I am preparing to take a challenge set down by KatieGirl a fellow food blogger. The challenge is as follows:
1. Clean out your pantry, and gather up the items that are lurking in the back corners. The ones you just know you will end up throwing out (nothing too out-of-date, I don’t want any casualties.). You can do as many as you like, but the minimum is five items.
2. Get creative, and devise a recipe to use them up.
3. When you’re done, write a blog post about what you made with the ingredients, and add it to the website.
4. The entries will be critiqued and the winner receives a recipe book courtesy of KatieGirl.
The added bonus to me is I will have a clean panty.
There is a note to watch out for the “use by” dates. This is a note I will pay particular attention to, I am pretty sure some of the products in my pantry are almost old enough to leave home on their own!
I recently found a chocolate sauce bottle in my mother’s fridge that went out of date in 1984! The reason I checked the date is I remember the sauce from when I was still living at home. My first thought was that mum must really like that brand of sauce and has continued purchasing, but suspicion took over and I check the date. Horror! Mum’s defense was “its okay it was in the fridge” OMG MUM!
Then I released the sauce had survive the demise of two fridges!! Again, according to my mum, “the date is just a guide”.
Anyway, I have now completed stage 1 of the challenge. My pantry is clean.
However I am no closer to being inspired to cook. I am lucky enough to have a huge pantry, and even though it is full, there is never anything to eat in it. The items on the shelves are the same items which are always there and they haven’t inspired me yet.
After assessing my pantry I have decided that 6 bottles of Masterfoods Cajun Spice is probably a little excessive, and I don’t need 5 half empty packets of rice. Below are the items I chose for my Pantry Challenge invention test.
The fresh herbs were chosen specifically to hide a stain on the chopping board, so they are not critical to the dish.
2 t/s Cajun Spice (circa 2006)
1 Sachet Continental Cup-a-Soup Potato & Leek (Feb 08)
100gm Pkt Wild Rice (surprisingly still in date given I have had it at 3 years)
¼ Cup Californian Walnut (Nov 10)
2 Cups Rice
1 litre Stock
80gm Blue Cheese
¼ Bunch Parsley (out of the garden)
4 sprigs Thyme (out of the garden)
1 T/s Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 t/s Smokey Paprika
Boil Wild Rice with 450ml of water in a covered saucepan.
In a rice cooker add the white rice, stock, soup sachet and Thyme stripped from the stem. Preheat oven to 180 degrees to toast walnuts. When white rice is cooked add the drained wild rice and stir half the parsley and most of the blue cheese through the dish. Top with the remaining Parsley, Blue Cheese and Walnuts.
Sprinkle Smokey Paprika and grated Parmesan Cheese to the top.
On the whole the dish was pretty good, and I finished all the ingredients pictured except the white rice, so it’s a win. I served the Wild Rice as a side with a marinated Kangaroo Steak. Although I think if it was an invention test on Masterchef, I would be up for elimination as I admit it is that inventive.