I was going to be away from home for a week and I needed to make sure there was nothing left in the fridge that would turn before I got back. I didn’t want to have to face the prospect of arriving from holiday to find I had a smelly fridge that needed cleaning out.
There are times when foraging in the fridge doesn’t give you major ingredients to work with. Here you’ve got to be creative and inventive needing a little something extra (herbs and spices) to help your ingredients shine like the stars they were in your shopping basket.
I want to create delicious meals that don’t taste like second best.
My fridge-foraging session turned up: summer berries, bananas, bread, eggs, cheese, milk and pepperoni. Not much to make a meal with but with a little ingenuity these items created three fantastic dishes that will make it into my regular meal choices.
Eggy bread breakfast with summer berries
Use any bread that needs using up, I know a brioche style slice would be the most decadent and that using croissants would be just as great but I had my slightly stale multigrain loaf with seeds that always gets a space in my weekly shopping basket.
Beat the egg with milk and a dash of vanilla bean paste. Next add your chosen slices to the mixture and leave to one side so that the mixture absorbs the eggy-milky liquid. Add butter to a hot frying pan. Turn the bread slices over and leave to soak more of the liquid on the other side. Then drain the excess liquid and add your eggy bread to the hot butter – do not be tempted to push the bread around, leave it and only turn once the bottom is golden brown. Fry on both sides until slightly souffléd and golden, drain on kitchen paper. I served mine with the summer berries I had knocking around in the fridge but would have been equally delicious with cinnamon and honey (Gibraltarian torija-style).
Pasta lunch with garlic, chillies, pepperoni and Parmesan
Cut the pepperoni and fry in olive oil. Once the pepperoni has released its paprika spice and colour add the garlic and chillies and fry for a few minutes. Add your boiled pasta of choice and toss everything together until your pasta is slicked in paprika-oil. Add fresh basil and grate Parmesan over.
Banana bread muffins
A very easy recipe that doubles easily should you need to create a larger batch. I usually make this as a loaf which will need a greater cooking time than muffins. NB: this makes a very liquid batter.
|2 cups Plain Flour1 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda
½ tspn salt
1 cup Sugar
(1 ½ cups dried fruit optional)
|½ cup Vegetable Oil2 Eggs
4 Ripe Bananas (over ripe bananas are ideal!)
1/3 cup Milk
1 tspn Lemon Juice
1st: Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2nd: Mix all the ingredients together.
3rd: Bake in a well greased loaf tin (or muffin cases) at 180°C for 60-70mins for the loaf or 40mins for the muffins.
None of these are difficult to make nor do they need an excessive amount of ingredients to make them a meal. I packed my suitcase whilst the banana bread muffins were in the oven so there was a warm treat waiting for me when I finished. AND when making a cake batter you’re always going to need flour, sugar, eggs and either butter or oil and any other additions; chocolate, fruit, a filling/cream/ butter icing, the list can go on – so as far as a tea cake goes these were quite simple to put together.
From now on, before I go on my weekly shop let alone on holiday, I’ll be checking to see what I can put together from the ingredients left in my fridge as I often throw out ingredients that just need a little imagination or reinvention to become a delicious snack, treat or meal.