Ah, the mystery box challenge. Surely the Masterchef challenge was inspired by the everyday dilemma of staring into the dregs of your fridge, the bit of bread, limp celery and hot sauce that somehow have to make a meal? We’ve all been there. So to help us navigate the Narnia-like world of our fridges, we chatted to Masterchef contestant and dumpling king, Brendan Pang.
UTILISE YOUR STAPLES (AND DON’T FORGET YOUR LEFTOVERS!)
For Brendan, it all starts with your staples. If you’ve ever watched Masterchef and the famed mystery box challenges, you’ll see that alongside their odd-ingredients they also get a sneaky beneath-the-bench box of staples. Bingo.
“Always have some staple ingredients on hand to help bring a meal together” says Brendan. “These can include pantry items such as dried pasta, flour, rice, as well as things like eggs, milk and cream.”
Let’s be honest, leftovers are also pretty much a ‘staple’ to be found in any kitchen. So don’t forget them too! Show them some lovin’ and incorporate them into your cooking as one of those nifty staples. For Brendan it’s the marriage of two staples, eggs and leftovers, that make for a very happy ending.
“Eggs are my favourite way to bring together leftovers, such as transforming leftover veg from say a roast into a great frittata.”
Brendan’s Salvage Supperclub
Better still, utilising your leftovers saves them from travelling the forgotten-in-the-fridge trip to the bin. Embrace them as a staple, or go one-step further and make #leftoversbreakfast a thing “Some find it weird, but I’m super happy to have leftovers – even curry – for breakfast the next day.” We’re so with you Brendan, curry breath ftw.
The next hot tip for making those leftover ingredients sing: flavour bombs. Amp up your cooking by getting creative with a couple of trusty flavour bombs to add some zhoosh to your meal. “Things like anchovies or miso, which by themselves can be a bit much, can really enhance and take a meal to the next level” quips Brendan. A little goes a long way he warns, so don’t get too overzealous! Other flavour bomb ideas include sauces such as oyster sauce, or some of Brendan’s current faves, tamari and gochujang (a Korean hot sauce). And if your still feeling meh about your food, and all flavours seemed defused, follow the old Masterchef motto “If you don’t know what to do with it, deep fry it.”
Brendan’s Salvage Supperclub
GET TOGETHER + GET EXCITED ABOUT FOOD
Getting creative and experimenting in the kitchen can be a bit like Yr 9 Science all over again, so why not get some friends in on the action to make it that bit more fun? Next time you’re having your pals round for dinner go for Brendan’s sneaky ninja-move and leave some preparation for them to do and get in on the action.
“Food brings people together and it’s so exciting to see others getting excited about food!”
Even better, conquer the mystery box challenge together and host a Salvage Supper Club at your place.