- X 4
I'm hoping that collectively we can fill that void by creating a thread full of tips and recipes for the fridge-less cook.
Of course, a fridge-less cook must be even more aware of climate and season than most cooks, since what will keep reasonably well in fall or winter in a temperate climate may not keep at all in high summer or in the tropics.
Here are some links to helpful threads on Permies that relate to going fridge-less.
Cool/cold storage ideas: http://www.permies.com/t/27681/food-preservation/kitchen/Fridge-cold-room-pantry-ice
Getting your protein: http://www.permies.com/t/44270/paleo/kitchen/Eating-Paleo-Primal-grid-fridge
Keeping food without a fridge: http://www.permies.com/t/54640/food-preservation/kitchen/Fridge-Free-Solutions
Non-compressor refrigeration: http://www.permies.com/t/11121/energy/Compressor-Fridge
Icebox/Fridge DIY: http://www.permies.com/t/19590/natural-building/icebox-fridge-diy
As I said earlier, there are lots of techie ideas here on Permies for cold storage without a fridge. Now lets try to help the poor cooks whose food storage spaces are at room temperatures (or perhaps 10 degrees cooler). What do they cook? How do they deal with or avoid left-overs? And most of all, how do they keep themselves healthy and their food from going to waste while they're waiting for that cold room/springhouse/ice-house to be built?
1 lb. dried spaghetti or other pasta
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. salt or to taste
1/2 t. pepper
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. pitted Kalamata olives
2 t. drained capers
3/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water
2. Meanwhile, cook garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in oil in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, olives and capers to skillet. Simmer until pasta is ready. Add sugar
4. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Turn with tongs until pasta is well mixed. Sprinkle with basil.
1. You could serve this with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, which keeps quite well at cooler room temperatures. Don't use that disgusting Kraft pre-grated crap though.
2. If you are growing your own basil, good for you. If you must buy, treat it as you would fresh flowers. Cut stems under running water with a sharp knife and stand in a glass of water. It will keep very well and may even start to sprout roots!
Curried Fried Rice With Beef Jerky
1 cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups water, plus 2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 ounces beef jerky, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large dried tree ear mushroom or 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 small sweet potato or 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff the rice and let cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, pour 2 cups of the boiling water over the beef jerky. Cover and let stand until pliable, about 30 minutes. Drain the jerky and coarsely chop it.
3. In a small bowl, cover the tree ear mushroom with the remaining 1/2 cup of boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and chop the tree ear into 1-inch pieces; if using shiitakes, discard the stems and chop the caps.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, sweet potato and ginger and cook over low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the beef jerky, tree ears and almonds. Stir-fry until heated through. Add the rice and soy sauce and stir-fry to break up the rice and heat it through. Season with salt. Stir in the scallion and serve.
If you don't eat ginger every day, or have a ginger tea addiction, it can be hard to get through a chunk of ginger before it starts drying out or molding on the counter. Try keeping it immersed in a jar of vodka. The flavour (of the ginger, anyway) is affected very little and the ginger will last even longer than it would in a fridge.
For the cook, the downside of pulses is how long they can take to cook. For the environmentally conscious, this is also a concern. Cooking large batches and freezing them is one solution, but not a great one if you've gone freezer-less as well as fridge-less, like me. Canning your own is a possibility too, if you have a pressure canner.
However, there is an option that avoids the long cooking time, which makes small batch cooking less problematic, and that is lentils. Lentils, and particularly red lentils can almost be classed as fast food, taking a mere 10-12 minutes to cook, with no pre-soaking required. They'll even be done before the rice (a favourite accompaniment)! That's the pulse featured in today's recipe, taken from blogger Lindsay's blog Pinch of Yum.
Easy Red Lentil Dhal
2 ½ cups red lentils
5-6 cups of water
2 tablespoons curry paste
½ cup coconut milk
⅓ cup water
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons sugar
green herbs for garnish (Lindsay used malunggay leaves - you could use cilantro, green onions, etc.)
1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot.
2. Add lentils and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning on the bottom. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients until completely incorporated. Season with additional salt and herbs for garnish.
1. This recipe makes about 6 servings, so if you are cooking just for yourself, make a smaller batch or be prepared to eat this for several meals straight.
2. Leftovers kept in a pot with a well-fit lid will stay good for surprisingly long unrefrigerated, provided the lid is left in place. Reheated for each meal, you could safely stretch a batch out for several days. This is a trick I learned from my mother, who has safely fed herself and her family for many decades.
3. Since this recipe only uses ½ cup of coconut milk, you will have to do something quickly with the rest if you use canned coconut milk. A great alternative for the fridge-less kitchen is coconut milk powder, which gives excellent results.
I would probably be looking at ferments of various kinds to elongate the time it takes for food to go bad.
I also make a Venison "Beef" Tips and Noodles (for two)
1 pint canned venison that was 1" cubes in broth
Brown Gravy Mix prepared for 1 Cup gravy using the broth from the venison and water needed to make according to directions.
Enough dry noodles for two prepared according to direction.
When the gravy is thick enough add the meat and cook until warm. You can add Worcestershire sauce if desired. Serve over cooked noodles.
Not Gourmet but quick, easy and fridgeless.
Tyler Ludens wrote:
Micky Ewing wrote:
For the cook, the downside of pulses is how long they can take to cook. For the environmentally conscious, this is also a concern.
Can they be slow-cooked in a haybox?
not unless you boil them for ten minutes first
"a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin, also known as kidney bean lectin, that is found in many types of beans. Kidney beans contain especially large amounts of this toxin, and amazingly, eating just four or five raw or improperly cooked kidney beans can make a person extremely ill. Ingesting larger amounts can actually cause death. Other beans, including white kidney beans, broad beans and lima beans, contain the same toxin in smaller but still dangerous amounts." http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/crockpots-slow-cooking-dried-beans-phytohaemagglutinin/
m louks wrote:
not unless you boil them for ten minutes first
I don't think it would take too much energy to boil them for ten minutes.
I pour a splash of fermented brine over, well, everything. I had cooked garbanzo beans in the fridge that seemed about to turn, so I put some brine and then shook it around in the mason jar. (Oh yeah, I use mason jars for everything.) Six weeks later, I made hummus. Delicious.
Most extreme was my six month experiment with left-over sliced lamb, immersed in fermented pickle brine. Smelled great the whole time and I took tiny nibbles the whole time..
I stir yogurt whey (the liquid on top) into left-over potatoes and rice.
The life of non-refrigerated leftovers will be shorter, or as the brine ferments the food, it might work better at warmer temps...
or I just let them set on the back of the wood cookstove for the afternoon when it's already going
- X 2
When I was young and stupid and first went to college I used to cook a pot of pinto beans on Saturday and eat them all week (beans, chili beans, navajo tacos, bean tacos. I would keep them on top of the fridge (they were too big to fit inside, with my 5 roommates food in there also). Anyway, as long as I boiled them well every day I was fine. One time though I left them alone for 3 days (must have found something else to eat I guess). When I popped the top on the container after three days, there was an audible 'pop' and everyone was driven outside for a while by the smell.
I hadn't known beans could go bad because growing up a pot never made it to bedtime (lots of boys and 1 sister). I guess I learned something in college.
I wouldn't try eating beans for a week anymore with this method. For one thing, I've learned that I am mortal and my intestines can't handle everything I might throw at them. For a second, I'm married now and my wife requires a much more varied diet than I do.
I would be comfortable doing this for 3 or even 4 days because when food starts to go bad, it follows a roughly logarithmic curve. At first the production of bacteria and toxins is quite low. When you boil the beans for 10 or 15 minutes, you essentially reset the clock as far as the bacterial production. Some of the toxins may be destroyed, but each time you do it toxins remain and there will be a build up that eventually gets serious.
Some of this may vary with the area. When we moved to the midwest we noticed that things we left on the counter spoiled much quicker for some reason, even in winter. Maybe it's the high humidity here.
That is one thing I loved about chickens, guilt free disposal of food that had been in the fridge too long.
Maybe unkind to expose the birds, but I was sure enough to risk their health, just on my families.
- X 3
David Lehnherr wrote:Would not avoid beans. Great source of protein. Phytic acid has some beneficial effects, though it can bind minerals. The solution is to eat a variety of plants, since some will enhance mineral absorption and counteract the effect of phytic acid.
This is true. Eating a variety of foods and only avoiding the chemical-laden premade stuff will give you a good diet. The truth is, beans, as long as they are kept in a cool place after being cooked, MUST be reheated well, but are fine to eat. People have forgotten or been a little brain-washed about use-by dates and all the associated fears. In my opinion, of course.
Spaghetti squash + canned (water bathed) pasta sauce + dried beans re-hydrated.
pie from sweet potato, spices, fresh cream and/or fresh eggs for filling and pecan, little brown sugar, and butter for crust.
Pie from water bathed perserves. No egg so me who has no food-safety certification and therefore has no credentials to give advice thinks it should be fine to leave out for a while.
You can can hot water bath most juices since they are very acidic.
Fresh salad. We have an Italian dressing on our table always, right next to the oil and vinegar and salt and pepper.
French fries/oven fries
crackers w/dried beans made to a bean dip.
Stir fry veggies w/sprouts
just plain old fresh squash with butter.
Rendered lard is supposedly preserved. I've used saturated fats in a pan over and over and over until it was all gone...mmmm...
Now I'd love to learn how to make/keep cheeses out of the fridge. butter you just leave out, unless you have a dog with a craving for it....what about cheeses??
- X 3
i like to mash up the beans to make the dip easier to keep on a chip. they can also be left whole for something more like a chunky salsa. for a quart jar full of dip use about three cups of beans. mix in a bowl with a couple tomatoes, several sprigs of fresh cilantro, a medium-sized red onion, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste. if you have fresh hot peppers use those instead of or in addition to the cayenne. green bell pepper can be nice to add some dimension to the flavor. just play with it and add or subtract what you like!
when all the ingredients are well mixed put them in a jar. do your best to avoid air pockets. a chop stick works well if there are air pockets down in the jar, but they can be avoided by careful packing. before putting the lid on add about a quarter cup of whey to encourage the good bacteria. you can get whey from a tub of yogurt or your local cheese maker. if you are vegan it could work to use some kraut or kim chi liquid. put the lid on just tight enough that it is sealed, but air can still force itself out with the pressure from fermentation in the jar. after a few days to a week at room temp the dip in the jar will begin to expand and you will see air pockets throughout the jar. it will proceed to get more and more sour like yogurt or other lacto-ferments.
hope this helps you go fridge free with a smile!
Micky Ewing wrote:The protein question has other answers besides meat, as any vegetarian will tell you. Pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.) are a great way to stock the fridge-less pantry with a load of protein rich foods. Dried, they have a shelf life of up to a year, stored in a cool, dark place (older beans gradually lose flavour and take longer to cook). They are also available in canned form, but the dried form is much cheaper. This being a Permaculture crowd, the other big selling points are that the plants are nitrogen fixers and are easy to grow and harvest.
Bring a cast iron pot of rice, beans, chickpeas or other grains to the boil. I take it outside to a wooden bench in the sun, lay it on a multi-folded towel and wrap in a blanket. Takes about 3 hours for the grain/pulses to finish absorbing all the water. Then finish it off on the fire again, adding vegies etc. Works for me!
Today, we look at another way to get meat into your meal: salami. A salami is a cured sausage containing fermented, air-dried meat. There are many varieties of salami, the best-known probably being pepperoni. Though you will often find salami in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, unless it bears a label that reads "Keep Refrigerated", this is merely a method the retailer uses to avoid arousing concern in uneducated shoppers. An uncut dry salami actually has a safe shelf-life of several years at room temperature. Once cut, however, a salami can spoil, so should be consumed quickly if not refrigerated.
I could just tell you to get some nice hard cheeses, a Genovese salami, a handful of crackers and a bottle of Riesling and enjoy your lunch, but in the spirit of real cooking, let's get some pots dirty! This recipe from Martha Stewart is a variation on pasta carbonara that uses salami in place of bacon.
Creamy Pasta with Crispy Salami
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces salami
3 crushed garlic cloves
3/4 pound spaghetti
Salt and pepper
1. Whisk together eggs and Parmesan in a large bowl.
2. Cut salami into 1/2-inch strips. Heat a skillet over medium-high, then coat with olive oil. Cook salami and garlic until salami is crisp.
3. Cook spaghetti; before draining, reserve 1 cup pasta water.
4. Add hot pasta to egg mixture, along with garlic and half the salami. Toss, adding enough pasta water to coat pasta in a creamy sauce.
5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve topped with a sprinkle of parsley and remaining salami.
As others in this thread and elsewhere on Permies have noted, unwashed eggs will store quite well unrefrigerated, but if you can't find a source for unwashed eggs, washed eggs will often stay good for a few days. You might want to buy them by the half-dozen though. From a safety perspective, the good thing about eggs is that if they're off, you're going to know it long before you are thinking about putting them in your mouth!
2 c. dried black-eyed peas
½ c. dried shrimp
1 medium onion
palm oil for frying
1. Place peas in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain and rub off skins.
2. In a separate bowl, cover shrimp with water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain.
3. In a food processor, grind peas, shrimp and onion together. Add salt to taste.
4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and drop in 1 tablespoon of bean purée for each fritter. Fry fritters until golden brown. Drain and serve with molho de acarajé.
Molho de Acarajé
½ c. dried shrimp
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 T. chopped fresh chili
1 T. minced fresh ginger
3 T. palm oil
1. Soak shrimp in water for 20 minutes and drain.
2. Place shrimp, onion, chili and ginger in a food processor and blend to a thick paste.
3. In a skillet, sauté the paste in oil for 5 minutes. Cool before serving.
1. Most recipes for Akara call for the use of a food processor or blender. If you are fridge-less because you are off-grid, you may eschew such frivolous use of power. You can mash by hand with a mortise and pestle instead. This dish precedes the food processor by at least several centuries, so these traditional tools were how it was originally prepared.
2. Palm oil imparts an important component of the flavour of this dish, but you might want to substitute anyway in light of what Willie Smits has said about the deforestation taking place in Indonesia to make way for oil palm plantations.
- X 3
We use raw sheep's and goat's milk to make clabbered shankleesh (from David Asher's awesome book: The Art of Natural Cheesemaking). We clabber the milk leaving it to sit at room temperature for a few days (no rennet needed), then strain it 24 hrs through tight-weave nylon mesh (nut milk bag works great and is easy to clean and reuse repeatedly). Then salt it and drain 4 hrs more. Roll into 1" size balls, and roll the cheese balls in a mix of dried herbs. We use sumac, oregano, parsley, blk pepper, and sesame seeds. Put these in a jar and cover with quality olive oil. The cheese balls can store for months...but they're so delicious you'll eat them long before then. Try slicing the cheese balls and using as an omelet filling, along with some green veggies. Yum. Make sure you are using awesome quality, clean, pastured raw milk. This recipe does not work with pasteurized (heated) milk.
Orange, Olive, and Fennel Salad
1 clove garlic, halved
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. fresh orange juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Leaves from 2 bunches arugula
4 navel oranges, peel and pith removed, sliced crosswise
1 large bulb fennel, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup pitted oil-curred black olives
1. Rub a large salad bowl several times with the cut surface of the garlic clove; the garlic itself won't go into the salad, so figure out something else to do with it.
2. In a bowl, whisk the oil, orange juice, and salt and pepper.
3. Add the argula to the bowl and toss with the dressing; transfer the arugula to
4. Add the oranges, fennel, and olives to the bowl with the dressing; gently toss them to coat lightly with dressing and arrange over the arugula on the plates. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.
1. You'll easily squeeze 1/3 of a c. of orange juice from the average orange, so no need to go buy the stuff and then try to figure out how to keep it.
2. Most of us keep oranges in the fridge to extend their life, but oranges will be fine at room temperature for up to a week before there's risk of spoilage. Once you break the skin though, you'll want to consume the orange soon after.
3. We keep olives in the fridge for the same reason, but olives kept submerged in brine on the counter will last even longer than your oranges.
Grilled Asparagus With Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
1 lb. asparagus
1 T. vegetable oil
½ c. fish sauce
¼ c. water
2 T. rice wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
¼ c. sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 to 3 bird’s eye chilies, thinly sliced
1. Prep the asparagus by washing it and snapping the big ends off (this gets rid of the tough portion)
2. In a jar or other suitable container, combine fish sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chilies.
3. Toss the asparagus with a little oil and spread on a hot grill. Grill each side for about 3 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached
4. Remove asparagus to a dish and toss with several spoonfuls of the dressing
1. The quantities for the vinaigrette ingredients are as given in Momofuku, which makes about a cup of vinaigrette. You probably want to halve or quarter the quantities if you'll just be using it on the asparagus.
2. Asparagus is the one vegetable in the supermarket that I see displayed the way I would store it in the fridge-less kitchen: standing up as a bunch in a shallow dish of water.
The web site, "The Boat Galley", has lots of other useful articles too. Check out the collection of links at the bottom of the article above for other tips on fridge-less living like making your own sour cream with shelf-stable ingredients or how to keep mayonnaise without a fridge.
When you're a 4th or 5th generation Canadian raised on a "meat and potatoes" diet, there's a challenge in knowing what all those foods are and how to cook with them. Luckily for me, there are lots of people out there who really do know their way around those shelves of food, and luckier still, some of them are bloggers!
Do yourself a favour and check out The Woks Of Life guide to the Chinese grocery store at http://thewoksoflife.com/how-to/navigating-a-chinese-grocery-store/. And while you're there, drill down a few layers and explore. I struck gold when I headed to the Chinese Ingredients Glossary and reached the "Dried and Preserved Ingredients" section, which links to its own page where many mysteries are demystified. And as if the blog was written specifically to answer all my questions, most of the ingredient discussions include links to at least one recipe where the ingredient is used. That's how I found today's recipe:
Hong Kong Style Clay Pot Rice Bowl
1 cup long grain rice
1 cup water
3-inch piece of cured pork belly
1-2 links of sweet Chinese sausage
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned soy sauce (you can substitute this with a bit more regular soy sauce as well)
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper
1 scallion, chopped
1. Soak your cup of rice in (exactly) a cup of water in your clay pot for an hour. After it's been soaked, put the pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. When it's boiling, put the cured meats on top of the rice (don't stir). Cover the pot, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauces, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Uncover the pot, and pour the sauce evenly over the rice evenly. Cover it back up and simmer for another 3 minutes.
3. After that, uncover the pot, slice up the meats, and add them back to the pot along with your chopped scallion. Stir everything together. You can also add more soy sauce, to taste!
You can also make this dish in a rice cooker. Just add the rice, water, and meat to the rice cooker and cook normally. When the rice is done, take the meat out and slice it. Add it back to the rice along with the sauce and the scallions!
1. The pork belly and Chinese sausage are both cured meats that are described in detail in the ingredient glossary. There's even a bonus link to their own directions on how to make the cured pork belly!
I just had the craziest dream. This tiny ad was in it.
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital downloadhttps://permies.com/wiki/23442/digital-market/digital-market/Underground-House-Book-Mike-Oehler