When it comes to our fridge, every week is the same: The farm box comes on Saturday overflowing with amazing produce, gorgeous eggs from pastured hens, raw milk and cream.
Sunday morning we often venture to the farmer's markets to stock up on beef, lamb, pork, and chicken from our favorite local farmers before an afternoon cook-a-thon where I get inspired to whip up some simple but satisfying dishes to last us through the week.
Everything goes great, until Friday (or Thursday, depending on how inspired Sunday was) when we seem to have an empty fridge – a few straggling veggies, butter, a few jars of lard and pickles, but nothing really that looks like a meal.
In the past, the empty fridge called for a night for takeout or a visit to a local restaurant, but these outings proved both tough on the wallet and disappointing to our nutrient-dense-trained taste buds.
So, I've taken Empty Fridge Friday on as a challenge: Use the stray ingredients in my fridge and pantry, and create a delicious meal for the whole family while saving a few pennies.
This week's surprise masterpiece…
Thai curry goulash ingredients
Here are the ingredients I found in my fridge and pantry:
- A red onion
- 2 barely decent red bell peppers
- 3 boxes of button mushrooms
- 1 very ripe heirloom tomato
- 1/2 pint of sweet cherry tomatoes
- Cabbage (used half a small head)
- Defrosted roasted spaghetti squash (used about a cup)
- 1 can of coconut milk- find coconut milk in BPA free cans here
- Thai Kitchen red curry paste (1T) – get it here
- The remains of a pasture-raised roast chicken
- Arrowroot powder (1T) – get it here
- Fish Sauce (to taste)
Thai curry goulash method
- I hauled out my food processor to save time on the chopping, sliced all the veggies in a jiffy.
- Next, I sauteed the veggies in a big scoop of butter starting with the onion and working down the list.
- When all the veggies were soft, I poured in the coconut milk and dissolved about a tablespoon of red curry paste into the developing sauce.
- I pulled the last bits of meat off the chicken and added it all to the pan.
- I mixed about a tablespoon of arrowroot with about a 1/4 cup of cool water then gently poured the white liquid into the pan to thicken the sauce.
- Finally I finished the dish with savory fish sauce and served.
Me: Wow. Surprisingly good for goulash!
Husband: This is amazing! How did you make the sauce? (Helped himself to seconds).
Four year old: Ummm. I'm not really hungry. What is this slimy red thing? (A bell pepper). He ended up eating sliced cucumbers, goat cheese, an avocado, green apples, and cashews that I also scrounged from the fridge.
One year old: Picked out all the mushrooms and chicken and then dumped it on her high chair tray. This was after she demolished a half a pomegranate and some raw cheese for a late afternoon snack, so I'm not taking it personally. This time.
Well, you can't please 'em all. My rating: 8/10 for my Empty Fridge Friday creation. (Grown-ups get a bigger vote at our house.)
Got last minute Empty Fridge success stories like Thai curry goulash?