What’s Really in the Fridge?
The contents of a home’s refrigerator reveal a lot about the person who lives there. The popular cooking magazine, Bon Appetit, often asks guests what’s in their fridge, and for years I’ve fantasized about the glamorous contents many celebrities list, comparing what I’ve got stashed away.
- A ton of mustard. And not one of them is ballpark.
- Cold beer. Not the fancy kind. The cold, throw-it-back gulping kind. ‘Cause what’s better after a 16-hour day on your feet than icy carbonation?
- Chips, sticks, Plugra and at least one artisanal.
- Roasted garlic.
When you read Bon Appetit’s lists, there are often luxury items like caviar and some expensive bubbly. But this isn’t the fridge I wish we had, or the one I want the world to think we have, it’s the one I turn to after a day of writing menus with clients or running around for events, and there’s not much ready for consumption without half an hour of prep.
So what do I eat after a long day? A) Out. B) Beer. C) Frozen pizza.
During my time in NOLA, school was so hectic that I started creating weekly menus for home so that we would have something to eat on hand. Many of these recipes aren’t fancy enough to suggest – let alone serve – to A La Carte’s clientele, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a place in your repertoire!
Adding roasted garlic is a simple, super-fast way to elevate your frozen pizza, rotisserie chicken, or jar of pasta sauce. While I certainly suggest you roast your own chicken and make your own Sunday gravy, that isn’t always feasible, so spruce up what you’ve got.
Peeled garlic cloves
Oil, preferably olive but no need to use your good stuff
If you haven’t been to an authentic Asian market before, grab lunch nearby and go to Hong Kong Market. Buy a 5-pound (yes, you read that right) bag of peeled garlic and check out the rest of the mind boggling options they offer.
When you get home, set your oven on 250° and get out your roasting pan (or sheet pan; anything with a lip on it will be fine) and spread the garlic out in your pan. Depending on the size of your pans, you may need to use more than one, just don’t make the garlic more than 2” deep. Generously add oil to the pan and tightly cover it in aluminum foil. Put it in the oven and check it in an hour. Be careful when you open the foil cover – hot garlic steam is going to come out. Pierce a clove to check for doneness, it should be soft all the way through. If it isn’t, seal the foil again and stick your pan back in the oven, checking every 15 minutes until it’s completely soft.
Let it cool, cover it and stick it in the fridge. Ask your friends if they want some – they will – and you’ll use it all before it goes bad.
Would you like some next time we roast it? Send me an email. Bon appetit!