I know, I know. I haven't blogged here in over two months. There's really no excuse for it, but I will tell you I've been super busy with all kind of work stuff including an uptick in my doula work (two births in April, two in May) and all sorts of changes and shifts on the freelance front. I wish I could promise that I'll be coming back super strong to Plums in the Icebox, with two posts a week filled with beautiful photographs and detailed recipes and witty repartee. The truth of the matter is that, while I still really love cooking and sharing recipes here, the life of an essentially full-time freelancer doesn't provide a lot of time for personal blogging, especially since I'm also trying to work on another poetry manuscript. Writing decent poems takes time, as do pitch emails, follow up emails, writing blog posts, writing articles and basically just writing writing writing writing. I love it and I'm damn lucky to do it, but honestly, I'm still figuring out the balance.
But I hope that doesn't mean you guys will desert me. I mean, you can....if you do, I totally understand. I always remove blogs from my reader if they don't update enough, so if you do, totally understood. No hard feelings. But I promise I'll be getting some kind of food-related content up here more regularly. Anyway! On to the recipe, or semi-recipe.
I'm a fan of Big Girls Small Kitchen's pantry pasta , which is easy to cook up from whatever you have lying around the house. I'm always on the hunt for these kinds of meals, formulas that are adaptable, quick and ridiculously simple. And I think I've come up with a new (or at least new in my rotation) dinner dish you can make from odds and ends: Fridge & Pantry Tostadas.
The idea behind this is that you make it from stuff you have in your fridge and pantry, hench the name. I'm not going to type this out like a regular recipe, but essentially, here's what you need: toasted or broiled corn tortillas, some combination of cooked veggies and meat, then cheese, herbs or other topping/garnish. It's a perfect way to reconfigure leftovers or make use of the last little bit of zucchini, shredded cheese, whatever.
You want to brush the tortillas with olive oil and then broil for about 5-7 minutes on each side. While they're doing that, sauté up a big mess of whatever you have on hand. When the tortillas are crispy enough to your liking, top them with your veggie mixture, garnish and eat! Seriously, it couldn't be any easier.
The tostadas pictured are made with leeks, chickpeas, and spinach, cooked with white wine and garlic and topped with feta cheese. Some other combinations I think would be delicious:
Black Bean & Corn: Black beans, corn and Mexican spices cooked together and topped with cilantro and pepper jack cheese.
Bruschetta: Chopped tomato and basil tossed with olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper, topped with fresh mozzarella, feta, or parmesan. Add cucumber or onions, too.
White Beans & Dill: White beans, greens, and onions cooked with lemon juice and topped with fresh dill.
Spinach & Gorgonzola: Sautéed spinach with walnuts and dried cranberries, topped with gorgonzola or bleu cheese.
Avocado Chicken: Shredded chicken cooked with cumin and broth, topped with avocado slices and cilantro.
Roasted Garlic: Ok just roast some garlic, smash it on the tortilla and then put anything else on it. Because anything + roasted garlic = good.
Thanksgiving: Mashed potatoes, turkey and leftover Thanksgiving sides atop a tortilla. Why not?
Carrot and Lentil: Shredded carrots cooked with onions, lentils and curry spices.
Salmon with Minty Pea Dip: Spread this minty pea dip on the tortilla and top with salmon cooked with lemon juice, then separated/semi-crushed with a fork. Drizzle with olive oil, top with parmesan.
The crunchiness of the tortillas makes a good vehicle for leftover soups and stews, too, especially ones that have lost a lot of their liquid while sitting in the fridge (Mine ALWAYS do this. Yours, too?) You can also spread hummus, pesto, Greek yogurt, tapenade or another sauce onto the toasted tortilla to add flavor and make the main ingredients stick a little better. A fried egg would always be a delicious topping, too!