What to cook when you're packing up your kitchen?
Last year I put my home up for sale. That meant putting appliances in storage. When the place didn't sell, I took it off the market for the winter holiday season and proceeded to cook. Yeah! In February it went back on the market and I returned to a barren looking kitchen, with appliances back in a storage locker. Now, happily, it appears that I have a firm deal (getting the papers tonight), with a closing date of April 21st. After that, everything goes into storage for a couple of weeks.
From now until then I'll be busy packing, and trying to use the remainder of refrigerated foodstuffs... sriracha, horseradish, butter, mustards ...that kind of thing. Most of my freezer is cleaned out so I don't have much to use there. I do have a wide variety of bulk bin types of things but limited time to cook them, so I'm going to pack the beans and grains etc away. The only thing I am purchasing are fruits, veggies, eggs and some dairy.
What do you like to cook or eat during a hectic time such as this, with limited tools...say, one pot dishes? I'm thinking of packing all my pots save one...a frying pan. Keeping the kettle out too. Between work and being focused on the move, I don't have time to go hunting for ideas. I'd appreciate suggestions for dishes that are quick to prepare, perhaps with 'typical' pantry items. Thanks!
Egg dishes, and breakfast for dinner (French toast, waffles and the like) are easy, too. Don't abandon all your appliances. Some can get packed at the last minute.
And good luck! My Aunt Elsie always said that two moves were the equivalent of a burn-out....
Buy moo shu wrappers, choose perhaps chicken (cut into thin strips) or shrimp and saute along with julienned veggies, douse with whatever seasonings are still available, and enjoy.
Pan-fried salmon burgers (we like them with chow-chow, kind of corn-pepper-chile relish but could try a horseradish or mustard-based sauce).
Salade Nicoise - you can either pan-fry the potatoes or roast them (or boil or steam if you will have a sauce pan). A fresh salad is so welcome when all is in turmoil!
I should have mentioned...no microwave. I will be using the oven (which will be easier once I pack away the cast iron pans that live in it)...planning on soaking rice noodles and sheets in boiling water from the kettle. My plan is to have a few tools, along with the frying pan and kettle, packed last in a special box so that I can easily find it in the unloading stage.
Will definitely try the suggestions, both now and while I unpack at the new place. Thanks again!
Or... a salad with warm veggies or meat on top, like chicken slices and warm beets with a shallot vinaigrette.
Quesadillas! Or what my family calls Pizzadillas. Whole wheat tortilla with tomato sauce, mozarella, and pepperoni.
In our house, we're pretty happy with sauteed broccoli or cauliflower, and some grilled chicken or something. That's pretty quick.
Frittatas/tortillas are a good one, and one of our favorites (we used to eat it once a week, but have cut a lot of the starch from our diets) cauliflower pasta, which is basically just olive oil, garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes and cauliflower. Rissottos and paellas are also good one pan meals.
If you have Kosher salt..an oven, foil, ziplock bags.
1/2 cup kosher salt to 1 tablespoon siraracha sauce. Mix. Layer on foil in a 200 degree oven..turn off the oven..let dry overnight. It will clump up. Put in a ziplock bag and smash back to salt.
Use on boiled eggs, fried eggs, deviled eggs, salads..etc. A finishing salt for meats, seafood..etc.
It stores 'indefinitely' ..and makes nice a gift for people when you move.
Last summer my oven was broken for like 5 weeks. We ate a lot of mac n cheese and made many frittatas. Then the stove top gave out. (It was a crazy summer.) I learned to make delicious simple tomato sauce in the microwave, which went onto our really fabulous grilled pizza. At that point, I think we dug up the toaster oven from the basement, but can't remember what I cooked in it.
Good luck with the sale!
One of my favorite almost home made things is a rotisserie chicken. Sliced up, skin brushed with Hoisin sauce. On foil, broil to crisp up skin.
Small flour tortillas, brush with sesame oil, placed 'face to face' steamed in the microwave with wet paper towel on top for about 20 seconds.
Served with more Hoisin sauce and chopped green onions. Everyone wraps their own. (addtions, some lime slaw, or shreaded carrots). Rice as a side dish. And egg rolls.
Using some pre-made things and adding your own touches is perfectly fine for me for the mid week.
It's not spectacular. But it's quick and easy and not boring; and sometimes you just need that.
here are some easy ideas:
huevos rancheros (scrambled eggs, black beans, salsa on your favorite tortilla)
pasta puttanesca (tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, anchovies -- pantry staples!)
tuna salad (capers, dijon mustard, vidalia onions, olive oil...serve on spinach as a salad or on toast)
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/healthy-one-pan-recipes-recipe.html has a whole section on one pan recipes.
Can you tell I use one pan a lot?
If you need specific recipes, let me know. Happy moving!
Uncle Ben's 90 second rice is in my campbag as a pantry item. Just boil the bag if you don't have a microwave.
Pita bread, pizzas. Boboli makes a decent crust and sells individual packs of tomato sauce.
Smoke trout in the vac packs over boiled noodles (you should have at least one boiling pot out). With a horseradish/sour cream or mayo sauce and capers, sundried tomatoes if you got them.
Sandwiches, lettuce for salad. Chicken salad.
Chicken cutlets one night--cubed stir fried with some diced celery (they sell little snack packs of celery)..some cashews..green onions, and hosin sauce. In the lettuce cups.
And the old stand by---take out pizza. Re-heat it in the frying pan by the slice on med-low...it'll re-crisp the bottom crust that way.
Keep at least the frying pan, a boiling sauce pan, a small sheet pan and a roll of foil.