Looking into the Refrigerator

I’m sure you have all done it. That silly thing where you open the refrigerator and stare into the interior. You stand there as if contemplating a modern work of art as the cool air from washes over you. Then you close it and sigh because you didn’t find that one morsel that you were thinking about eating. Then you realize it never was inside the fridge. We started off the self imposed isolation with a packed icebox. I had come home from a mini-vacation to Arkansas with saintvi and decided to spoil Sparky with many of his favorite meals. Mostly because I love him but also because he wanted some real food. I made Rotini with Vodka sauce, Chili soup, Turkey Pot Pie, and some Pumpkin Pear Soup. Then the coronavirus came to town and we embraced social isolation/distancing. That meant no eating out and no shopping. It forced me to make some things I’d been saving for another day. For St. Patrick’s Day I did corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes. I made Thai Pho and I roasted a chicken.

With the leftover chicken I made chicken omelets and some Chicken Enchiladas (after a couple of lunches of just reheated chicken, gravy and mashed potatoes. Since I only had 6 flour tortillas and one chicken breast I think they turned out really nicely. Sparky was very satisfied and said they were excellent!

Since my Thai Pho is a real winner I thought you’d all want the recipe. So here it is (along with color commentary):
Preparation: This is the hardest part! Wash and slice thinly 8 oz white mushrooms. I just happened to have these on hand because Sparky is always making salads. Then cut one crown of broccoli into small florets (again I almost always keep fresh broccoli in the fridge). Cut ~ 12 oz. of carrots into matchsticks (or buy them already cut that way but I had to do it by hand so it was tedious). Peel and de-vein half a pound of shrimp. (I bought jumbo Patagonian Red Shrimp in December when they were on super sale for $5.99 a pound thinking I’d save them for making skewers on the grill this spring.) If they are the big ones you’ll need to chop them into bite size pieces.

Cooking:
Pour 2 cartons (32 oz each) of seafood stock into a large soup pot (again I keep a variety of at least 6 of these on hand during the winter because I do make lots of soup). Add an additional 32 oz of tap water. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the carrots and mushrooms. Cook until tender. Add the broccoli and shrimp cooking until the shrimp is done. Add 2 nests of mung bean thread noodles and submerge them into the boiling water. Cook until the noodles are completely translucent. Add 1 level teaspoon of yellow Thai curry powder. Stir well and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro or basil leaves (of course I didn’t have either since we are avoiding the grocery store).

Hints and Tips:
The noodles are really stretchy and kind of hard to manage if you don’t cut them into shorter lengths. This is best done before putting them into the soup. I use my kitchen sheers and cut them over the pot to corral the stray bits. Also the amount of heat you like for your soup is directly related to the amount of curry added. A single teaspoon give this a little zing but not so much that you need to guzzle water or any other beverage. Sparky is prone to sprinkling a little additional curry into his bowl since he likes the heat! Just be aware that most Thai dishes are very spicy – even when they try to make them “mild”. I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon and working up from there if you are not familiar with curry. I use one nest of noodles per person. I only cook the noodles as needed because if you put them into the soup and then refrigerate the leftovers they absorb all the liquid. And I mean ALL the moisture. So it is best to add more noodles as you reheat the soup.

25 thoughts on “Looking into the Refrigerator

    1. Ha! We can be internet sisters! Maybe you could share one of your recipes and I could give it a try and post the results with photos?! That would be lots of fun!

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    1. When you are stuck in the house it gives you lots of time to think and prepare meals. The fridge is packed right now… We had leftover enchiladas tonight and tomorrow it is a pork roast with steamed cauliflower. Friday is parmesan encrusted swai filets and Saturday will be pulled pork sandwiches…. I’m going to have to up my exercise or my clothes will start getting tight!!

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    1. Hehe! Yes we are enjoying our alone time – usually me upstairs on the computer and him in the basement. We have been walking together and cooking together and of course cleaning together. Sparky cleaned the top of the ceiling fan blades and washed out the glass covers on the lights. No more bugs! Tomorrow I’m mopping after he dusts the ceilings. Spring cleaning has begun. He informed me that he wanted to repaint the ceiling in the bedroom but that is going to wait until we have a warm day so the windows can be opened (without freezing us to death).

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  1. Hi Muri, thanks for the pho recipe! I’ll have to make a few substitutions, but that’s the creative beauty of working with what you have. We too had corned beef and cabbage for St Patty’s, followed by Reuben sandwiches, corned beef hash, and beef barley soup made from the corning liquid and leftover tidbits of meat. Sure wish I had your zeal for spring cleaning! 🙂

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    1. I don’t have zeal per se, but when opportunity presents itself and I need to keep busy, well things happen! W didn’t have much leftover since sons #1 & 2 came over for the meal… The beauty of the Pho is that it lends itself to substitutions!

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  2. such an eclectic variety of recipes!

    great ones!

    seems like we’re all takin’ on tasks we had put off for another day lately

    cheers!

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    1. Glad the recipes sounded good to you. I’m getting even more wild this coming week – spaghetti squash is on the menu along with some braised carrots and stir-fry Brussels sprouts. I’m not sure what kind of meat but the freezer has a selection so it will be a matter of thawing something…

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    1. It really is a great soup. I do like the mung bean threads much better than any other type of noodle. I hope you give it a try. I only add the noodles as needed with each serving otherwise they soak up all (and I mean ALL) the liquid!

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