Dear Betty: What’s In Your Fridge?

Just a few of the many jars of homemade pickles cluttering my fridge.

It’s been a while since I’ve answered questions from you, my lovely readers. I’ll fix that today.

Dear Betty,

I looked in my nearly barren refrigerator and discovered that I have three open bottles of white wine (I had a wine tasting at my house over the weekend, and we didn’t finish the whites), one yogurt that’s past its expiration date, two lemons, and a half-used jar of capers. And butter. I always have butter. I don’t really drink white wine, so is there anything I can cook with that? And while we’re on the subject, what’s in your fridge?

– Lady in Red (Wine)

Hey, Lady!

I was so excited to see your post because yes, you can absolutely make yummy things with white wine. I was going to link to my recipe for lemon chicken until I realized that I’ve never posted my recipe for lemon chicken. Whoops! A formal recipe will come at a later date, but go to the store and buy some boneless skinless chicken breasts to pound thin (or do it the easy way and buy chicken cutlets). I assume that you have garlic on hand, right? Peel and smash a few cloves of that, too.

Drizzle some olive oil into your pan. As it heats, season your cutlets with salt and pepper. Pan-sear the cutlets; this should only take a couple of minutes per side. When the chicken is almost cooked through, remove from heat. Pour in some white wine and use it to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it boil until the wine has reduced by half, maybe 5 minutes. Add the juice of the lemons and a spoonful of capers. Add a pat of butter to thicken the sauce. Return the chicken to the wine sauce in the pan, simmer until cooked through and serve with rice and veggies.

You can also use white wine in quick bolognese or all-day bolognese. Being a huge fan of bolognese sauce, this would be one of my favorite uses for the remaining leftover wine.

As for my fridge, right now it’s jam-packed with several jars of homemade pickles, as well as eight* different kinds of mustards. Eight! That’s perfectly normal, right?

I also have several jars of homemade yogurt and plenty of milk for the Tiny Kitchen Assistant’s drinking pleasure. We’re also inundated with fruit from the market, including strawberries, peaches and plums.

So, what’s in your fridge? And how many kinds of mustard do you have?

* As a kid, I thought that Guldens spicy brown was the only kind of mustard. Now I have Dijon, spicy brown, yellow, garlic mustard from the farmer’s market, hot and sweet, mustard aioli, and two mustards from Germany: whole seed and white wine. Don’t judge me. 

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2 Responses

  1. Our fridge is full, as is the freezer, which is problematic in that we move out in less than a month. We do have one open bottle of white, but I think that’ll be gone tonight (and not used in cooking). Also three bottles of champagne, skim milk, 2% milk, tomatoes, cherries, string cheese (always), cabbage, eggs, butter, two or three kinds of mustard, two open bottles of shrimp cocktail sauce (thanks, former roommates), lots of other condiments, leftover tilapia and asparagus (dinner tonight) (with wine), and chocolate chips (dessert tonight and most nights). And God knows what else.

  2. Alisa says:

    If you’re looking for the best way to get rid of the contents of your freezer, go through and take an inventory. Toss anything of unknown age or origin, and make a list of all the remaining items on a sheet of paper taped to the fridge. It makes it a lot easier to plan your meals when you can see what’s in there. I used to be much better about doing that, and it was a great way to keep track of stuff.

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