Dinner from the Dredges of the Refrigerator

Thai Shrimp

I love to cook. I like to say that the plate is my canvas and the refrigerator is my pallet.

So, I’ve been getting domestic the past several days. Sometimes you just get tired of eating out all the time. Every once in awhile I like to stay at home and cook.

So Saturday, I scavenged some frozen hamburger from the freezer, and bought a can of kidney beans, a poblano chili, and an onion, a bunch of herbs and spices, some chipotles from the refrigerator for more heat and some smoke, some left over tomatoes, and treated myself to some chili.

This past week, I was house sitting for a friend, Robin. She was due to arrive from a trip to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende around 7:30 pm. I was determined to make her dinner, and scoured my recipes for something that could be ready to eat whenever she arrived. I settled on Bon Bon Chicken, a cold Chinese dish with chicken, peanut butter (the recipe called for sesame paste), noodles, and cucumber.

A trip to the grocery netted several essential ingredients like toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, scallions, ginger and cucumber. The dinner was a hit after several glasses of wine..and even the next day.

Today was one of those rare days when nothing was going on anywhere. It was a perfect opportunity to put my culinary talents to the test.

When my kids were little, we would make pizza almost every Friday night. I had ceramic tiles for the oven, and would crank the temperature up 500+ degrees. After the kids gorged themselves on pepperoni pizza, my ex and I would clean out the refigerater and gently place the contents on the dough. We called it “garbage pizza.” There might be onions, mushrooms, olives, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach… use your imagination. It was a challenge moving the mound off the peel and onto the tiles without losing everything into the inferno.

As I pondered Tuesday’s dinner, I decided I wanted shrimp. The picture above is the result. It turned out to be a Thai-like concoction, and it was a masterpiece (if I say so myself). Here’s the recipe…sort of:

Depths of the Fridge Thai-Style Shrimp

  • 1/4 lb of raw medium shrimp ( 31-50 count), shelled and deveined (save the shells in a small sauce pan)


  • ½ leftover poblano chili, in strips (leftover from chili)
  • 3 spring onions sliced (leftover from Bon Bon Chicken)
  • 2 big cloves garlic, chopped (leftover from Bon Bon Chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped (leftover from Bon Bon Chicken)
  • Handfull of chopped cilantro (a household staple)


  • Soy Sauce (left over from Bon Bon Chicken)
  • Shrimp stock, from shells ( a substitute for nam pla, Thai fish sauce)
  • Cream of Coconut (leftover from Pina Coladas)
  • White wine
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

¼ pound of tagliatelle pasta (left over from previous occasions)

Coconut oils (left over from previous tropical-style cooking)


  • Peel, de-vein, rinse and dry shrimp
  • Place shells in a small sauce pan, add water to cover, and simmer until shells turn pink and it stinks.
  • Prepare vegetables
  • Heat water for tagliatelle, when it comes to boil drop in pasta and cook until al dente.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat coconut oil in a wok or deep frying pan.
  • Saute shrimp until they just turn pink and remove to a bowl
  • Add vegetables EXCEPT cilantro and sauté until spring onions are translucent.
  • Add cilantro and toss to mix
  • Add the shrimp and sauce and reduce
  • Drain pasta and a toss into shrimp and vegetable mixture.

Enjoy with a cold beer or crisp white wine.

Just a word of warning… I rarely make a recipe the same way twice. So, if I were to make this again, it would probably be different…depending what I had in my refrigerator.

Good luck!

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