operation liquidation

>> February 24, 2009

so there's this new trend around the blogosphere (here, for example), inspired by eGullet, about cooking with only what you have in the pantry... a liquidation of stock-ups, if you will.

i'd like to give a big, warm, enthusiastic welcome to everyone involved in this new endeavor: you are now officially filling the role of a car-deprived college student in the middle of february when there is no local produce in PA.

=) it's a great place to be. 

about every 2-ish weeks, the bread starts to go stale, the lettuce starts to wilt, the egg carton starts to have more empty spaces, and the canned veggies and tuna start to be opened and mixed with various spices, grains, and other things on the verge of shelf-life.

i've decided to relish in the foodie world's newfound appreciation of this event (which i am naming "operation liquidation") by forgoing the grocery store until saturday (i was going to go tonight) and participating! it'll be a good way to hear about some new "staple" recipes and ways to use up canned corn, as well as an excuse for me to share my less-than-glamourous recipes.

i will go retro-post with 2 meals from the past few nights:

operation liquidation dish numero uno: ginger-garlic tofu with broccoli (adapted from NYTimes)

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tbl ground ginger
1 tbl finely minced garlic
4oz extra-firm tofu
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tsp thai chili sauce
1/2 tsp dried cilantro (2 tbl fresh if you have it)
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl rice wine vinegar
1 tbl water
1 tbl lime juice
1 tsp sugar

about 20 minutes before you want to start, drain the tofu and wrap in a paper towel. wrap this in a clean dish towel and press under heavy cans or a pot or something. don't touch it for 20 minutes. unwrap, and dice the tofu into 1" pieces.

heat oil over medium-heat. add onions, ginger, and garlic until sweaty (the onions, not you). add the tofu. cook and stir until almost done, then add broccoli.

mix the soy sauce, vinegar, water, lime juice, and sugar in a small bowl. pour into skillet, add the cilantro, and stir all ingredients until coated. turn down heat and allow to simmer until sauce is thickened and mostly absorbed.


operation liquidation dish numero dos: gnocchi with garlicy spinach and tomatoes

2 oz frozen gnocchi
2-3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 garlic clove
a good handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

mash the garlic clove into a paste. spray a small skillet with oil and add garlic, onions, and tomatoes. cook until tender. 

meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. salt the water and add the gnocchi. cook until they float to the top. drain them and reserve a bit of cooking water. 

add the spinach to the skillet with a few spoonfuls of the cooking water. toss in the gnocchi. 


tomorrow we tackle another tofu dish (in honor of fat tuesday/ash wednesday), because tonight we need to finish researching the national income accounts of western europe and sector industry data from 1970-2007. you're jealous.



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