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Second entry. Again, everything was on hand...

First, make bread. Here’s the kneaded dough ready for its first rise:
Food Ingredient Cuisine Dish Wood

Rather later, here is a package of andouille (Cajun-style) from Costco, bought about a year ago, been in the freezer:
Food Ingredient Wood Cuisine Rectangle

White beans from the pantry with water, salt, smoked paprika, garlic, in the pressure cooker:
Food Ingredient Recipe Cuisine Oil

Sauté the sausage in a little stored pork fat, then remove and add onion and garlic:
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In go a couple of dubious potatoes cut in chunks, then the beans with their liquid and half a bag of kale my wife bought to make kale chips and then lost interest:
Food Ingredient Recipe Produce Cooking
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Bread is ready, and the sausages go back into the pot (can't seem them, but they're there):
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The final dish is a take on Portuguese kale-white bean-sausage soup:
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Thing is, this is how I cook in the winter anyway. What have i got on hand? What can I whip up to go with it? What can I do without buying anything? My wife keeps buying bits and pieces of whatever, and I keep turning it into things. So I'm not sure whether this really fits the brief....
 

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I also had dubious potatoes. Noticed too late so had to throw some out.
I hate it when that happens.

I decided to try the cold oil chips method as described above. Never done that before.
It did work. Just seems to take forever compared with normal my double fry method.

Posting this as it is one of the things I like about this challenge, hearing and trying out new recipes/methods etc :)
 

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Free styling with what I could find
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Half pack of bacon from the freezer (1.5 $) half a tub of yoghurt (0.5 $) butter chicken spice mixture of a previous cook (in the other yoghurt tub), blanched and frozen home grown beans, bumbu in glass jar (onion garlic chili spice paste), onions ( home grown) garlic & ginger (0.20 $?) and some freshly roasted peanuts (0.10 $)

Everything prepped (except for peeling the peanuts which I suddenly decided on)
Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Fines herbes


Fried bacon in some oil (used oil from deepfrying, so no cost) with the bumbu. Then added onions, garlic and ginger
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Then yoghurt & spice mix
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Cooked it through before adding the beans. They were blanched, so didn't need long.
Peanuts were added just before serving as I didn't want to loose the crunch
Pickled cucumber was free as I have a huge container of it in the fridge ;)
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Strange combination maybe, but very tasty.
Was supposed to be 2 portions, but I ate it all
Cost: around 2.50, including the rice
 

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I was going to make pizza, but the yeast was too old.
I sort of figured that quite esrly, but thought I can always make them into wraps.
Which I did today.

Made a filling of bacon, red onion, garlic & canned mushrooms (I boight it years ago)

And pickled half ripe papaya

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I'll still have to figure out the price
 

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Okay, so I think this fits the brief, as I didn’t buy anything recently.

About 2 weeks ago, I did some deep-frying, which I never do, and saved the fat. Then I used that fat to do a sort of porchetta pork shoulder thing, and got even more fat, which I again saved. Then I used it again for making carnitas, and re-saved. By this point it has a gentle fragrance of pork and chicken, and refrigerates to a pale golden very thick goo.
Dishware Ingredient Serveware Recipe Wood


Now a week ago, I dug out a 1.5# frozen pack of chicken wings. This is from the same farm where I got the turkey. During spring and summer, we’re in a chicken CSA with them, and one week the chicken she had for me was a fair bit under-weight, so she threw in two of these little wing packages, and I put them in the freezer. Anyway, I thawed them, packed them with salt, garlic, and thyme, vacuum sealed them and refrigerated overnight, then rinsed well and re-packed with garlic, peppercorns, and some of the saved fat. Processed at 180F for 8 hours (per Thomas Keller’s recipe in Under Pressure), and had a pack of chicken wings confit (seen here with half a package of Costco andouille).
Food Ingredient Dish Cuisine Plastic wrap

Day before serving, a frozen turkey leg from last Thanksgiving went into the pressure cooker for 8 hours to produce stock. Meanwhile, ¾ of an old bag of supermarket Great Northern white beans went to soak overnight.
Packing materials Food Plastic wrap Electric blue Wood

Next morning, I dug out my ingredients. Chicken wing confit, fat, stock, one last fat carrot from a couple weeks ago farm run, the end of floppy celery, two questionable plum tomatoes, an onion, the remainder of the Costco andouille package I used for a previous recipe in this competition (the Portuguese kale soup), the last two strips of bacon from a not-too-old package.
Food Plant Ingredient Natural foods Cutting board

Dice the bacon and cook in some of the fat. Remove and sear the confit. Remove and sear the andouille. Remove and deglaze with minced onion and a bit of the stock. While all this has been going on, the tomatoes were pureed. Add the drained beans, 4 cups stock (I meant to add 3 and had to scoop off a cup later), the carrot and celery and the tomato puree and 2 bay leaves. Cover and cook 20 minutes.
Food Frying pan Ingredient Recipe Pork
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Remove vegetables and bay leaves, add bacon and andouille, bail off a cup of excess liquid because I’m an idiot, and bake uncovered about 2 hours at 325F.
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Break crust, lay confit on top, add back the bailed-off cup of stock mixture, and continue baking about 2 hours at 325F, breaking the crust every 30 minutes and once adding another 1/3 cup stock because it looked like it might be drying out.
Food Ingredient Stew Recipe Deep frying

Result: a pretty good take on cassoulet.
Food Ingredient Recipe Tableware Cookware and bakeware

My only real negative here was that confit chicken wings taste great but fall to bits. They’re also too salty, I think because they have so much surface area compared to volume, so they absorb too much salt. Otherwise, pretty darn good cassoulet.

Budget: hard to calculate, really. If we figure that anything more than 2 weeks old is free, this was pretty much free; the tomatoes and the bacon might be more recent, but not by much. Definitely nothing was bought in the last week, and most of it has been in the freezer or pantry at least 6 months.
 

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Another entry. This time everything is really “found” as it were, resources on hand, except one major component. I think maybe this fits the bill a little better than I had?

Okay, so initially what I’ve got is as follows:
Ingredient Food Wood Drink Bottle

Dried chiles (ancho and guajillo, I think, rather old but ok), peanut butter, some leftover chopped scallion and mushrooms from yesterday’s Japanese-style hotpot, garlic, ketchup, fish sauce.
Food Ingredient Frying pan Recipe Cookware and bakeware
Food Condiment Paste Ingredient Recipe

Sautéed the scallion and mushrooms in some of that same pork fat I’m slowly working through, and meanwhile stripped the seeds and veins and then soaked the chiles in hot water for a while. Then all of this stuff (about ½ cup of the peanut butter, which turned out to be too much) went in a blender, adding just enough of the soaking water to allow the blades to turn and make the sauce smooth. I added salt and a dab of vinegar as well, and ended up with a smooth, creamy, slightly sharp, mildly spicy sauce. Note: I should have used a scant 1/3 cup peanut butter, and I’d have had less but a much more effectively-flavored sauce. The couple-three Tb ketchup and fish sauce were about right. Also note that I used cider vinegar, which was fine, but I should have used sherry vinegar, which would really have lifted this.
Food Ingredient Kitchen utensil Recipe Fines herbes

I dug out the rest of the stuff from the hotpot, including Napa cabbage, cilantro, shiitake, lime, and a little bit of tough ends of greens. I chopped the cabbage, added mayo and lime juice and salt, and had a simple slaw. The shiitake went back in a bag for tomorrow’s soup, and the tough greens ends went in the compost (better than trash, anyway).
Dress Sleeve Beige Cuisine Bridal accessory
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At this point I pulled out a pound of some kind of sole we just got from one of these places that delivers locally (not through the mail) each week. Seasoned with chipotle powder, salt, and lime, then sauteed and shredded.
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Served with diced tomato and rinsed chopped onion; you can see the sauce, the slaw, and the cilantro.
Food Korean taco Ingredient Plate Recipe

On tortillas – yes, flour tortillas, my kids hate corn tortillas, the Philistines – fish tacos, with a sorta-kinda pipian!

My sole complaint was that the sauce, as I said before, was too peanutty and not chile enough. Otherwise it was pretty terrific. The notion is that I got some nice fish, and went to the scrap bin (as it were), i.e. the resources on hand, to make this into something special.
 

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Funny
I would never have thought of ketchup in a peanut sauce, neither of peanut sauce with fish. I gotta broaden my horizon (except for the ketchup) :)
Nice entry @chrislehrer

I got lots of yardlong beans almost ready, but surely I can't enter my pat prik king again ;)
 

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@butzy The ketchup, fish sauce, and vinegar substitute for canned chipotle chiles, which are canned in a tomato-vinegar-garlic brine. Tomatoes, remember, are New World natives.

The peanut thing is interesting, but I don't know all that much detail. Apparently it arose some time in the last 100-odd years as a cheap way of doing a pipian, which apparently always uses seeds or nuts to make a kind of quick mole. I read about this in both Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless, and thought, why bother with whole nuts? It's a grind (zing!), so I'll use peanut butter. I was prompted in that by the fact that my daughter's school, in I think 3d grade, forbade her bringing anything peanut because there was a kid who could die, so we bought all kinds of soy-nut, sunflower-seed, and so forth butters. She's also a total addict to powdered soy "nuts," what in Japan is called kinako, which to me tastes exactly like peanut butter. So I basically subbed peanut butter for peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc., and it works dandy. Unfortunately this time I mucked it up by using too much, but the concept is great and I have done it with great(er) success in the past.

Note that if I'd had a can of tomato paste on hand, I'd have used a couple tablespoons. I definitely should have used a couple tablespoons of the vinegar brine that covers Brazilian chiles (malagueta, I think), which would've added a wonderful kick to the whole thing. I have lots of leftovers, and will probably do exactly that to make the sauce right.
 

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It's a way of cooking I'm not very familiar with. Which makes it interesting.
Japanese I sort of know from having been there about half a year long time ago (the year the wall fell).
SE Asian I know, so when I read peanut butter, my mind went straight to satay sauce

And now I'm going to find my Diana Kennedy cookbook ;)
 

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LOL… if Diana and Rick agreed on it then it certainly is correct! And thanks for the peanut alternative; that allergic kid was mine. He’s only twice had reactions: first (discovery) when he was a toddler and I was shelling and eating peanuts and he carried the hulls to the trash, and again when his grandmother used walnuts in her baking that must have been contaminated. Thanks to kind and understanding parents like you he made it through university with no incidents at school, or church, or team sports.
 

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I would never have thought of ketchup in a peanut sauce, neither of peanut sauce with fish.
I am not sure what this has to do with my reply, but what the hey...somehow it triggered the thought processes in the convoluted corridors of my cranium and I can't begin to explain that process or thought behind those, but...at any rate, I never would have thought of banana ketchup...but it exists...it is real...I first used it probably 30 years ago :alien::love:

I now return control of this thread to the viewerso_O
 

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I host a family feast, always a sit-down dinner, for all major holidays. Unfortunately, I often don't have a relaxing time because I'm tied to the kitchen. Not that that is a problem, but...

This Christmas I'm doing a buffet-style celebration featuring a variety of tapas dishes. One of the dishes will be piquillo peppers, some stuffed wiht tuna and some stuffed with goat cheese. The tuna is flavored with shallot, lemon, capers, black pepper, and a bit of dill. The goat cheese is flavored with shallot, chive, oregono and sherry vinegar. Here's my test plate:
Food Tableware Plate Kitchen utensil Ingredient


Now I have a mighty hunger... so here is my December challenge entry:

LEFTOVER SANDWICH

Not the pretiest sandwich I've ever made or eaten, but very tasty.
Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Plate


Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Staple food


Cost analysis:
Two slices of slightly stale cracked wheat bread - basically free.
Leftover goat cheese spread and tuna - basically free
Dried tomato dust - basically free as they were the skins of garden tomato that were canned.
Potaot chips - really free (of everything but guilt) as I took them from my son's lunch.

Merry Christmas to all!
 

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It's almost next year so its time to clean out the freezer! Found: a pre-seasoned pork loin filet roast. "Rubbed With: Spice, Salt, Dextrose, Tapioca Starch, Dehydrated Garlic, Onion Powder, Maltodextrin, Dehydrated Red Bell Peppers, Natural Smoke Flavor, Citric Acid." Not my favorite product but a convenient way to make a rather tasty dinner.
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Combined with cannelini bean and arugula salad from the Christmas feast and some home-grown green beans that were in the freezer with the pork. On to a leftover Christmas plate and VIOLA... dinner:
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And since I don't expect to win this month because of the awesome other entries....I will have to admit that I had some help with the "artistry" of my entry....a couple of grade school girls (one who had yet to start school) help me put together my entry this month. But I did have to help with the speling. (Intentional pun)

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And.... One. Last. Entry. <phew!>

Some vegetable trimmings go in the Instant Pot for a while, and then the strained veg stock gets simmered a long time with a dashi teabag to give an infusion of seafood and umami.
Food Recipe Ingredient Cuisine Meat
Food Ingredient Fluid Recipe Cookware and bakeware

A diced big onion (on hand) and a diced very sketchy green pepper from the bottom of the fridge (it had gone soft, but there wasn't anything furry or whatever). Plus a spice mixture entirely from pantry staples (bay, salt, thyme, oregano, and cayenne, black, and white peppers).
Food Recipe Ingredient Leaf vegetable Cookware and bakeware
Food Cuisine Ingredient Mixture Dish

Make a medium-red-brown roux, saute the vegetables in it, stir in the spices and a couple minced cloves of garlic. Whisk into the boiling stock, then once it comes back to the boil for a while add the last freezer pack of andouille cut in 1" chunks.
Food Tableware Recipe Karahi Bay breeze
Food Recipe Stew Ingredient Cookware and bakeware

Simmer hard for 15 minutes, then leave for an hour or so off heat.
When ready to serve, I got out 12 frozen shrimp (at least 6 months old), a freezer pack of diced pollock that has to be a good 2 years old (you can see the freezer-burn!), and a pretty decent side of Arctic char, about 3/4 pound, skinned and cut in chunks.
Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Kitchen utensil
Food Fish slice Ingredient Tableware Seafood

I brought the soup to a boil, stirred in the frozen seafood, returned to the boil stirring occasionally, and just when it was getting there added the salmon. Just back to the boil, heat off, let sit 3 minutes. Garnish with a diced scallion, and serve over leftover rice we originally made for the dog (he's a little under the weather).
Food Karahi Recipe Ingredient Deep frying
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New Year's Eve seafood gumbo!
 
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