Desperate times call for desperate measures. In the midst of a move, the last thing you want to do is buy more stuff to pack – including groceries. So I had to get a little creative and make sure to use fresh ingredients before they expired…
First “cleaning out the fridge” concept:
Caprese Chicken Breasts – I broiled frozen (nearly thawed) chicken breasts in the oven, and then topped them with a spoonful of ricotta, fresh basil and tomato slices. Rice served on the side was a nice way to scoop up the oozing cheese and basil.
Next concept for “we’ve moved but don’t have any groceries yet:”
Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Squash – I combined ground turkey with bread crumbs, fresh parmesan, salt and pepper. I roasted the meatballs in the oven along with sliced summer squash that had been coated in olive oil and sprinkled with thyme. Despite my foil “barrier,” the juices from the squash may have added a nice dose of moisture to the meatballs. Either way, the results were quite tasty served with rice. Thyme was one of the first herbs I learned to cook with, and it’s a key ingredient in herbes de provence. For those two reasons, it’s nostalgic and quite pleasing to the senses.
Last but not least, the “I need to use this milk before it expires” concept:
Milk-Braised Pork Tenderloin – After searching far and wide, I found a recipe on my iPad for “Pork Roast Braised with Milk and Fresh Herbs” from Epicurious, but took a few creative liberties. I used a pork tenderloin, which cooked in about half the time. Also, I used 1% milk, and I didn’t have juniper berries or any of the herbs, except for bay leaves. Even with all the shortcomings, it turned out delicious! I can’t really put my finger on the flavor of the meat and “gravy” but it was a little sweet, slightly caramelized and rich in a good way. I think this particular recipe beats out the first one I tried last year.