Day 2 of 3 Days of Pantry Menus and Recipes

What’s for Dinner?   Yum! Day 2

Polly writes:

Tonight I did exactly what you advised and it helped me plan for dinner and I didn’t have to run out for anything.  Granted, we didn’t have everything I’d liked to have, but it was a great dinner and exactly what I needed after a very busy and hectic day: quick, easy and really delicious.  My kids gobbled up their dinner so quickly, I could barely believe it.

When you said for me to go search my food supplies, I found a cranberry/orange muffin mix, a package of frozen turkey left over from Christmas (both dark and light meat).  I found the chicken stock I always keep on hand; I make at least two pints each time I bring chicken home from the market.  I found a chunk of feta cheese, some grated boiled potatoes left over from hash browns we had on Sunday, a can of cream of chicken soup, 5 heads of freshly roasted garlic left from my garlic garland, the 4 nice button mushrooms and small ball of mozzarella (I bought for the pizza we didn’t make on Saturday), a bag of baby spinach, celery, two small red onions and a large chunk of sharp cheddar.  I found three cups of vanilla pudding, a can of evaporated milk, several cans of various veggies, corn and cut green beans, tomato sauce, 2 cans of mandarin slices, 2 cans of tuna, half a bag of herb & garlic croutons and a small bag of rice.  In the fridge, we had frozen orange juice concentrate, mayonnaise, milk, 4 eggs + a large carton of egg beaters, cottage cheese, a small package of cream cheese, butter.  I also had a quart of cranberry-apple juice drink, and a package of cooked elbow macaroni.  The “baking” cupboard was also stocked with the usual canola oil, a small bottle of E V olive oil, cider vinegar, flour, corn meal, sugar, etc.   When I got done organizing it all, you figured I could get tomorrow night, and some of Thursday night out of this stockpile, too, if I went about it right.

Day 2

Baked Macaroni and Cheese                    Serves 4

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, feta)
  • 1 cup garlic croutons (crushed to small crumbs)
  1.  Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan, add onions and peppers to butter and sauté until onions soften; add salt and pepper, flour and stir for a minute to combine and cook flour.
  2. Heat milk in a microwave safe measuring cup to a scalding temperature then add at once to the vegetables and rue.  Cook and stir until sauce is smooth and thick then add the mustard and grated cheese.  If sauce seems overly thick, thin with chicken stock to desired consistency.
  3. Add cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
  4. Remove macaroni and cheese sauce to a buttered casserole.
  5. Top with crouton crumbs and bake in a 375 oven until bubbly hot and crumbs are browned (about 35 minutes.)

Tuna Cakes with Roasted Garlic Aioli

  • 1 cup of garlic croutons (crushed to fine crumbs)+ extra crumbs for coating
  • 2 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 2 cans Tuna, drained and flaked (reserve brine)
  • ¼ cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 dash hot sauce or ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon (reserve 1 tsp. for aioli)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil

Mix all the above in a large mixing except for the reserved items.  Form into patties (if too dry, add reserved tuna brine 1 tbsp. at a time, discard any unused brine) and coat with a small amount crumbs.

Heat peanut oil in heavy skillet or flattop grill to medium and fry patties until set and golden brown.  Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning, don’t crowd the pan, and add a small amount of oil for frying if necessary.  Remove to a warm platter as they finish in the pan and keep warm while preparing aioli as follows:


  • 2 tsp. capers
  • 5 or 6 cloves of roasted garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 -cup mayonnaise
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  •  2 tbsp. EV Olive Oil

Pulse capers, roasted garlic, and lemon juice in small food processor to blend. Add mayonnaise.  With processor running, slowly add in the olive oil and dash of Worcestershire and Cayenne.

Serve like Crab cakes, with Aioli on the side with:

Buttered Green Beans                   Serves 4

  • 16 oz. frozen whole green beans
  • ¼ Cup chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  1. Bring salted Chicken stock to a boil,
  2. Add green beans and cook until al‘dente (about 6 minutes)
  3. Remove from heat, adjust seasonings, add salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Toss with butter to melt and serve.

 Cranberry/Orange Parfaits             Serves 4

  • Cut leftover Cranberry /Orange cake into cubes
  • Drain canned mandarin oranges, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid
  • Stir reserved liquid together with 2 tbsp. orange juice concentrate.  Set aside
  • Measure 1/2 cup dried cranberies
  • Open two cups of the vanilla pudding cups
  • Divide and layer all the above ingredients between 4 dessert dishes. beginning and ending with fruit and cake.



©Barbara Ziegler/BAPantryGourmet 2013 All Rights Reserved

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