Friday, January 29, 2010

More Pantry Challenge Meals

I'm having so much fun with the Pantry Challenge that I think I will continue it for another month. Anyone else thinking the same thing?

This week has been 99% pantry meals. I apologize right now for the lack of photos. It just was not the week for them. The websites below will have photos but I just cooked and ate.

First was wonderfully delicious meal came from the blog "Living Dangerously While Eating". Tammy made a Seafood Bisque ala Paula Dean. I love creamy soups and I love seafood and just happened to have some bay scallops in the freezer. I'm not a fan of scallops just sauteed or in pasta, as I am shrimp, but they were awesome in this soup. Tammy might have been smarter and healthier in her version, but I only have real butter and EVOO (organic) and real half-n-half here, so that's what I used. And do you know how thrifty and chef-like I felt using my own home-made chicken broth in this. :o)
Thanks again for posting this, Tammy!

Another oh-so-yummy meal was Pan-Seared Thick Strip Steaks with Red Wine-Mushroom Pan Sauce from Cook's Illustrated May 2007. Filet Steaks from the freezer, a one-glass bottle of Shiraz, a few quartered Baby Bell mushrooms, that home-made chicken broth and a shallot. OH MY Stars!! Along with bag salad and a baked Yukon Gold potato. (All produce was purchased recently, but the other ingredients were pantry/freezer-stash.) Now that was great Pantry Eating!
(And yes, I am a CI junkie..... the bound yearly editions, a cookbook, the website, the emails and the television program. I can't help it...I don't like recipes that fail. I'm a by-the-book cook until I get the concept down in my head.... then I can wing it.)

The last Pantry meal was too simple for words.... Spicy Beef Nachos. I know.... from serious foodie meals to this? Considering the Blue-eyed Farmer was having issues with a calf and a prolapse and the vet (I'll spare you the details), I did a quick and easy and comforting meal.

Basically this was a pound of our ground beef, a package of taco seasoning (or the equivalent if you make your own and I should make some more!), nacho cheese....(yes the stuff in the big can from Sam's Club....what can I say, He likes it and it makes great nachos, of course), black beans (or any beans you like), salsa, sour cream, jarred pickled jalapenos, shredded sharp cheddar, shredded lettuce and green onions & tomato if you have them... I didn't.
Oh and the chips!
Brown the beef, and make the taco meat according to the package. Heat the beans and nacho cheese. Open the jars, containers and bags of toppings. Once the meat and cheese are cooked & heated, it's just a matter of layering however you want. I went for traditional that night while the Farmer did Naked Nachos (chips on the side).
Extreme comfort food, that was much needed.
Again, the produce (lettuce) was a recent purchase (severe price mark-down as it was almost past use date, but no ick factor yet and that was 5 days ago), but all else was freezer/fridge/pantry stash.

Not a main dish but a dessert/goodie I took to church last Sunday was Pecan Tarts. Everyone has eaten these or at least heard of them. Basic cream cheese-based crust dough, with a chopped pecan pie filling, baked until done. Again, all "pantry" stash. And too good!

Next on the menu is Chili Soup for our church's chili cook-off. I have no great expectations of winning but hope they like the soup. I think I've posted my basic recipe, but if I find I haven't, I'll do it next week. (NOTE to Self: I need an index here of my recipes. This summer!)

Also on the list is Shredded BBQed Pork using a pork roast and the last package of spare ribs. This recipe is for the slow-cooker. The recipe was in our local newspaper and the story featured the blogger from "". Since I found the recipe on Stephanie's website, I'm not going to post it here. Just click on the link above. I have all the ingredients except Tabasco Sauce, but I have Chilpotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and that will provide any extra needed kick.

Another pantry stash-busting project is to make bread and I want to play with the dough, trying a slow, cool first ferment. Someone just hide my King Arthur Flour catalog and don't let me log onto their website. Oh my..... SAF Yeast (great stuff-- so much better than Red Star or Fleschman's); Espresso Power for extra UMPH in chocolate recipes; something called Cinnamon Filling mix..... I have such a craving for Cinnamon Rolls; a dried fruit mix of moist dried apricots, raisins, pineapple, dates, and cranberries -- OH MY! And all those are free shipping this weekend. I think I can justify buying them.... I'm doing RAB* this year. But that's a post for another day.....

And also for another day is a Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart from the Feb10 Bon Appetit magazine. Valentine's Day IS coming soon.....

*Random Acts of Baking

What is cooking in your kitchen this week?

**Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato


  1. Kay - I'm so glad you liked the bisque. It was my first time to make it and we loved it.
    I did start re-stocking the cupboards this week since the challenge pretty much emptied them.
    I am interested in the RAB you mentioned. Sounds like fun, and Jess has been very interested in baking lately. Can you send me details?

  2. RAB-- just a term I'm using to mean baking something yummy and then giving it away to someone randomly. Random Acts of Baking. :o)