Edible Magazine’s Rachel Wharton visits a chef who's got creative ways to feed your family with what you've already got in your fridge and filed the following report.
Chef Ronna Welsh, who's based in Park Slope, Brooklyn, can teach you what to do when there's just two minutes to dinner.
"People come home from a long day and they open up the refrigerator and then they say there's nothing to eat. And what I try to do is teach them how to set up a system of components very much like this, where they have individually prepared ingredients," says Welsh.
Welsh always keeps an inventory of goodies like chicken stock, vinaigrettes, shelled peas or sauteed onions. Then she can toss them together on the fly to make dinner, depending on her mood. Take roasted potatoes, for example.
"I could cut them up an put them into broth for soup, I could mash them. I also have a little tub of aioli, which is a garlicky mayonnaise, and I might make kind of a potato salad," explains Welsh.
A former restaurant chef, Welsh learned these techniques working in restaurant kitchens. There, chefs use dozens of tubs of pre-prepped items for the night. Now Welsh will travel to your kitchen and host an afternoon workshop to teach you how to do it too.
Welsh is a big fan of fruits and vegetables, so part of the training is also how to keep those foods fresher longer. She also shows you how to work with what you have, instead of struggling to shop for a recipe at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night.
"You structure your meals not around what I'm having for dinner but what do I have, and you go from there," says Welsh. "The idea is that instead of making a fettucine with ricotta with fresh peas I’m going to look in the refrigerator and note that I have fresh peas and ricotta, I don't really have fettucine, I forgot, so what else do I do."