Cupboard Challenge with Eric Ripert: Barbara's Quality (Yet Overwhelming) Refrigerator

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We recently asked you for your best best cupboard challenge, because acclaimed chef Eric Ripert was going to take on one challenge from a reader. Well, you sent in quite a few challenges, and here's the one we've picked.

This cupboard challenge is from reader Barbara, who has great ingredients in her fridge, but is still struggling to use them up. Read on to find out exactly what was in Barbara's refrigerator, and just what Eric Ripert suggested for her ingredients.

Here's Barbara. She says:

I cooked two large turkey legs today, pulled the meat off the bones and shredded it; it is sitting in its juices. I have a bag of thyme that is ready to be used. 1 litre of oat milk (that's Oat milk, not goat's milk :). 100g of soft goat cheese and 100g of 100g of hard goat cheese. dozen + 3 eggs. One courgette that will be old soon. A bag of trimmed string beans. 3 small onions, 3 shallots, 3 lemons: all will be old soon. 1 and a half containers of egg salad, half a jar of strawberry jam, a jar of whole grain mustard, one jar of almond butter, half a container of hummus, 1 tub of butter, 1 tub of sunflower (fake butter) spread.

They are at risk of becoming compost. I buy quality ingredients, but sometimes get overwhelmed when it is time to cook, and good stuff ends up going bad before I get around to it. I am also just starting to eat meat again as a former vegetarian, and am in need of some healthy, simple, flavorful ideas of ways to prepare enjoy it.

We chose Barbara's challenge because all of us here at The Kitchn can really identify with her. It's not just an overstuffed cupboard or lack of time to cook that trips us up - it's the sheer pleasure of quality ingredients. We get inspired (and maybe a little greedy too) and buy up good harvest ingredients, but then feel overwhelmed when we try to put it all together.

Here, then, are Eric Ripert's ideas on how to use up the healthy yet overwhelming contents of Barbara's refrigerator.

Since she worries about spoilage, do try to buy as little as possible on each shopping trip. Buy only what you need but shop often.

A few dishes you can make from the contents of this fridge:

-- an eggplant frittata
-- a goat cheese parfait with a string bean salad
-- a turkey mustard croque monsieur
-- dessert: oatmilk flan

Yum! Here are a few recipes along these lines:

Baby Eggplant, Olive, And Herb-Cheese Frittata at Epicurious
Goat Cheese Parfait
Croque Monsieur with Pear and Smoked Turkey
Milkless Flan

Good luck, Barbara! We hope that your fridge will be lighter and less overwhelming soon.

Thank you Eric!

Related: Eric Ripert's New Website: Avec Eric

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