My wife gave me a challenge the other day: cook something without going to the grocery store, using at least one ingredient from the pantry.
of Top Chef for inspiration. I had my "Eureka!" moment when I found a bag of Shrimp Chips, the delicious snack I grew up eating, to the bewilderment of my Caucasian friends.
We had frozen pork chops in the freezer, so I was going to use them to make Shrimp Chip crusted Pork Chops. For a second dish, I was thinking something along the lines of a savory custard. That way I could take advantage of leftover frozen spinach and the eggs we usually keep in the refrigerator. I didn't have the pie crust necessary to make a quiche, so I used a ramekin instead. I also didn't want to wait forever for it to bake, so I chose to steam the custard instead (a decision that turned out poorly, as you will find out).
I took out a mallet and hammered away at the shrimp chips inside a plastic bag until they became crumbs. Afterwards, it was simply a matter of dipping the chops into flour, then an egg wash, and then the shrimp chip crumbs, before placing them into a shallow pool of oil to fry. They came out golden brown and delicious. I'm sure the extra MSG in the shrimp chips didn't hurt, either.
The custard was not so tasty. I steamed the custard mixture (mixture of an equal portion of eggs and milk, plus a handful of frozen spinach) until it set, which did not take much time at all. I then topped it with some more shrimp chips and placed it under the broiler for a minute until it browned. The result? A crispy top, but an unfortunately watery inside. Oh well, the chops made up for it.