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Recipes and tips for the fridge-less cook  RSS feed

 
Micky Ewing
Posts: 105
Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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There are many reasons a cook might be without a fridge. Whether it is by choice or necessity, it will certainly impact the sorts of things that are possible or safe to prepare in the kitchen. In my case, I'm trying to eliminate my need for a fridge because I'm not grid-connected on my land and because the costs of generating the electricity for a fridge locally seem excessive. I should think that a fair number of permies are in a similar situation and of a similar mind. And while I've found reams of posts on cold rooms, ice boxes and other ideas for replacing the fridge, I've seen very little here addressing the question of what or how to cook and eat in fridge-less circumstances.

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?
 
Micky Ewing
Posts: 105
Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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I'm going to kick things off with a recipe for Pasta Puttanesca. This is off epicurious.com with a few minor alterations: I've left out the 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste and eliminated the blender requirement. My guess is that anchovy paste would keep pretty well at room temperature due to it's high salt content, but I haven't verified that, so I'm erring on the side of caution. If you want to kick the umami back up, toss in a few diced sun-dried tomatoes, which are similarly rich in glutamates.

Pasta Puttanesca

Ingredients

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
Pinch sugar
3/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil

Directions

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.


My Notes

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!
 
Micky Ewing
Posts: 105
Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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A major challenge of going fridge-less (for the omnivore, at least) is how to avoid having to run to the nearest grocery store (which may not be so near) every time you want to get a bit of meat into your diet. Jerkies are a great solution and make fine additions to the pantry of the fridge-less cook. Today's recipe is from foodandwine.com and uses beef jerky to amp up the flavour of this Curried Fried Rice dish. It also gets a shot of flavour from dried mushrooms, an excellent addition to any pantry -- fridge-less or not!

Curried Fried Rice With Beef Jerky



Ingredients

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
Salt
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Instructions

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.


Storage Note

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.

 
Cassie Langstraat
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OMG I love this thread! Keep it up.
 
Micky Ewing
Posts: 105
Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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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.

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

Ingredients

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
lime juice
green herbs for garnish (Lindsay used malunggay leaves - you could use cilantro, green onions, etc.)

Instructions

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.


My Notes
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.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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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?
 
Ghislaine de Lessines
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One of my hobbies is medieval recreation which involves a lot of camping. This thread reminded me of resources for camping without a cooler. If I had any experience with it I would point to specific resources, besides a general Web search to see what appeals to you.

I would probably be looking at ferments of various kinds to elongate the time it takes for food to go bad.
 
Tyler Ludens
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"Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old"

Food was preserved by keeping hot or reheating.
 
Anne Miller
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We just finished making jerky out of two venison hindquarters. This jerky is destined (in the future)to become stew or soup using regular recipes and soaking the jerky in boiling water while assembling the other ingredients which could all be fridge-less ingredients such as fresh, dehydrated or canned veggies.

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.
 
m louka
Posts: 9
Location: Vermont USDA zone 5a
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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/
 
Tyler Ludens
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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.
 
Mercedes Brian
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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I have a small fermenting and kombucha business so I have plenty of left-over fermented, probiotic-rich, brine. Sauerkraut brine or brine from pickles extend my leftovers.

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...
 
Lori Dorchak
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The fastest bestest way to cook beans is in a pressure cooker. They can be done in 20 minutes
or I just let them set on the back of the wood cookstove for the afternoon when it's already going
 
Parker Free
Posts: 22
Location: Olympia, WA
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Many (most?) hard cheeses are just fine at room temperatures, as well as fermented or highly acidic foods. Add veggies to the mix and you should have something that won't go bad for at least a couple days as long as it's kept cooler, even if not refrigerated. I'm reduced to lots of nut butter and jam/jelly sandwiches when I'm not feeling creative. This is a very timely topic for me as I prepare to move into my DIY housetruck that won't have refrigeration or even solar til I can afford it.
 
David Livingston
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Here in France you can buy a cheese safe as most folks believe cheese should not be frozen ( they also prefer unpasteurised milk too ) cheddar cheese can keep up to two years as long as kept cool like in a root cellar

David
 
Joy Oasis
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There is one more problem with legumes -just as grains they are high on Phytic Acid, and because of this naturally occurring acid, it binds up minerals and makes them not available to us, which might result in cavities and bone issues, if one eats them as main or even large part of the diet. Weston Price foundation doesn't recommend eating them at all for people who need to remineralize their teeth and bones. I think people who grow their own food might have less of the problem with this since their fruits, veggies, dairy and meat is generally higher in nutrients anyway, especially if they build rich soil, and feed their animals not much grain and more grass and greens.
 
Mick Fisch
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I remember reading a part of something my Great-great grandma wrote. She was a child in the first wagon train of anglo settlers into Arizona (according to family stories). Anyway, she commented that one thing she remembered was the big pot of beans on the back of the wagon. She said each night they boiled it up and ate out of it and it got thicker and richer each day. If your at a pretty good elevation beans take a lot longer than at sea level so my guess is that they soaked the beans on Sat evening and cooked them on Sunday, when they wouldn't have normally travelled.

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.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I have a paranoia about old food, so I would not be able to handle "pease porridge" or "the old pot o' beans"!
 
Mick Fisch
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I think some of our reactions to older food are societal and not rooted in reality (both the excessively careful and excessively careless). I've had to speak to some of my teenagers when they wanted to throw out milk that was a day past the expiration date or some other foolishness. One of my daughters was a missionary in Croatia and was quietly horrified at the way some people there would leave meat on the counter for a few days before they used it. She felt that way even though we would commonly leave a moose quarter hanging in the garage for a couple of weeks if the weather was cool enough. You pay big bucks for aged meat and that's all they do, hang it in a cool room (ideally in the mid to high thirties), but I've seen it hung at warmer temps with only good results (although for much shorter times).

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.
 
Mick Fisch
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If you can afford it, sometimes it is better to throw out questionable food than to risk food poisoning.

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.
 
Sue Rine
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We lived for four years in a cabin with no power. There was a shed several hundred metres away which did have power. We had a freezer and a washing machine there. Anyway, we got used to cooking with few leftovers. I often had a pot of soup going, to which I would add what leftovers there were. As long as it was boiled daily it was fine. Once a week I would start a fresh pot. Most foods, including meat, were also fine left in a cool place for 24hours, as long as they were thoroughly reheated, (ie above boiling point), before eating the next day.
 
David Lehnherr
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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.
 
Parker Free
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Location: Olympia, WA
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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.
 
Amit Enventres
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So, I doubt I will ever be fridge free, but there are plenty of times I could say we could survive without it. It's more of a left-over holder. 1/2 the year the great-out-doors works fine as a freezer here, but in actuality freezers are our crutch as a protein holder. When learning to preserve gardening produce I gave myself a choice- freezer or pressure cooker. Both cost about the same amount and probably use a similar amount of annual energy. I decided on freezer. But, enough confessions from me. Here's some ideas:

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.
Bread w/butter.
eggs w/butter.
mashed potatoes.
French fries/oven fries
crackers w/dried beans made to a bean dip.
Tortilla chips.
Stir fry veggies w/sprouts
fresh fruit.
Dried fruit.
Baked potatoes
just plain old fresh squash with butter.
BBQ veggies
muffins
cookies
granola bars
cereal
fruit leather
tea

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??

 
davis limbach
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i lived for almost two years without a fridge when i first moved out of seattle in 2008. i was living off the grid and we grew some of our own produce. i loved how it encouraged me to eat things right away and to simplify my diet. one of the guides in this time that helped me and those i was living with to get on board with traditional food preservation was the book 'nourishing traditions' by sally fallon. there is a good recipe in there for fermented bean dip that i used with success. all the talk of beans going bad made me want to offer it here. it is basically like making sauerkraut but with beans and other ingredients that you would normally put in a dip.

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!
 
Barbara Murphy
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Location: Ulong, NSW, Australia
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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!
 
Micky Ewing
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Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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It's nice to see a lot of interest in this topic. We've had some interesting discussion and good ideas (like using a hay-box cooker for cooking pulses). I hope to see some more recipes posted too! Tips are great, but some people need to be taken by the hand and lead around the kitchen.

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

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces salami
Olive oil
3 crushed garlic cloves
3/4 pound spaghetti
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley

Directions

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.


Storage note

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!
 
Micky Ewing
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Here's an appetizer you can serve at your yurt-warming. This dish comes originally from west Africa, but is also very well-known in Brazil. It is a popular street food in both places. The recipes I've reproduced below are a variation from The Chez Piggy Cookbook that required no adaptation for the fridge-less chef. Without further ado, I give you:

Akara (Acarajé)

Ingredients

2 c. dried black-eyed peas
½ c. dried shrimp
1 medium onion
coarse salt
palm oil for frying

Directions

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

Ingredients

½ c. dried shrimp
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 T. chopped fresh chili
1 T. minced fresh ginger
3 T. palm oil

Directions

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.

My Notes

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.
 
Jeanne Wallace
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Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
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duck forest garden rabbit
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SHANKLEESH — Making and KEEPING CHEESE: room-temp storage:
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.
 
Micky Ewing
Posts: 105
Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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Salads are an easy item for the fridge-less cook to put together, especially during the summer if there's a kitchen garden in reach. Lettuce kept in water like cut flowers will sit happily on the counter for weeks. This next recipe, however, calls for arugula. If you aren't growing your own, you may want to substitute some other green. I've never seen arugula sold with the leaves still attached to the stalk, so the cut flower method won't work, and arugula's shelf life unrefrigerated is fairly short. Lucky for me, arugula grows like a weed in my region, so I usually have a generous supply of the delicious leaves all summer. The recipe below is gleaned from thekitchn.com and I give it here with just a couple of comments added.

Orange, Olive, and Fennel Salad

Ingredients

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

Directions

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 chilled serving dishes.

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.

My Notes

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.

Bon appétit!
 
Micky Ewing
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Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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Ketchup goes with a lot of things, but it's got nothing on fish sauce!  Fish sauce is one of those goto ingredients for bringing food to life.  You can find it in any Asian grocery store and in the Asian section of many grocery stores. It's an ingredient that is perfectly at home in the fridge-less kitchen, since it is salty enough to keep at room temperature.  Today's recipe is for grilled asparagus with fish sauce vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette is taken from David Chang's book Momofuku where it is used on fried cauliflower and roasted Brussels sprouts, but once you've tasted it, you'll want to use it on everything!

Grilled Asparagus With Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

My Notes

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.
 
Micky Ewing
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Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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A Permie trying to live at base camp on their land (not Paul's base camp, but my own, more primitive one) is not the only sort of person working with limited kitchen resources. Others we can look to for inspiration are the many cooks at sea, working in tiny galleys with little or no cold storage and with no access to grocery stores for days or weeks at a time.  I came across a helpful article on no-fridge meals today that I want to share with you all: http://theboatgalley.com/refrigeration-meals/

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.
 
Melissa Erin
Posts: 7
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Has anyone checked out Helen Nearing s "Simple Foods For The Good Life"? Think it might be fitting for this thread.
 
Micky Ewing
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Location: Merrickville, Ontario
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Earlier in this thread, I posted a recipe for Akara, which calls for dried shrimp.  While I was at my favorite Asian market, looking for this ingredient, I had to marvel (not for the first time) at the amazing variety of dried, preserved, canned or otherwise shelf-stable foods around me.  Many places in Asia, and China in particular, still have a large number of households without domestic refrigeration, so it makes sense that food traditions from these places would minimize the need for it.

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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!

My Notes

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!
 
Cd Greier
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This is more long-term than most of these posts describe but I'm glad to have found a contemporary link about larding pork. I've read before about preserving raw pork in its own melted fat and one source said that when the solid lard got soft in spring, the housewife would fry up the meat, heat the fat and replace everything back in the freshly scoured barrel. That way they had pork available almost year-round!

http://hillsidehomestead.com/2013/03/10/pork-preservation-success/
 
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Systems of Beekeeping Course - Winterization Now Available
https://permies.com/t/69572/Systems-Beekeeping-Winterization
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