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Challenge thrown down, blood sausage defrosted, and verdict rendered

March 7, 2009 | 11:13 am

What's in your freezer?

Jenn Garbee answered the challenge from Egullet to skip the grocery shopping and feast on the bounty of her refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Here's what happened:

After taking stock of my freezer and pantry contents, I settled on two pantry dinners: pizza one night, and something with blood sausages the next (Don't ask. I snatched them up on a whim).

For pizza night, I made a yeast dough with a touch of semolina flour for extra crunch and a garlic-laced impromptu sauce made from a can of tomatoes with a questionable expiration date (I try to abide by the first-in, first-out supply chain rule, but it rarely works). I topped the pizza off with leftover cheap mozzarella (it came in a tube, which is better than shredded, right?), farmers market mushrooms and a quarter chub of frozen Jimmy Dean sausage that I've been meaning to fry up for months. My husband said it was the best pizza I’ve ever made (Maybe this pantry thing is a good idea? Keeps you from getting all fancy-pants with perfectly good sausage-mushroom pizza).

The next night, I thawed the package of frozen blood sausages and cooked up some dried pintos (dried beans are my impulse buy -- they seem to be the only thing that’s still 99 cents at the grocery store). Up next was some leftover bacon, which I crumbled and added to the cooked beans (I would like this to sound revolutionary, but it's not. I cook leftovers into dinners every day –- a certifiable food waste phobia). For a little something green, I sautéed some peeked Swiss chard from last week’s farmers market with a little garlic. And for my husband, who will eat anything I put in front of him as long as there is bread, I made jalapeno-corn muffins (but I didn’t have fresh jalapenos or corn, so I roasted some poblanos and used frozen corn –- pretty darn good. Though we still prefer the jalapeno).

Verdict: Loved the challenge. The blood sausage? Not so much. But that’s half the fun. Now I just have to figure out what to do with those chicken livers. Ideas?

--Jenn Garbee

Photo credit: Jenn Garbee