, capers, dried chilli and garlic around so a modified puttanesca can be made for some pasta

  3. Thanks for your reply Nick!

    I think I'm the other way around.... most of our meals are basic, meat and two veg (apart from my curries) but I'll do different things, like make bacon and mustard mash, or put grated cheese through it, or add carrots etc. Same with the veg... I try a few different herbs, and meat, I'll add a creamy sauce at the end, or marinate it in wine/soy sauce etc.

    I think to become a better cook I need to get better organized. I look at cookery books, and of course I don't have half the ingredients in, so meals are pretty much as described above. Occasionally I make an effort, but have had a few disasters (I tried this roast beef, with a mushroom sauce wrapped around it, and bacon held in place with cocktail sticks... it was supposed to come out with the bacon and mushrooms wrapped around it in a nice little circle.... but it just disintegrated when I went to carve it!

    I'm going to start trying one new recipe a week.......and check the recipes BEFORE I go shopping! [​IMG]
  4. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I love meals that you discover like this. It can be more satisfying than cooking something perfectly from a recipe book.
  5. 2 days ago I hardly had anything in the house except for some chestnut mushrooms, a pepper, a lemon and risotto rice. I made a risotto with those ingredients (and vegetable stock which I keep as a storecupboard staple) and was worried about flavour as I had no wine or cheese either. I seasoned it with dried parsley, black pepper and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice. It was divine!
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Choclate cupcake................I often make risotto without wine or cheese so it's not a problem.
    My standby is called 'spaghetti a la bottom of the fridge'.Whatver is lurking goes in............bacon, cheese, onions, garlic, chilli, prawns, herbs, tomatoes, courgettes, peas..........anything. Very rarely a glass of wine goes in as more often than not we finish the bottle at Belle Towers! Made into a sauce and poured over pasta. Never the same twice
  7. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Translate it into French and you could charge a fortune for that at any number of places in London and charge a fortune for it!
  8. Thanks for the replies! One of my made-up meals has become a standard, and simply consists of stir fried cabbage, bacon. garlic, lots of pepper, then chucking in a can of butter beans at the end, and serving with potato and carrot mash. Not exactly what you'd serve for a dinner party, but I love butter beans, so a satisfying winter meal, when you want something quick after a long day! [​IMG]
  9. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Having a veg-box delivered means that I often do a last-of-the-box soup or stew.
    If you have an egg or two then it is really easy to rustle up an 'Auflauf' out of cooked leftovers...chop up your leftovers, put them in an oven-proof dish...pour over beaten egg(with a little milk if liked) ....sprinkle with herbs (or dot with butter...or sprinkle with cheese) and bake until the leftovers are warmed through and the egg mixture has risen.
    Tinned beans are a great standby...add to whatever veg is lyign around, some chilli powder and maybe some tinned tomatoes... ll you need is rice for a 'cheats' chill-non-carne!
  10. My sister has lived in Italy for over 20 years. When I asked what would be considered an authentic pasta sauce she replied "Any old sh1t you've got in the fridge". Thus we can rest assured that we're making authentic pasta sauces!

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