December 7th, 2011
About once every couple of weeks, usually when it’s just me and hill and it has been a long day and perhaps it’s raining out, I make garbage dinner. Open up the fridge and see what’s in there. Then, rather than waiting a few more days and throwing the stuff out, just find some way to cook it up. Iron Chef, where the ingredient of the day is whatever you happen to find. All the usual salt and pepper rules apply.
Last night it was wild boar sausage (from the freezer.. from the farmer’s market.. a bit of a ringer), oven fries (with leftover horseradish aioli from a few nights ago), crimini mushrooms browned with a little parsley and white wine, and cabbage braised in beer. A strange mix of hearty remaindered items, but perfectly lovely.
When we’re up in Nova Scotia, going to the super market takes about half the day. It involves boats, and cars, and Canadian currency. We try to do it as little as possible. Once a week maybe. Since it is my habit here in NYC, the land of good food shopping, to shop every day for precisely the thing we want for dinner, I am not very good at planning lots of meals in advance. Maybe three. That’s about my limit. After that, I’m just buying ingredients that I think might be useful. When day four rolls around, it’s all Iron Chef all the time! It’s when we have some of our best meals. Being challenged to work with what you have sometimes brings out the best in you, I think. It takes you out of auto pilot and makes you pay attention. (this is not a new idea).
It has the wonderful fringe benefit of making you feel virtuous for cleaning out the fridge.
Salt and pepper, don’t fuck it up.. pay attention.. clean out the fridge.
Over and out.
A couple of questions about the cabbage!
Cut the cabbage in quarters.. (leave the rooty section intact enough to hold it all together).
Brown the flat faces in a butter/oil mix over medium heat.
Pour in some beer.
Cover and turn down the heat until they seem done!
A nice thing to do with corned beef and potatoes for St. Patrick’s, instead of just throwing all three in water and boiling them into submission!