I've written about the state of my pantry and spice cupboard before but I've never mentioned my freezers. That would be because I am ASHAMED, people. Both of them (my small freezer in the basement and the freezer in my fridge) are so chock full of God-knows-what it truly is embarrassing. The freezer part of the fridge is also a hazard; it's pretty much guaranteed that something will fly out at you every time the door is opened. In our kitchen you've got to move fast to avoid falling leftovers. And every time I am hit by falling soup/broccoli/eggos I tell Scott we've got to start using up what ever the heck is in there. But we don't. So coming across The Deep Freeze Summer Challenge over at Mele Cotte last week was exactly what I needed to jump start my plan to clean out my freezers.
After rummaging past all the hot dogs (seriously Scott, stop buying hot dogs!) and frozen bread products (why do feel the need to freeze all the buns, bread and muffins that are going to go stale? what do I think I will ever do with them?) I came across two promising, heading towards freezer burned items. A bag of stir fry vegetables and a bag of rhubarb.
The guidelines for the challenge say that you can supplement your freezer items with seasonings/oils/milk/eggs as needed. So I stuck as close to that as I could.
Green Vegetable Curry
2 tb oil
1 tb ginger (mine was from the freezer)
2 lb frozen stir fry vegetables (ours was so good - squash, peas, bamboo, water chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli)
1 1/2 tb green curry paste
1 can lite coconut milk
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the ginger and cook for a few minutes until fragrant but not brown. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are heated through. Add the coconut milk and curry paste. 1 1/2 tb of curry makes a medium spicy dish. Stir well, lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
To answer my own question, my curry was the most beautiful pale green! I wish I had a better camera, this was a very pretty dish.
I did not serve this with rice, as I didn't have any in the freezer, but I will be making some rice for the leftovers.
Then I turned my attention to the rhubarb, in the freezer since last year when my boss gave it to me.
4 cups of sliced rhubarb into a pot over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of water, 1 tb ginger, 3 tb sugar (I don't like my rhubarb very sweet) and a couple of shakes of Chinese 5 Spice Powder. Simmer gently until the rhubarb is softened and broken down.
This is so good on its own, but is also nice stirred into plain yogurt or served warm over ice cream.
I'm feeling better about the freezer situation; I've got some plans for other stuff in there now - there's pizza shells, tomato sauce, even some tofu! I'll be eating some good stuff. And as soon as Scott gets all those hot dogs eaten, he will too.