After a halting ski in the wet snow at 35 degrees we wanted something to warm us up fast.
Using a meal as an excuse to clean out the fridge is a special province of the scavenger and ''Use it or lose it'' is as close as the scavenger gets to having hard and fast food rules. The race against shelf-life has produced many a meal and often inspires previously unimagined combinations.
meals comprised of leftover bits work remarkably well. Other times, one
might as well scrape the leavings from a pizza box found in the alley.
We lucked-out yesterday and boiled up some cheap ramen and ladled over dried shitake broth from last week. Topped with tender bamboo shoots preserved in oil from Taiwan (which are way better than canned shoots), a spoonful of fermented chilies, a forkful of pickled cabbage, a pinch of scallions and a few shreds of short rib that we braised in veg stock and Marsala the other night- this amalgam was just what the doctor ordered. The richness of the short rib cut by the crunchy zing of the cabbage, the tart chew of the shoots and the savory punch of the green onions all tossed against the ropes of the earthy broth and the yielding bite of the ramen- it was a feisty little party in a bowl.