This was supposed to be it, the big one, the end of human kind.
But what happened? Oh, yeah, once again, the prediction for the apocalypse was wrong and when December 21 rolled around, we continued on our daily routines.
Some of you may have been prepared for the worst and stockpiled mass amounts of non-perishapble fare to keep you satiated if you had ended up having to take refuge and battle out whatever was supposed to happen to us. If your cupboards are now weighed down with mass quantities of Spam, beans and the like, we've got a few recipes—courtesy of some inventive local chefs—to put these items to good use.
Even if you were one of the naysayers smirking away and pulling a big “I told you so,” to the anti-climatic date, these chef-approved recipes might still be fun to try—just in case.
Brayden Kozak: The Three Boars
OK, here we go. Here's a recipe for shepherd's pie using instant ramen noodles instead of potatoes. I love instant ramen and eat it all the time, adding different variants to the soup to bulk it up and make it more interesting or filling. I went through a phase a while ago to try as many different varieties of instant ramen as possible to find my favourite. It was a fun project, and I found three varieties I keep coming back to. The first is Mama brand shrimp tom yum noodles (recently I discovered the milk shrimp tom yum, which absolutely blew my mind). These noodles are nice and spicy with a burst of lime and rich shrimp flavour. I also love the Korean style Nong Shim kimchi ramyun noodles. They're spicy as hell, and benefit from a generous addition of fresh kimchi and shredded roast pork. Add some potatoes and you've got yourself a hearty kimchi stew. Lastly are the Indomie Mi Goreng noodles. These are not a broth-based noodle—you drain the water after the noodles have been cooked and add the ingredients. A runny fried egg is almost necessary with these ones, as well as any meat and vegetable additions you might have around. Because of the season, I figured a warm and comforting recipe would be in order.
Ramen Noodle Shepherd's Pie
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, cut into fine dice
1 large carrot, cut into fine dice
1 lb ground lamb (beef would be a suitable substitution)
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp dry thyme
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cream corn
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsly
2 packages instant beef-flavoured ramen noodles
2 tbsp butter
Kosher salt to tase
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until translucent. Add the meat and cook until browned, stirring occasionally for even cooking. Approx 10 minutes.
3. Drain the fat and add the tomato paste, water, dry thyme and one package of soup seasoning from the ramen. Simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened, then add peas, corn and parsley. Season with salt.
4. Pour mixture into a 9×9 inch baking dish.
5. In a medium sauce pot, bring one litre of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dry ramen noodles to the hot water. Cover and let sit for approximately five minutes, or until tender.
6. Drain the water completely, add the butter to the noodles, a pinch of salt and toss until completely coated. Evenly distribute the noodles over the meat and bake until the noodles are just starting to brown, which is approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
Corey McGuire: TZiN
Post a-pork-alyptic bean cassoulet:
This dish is a great way to “jazz up” your canned pork and beans. Foraging for other ingredients is also a great way to spend the day, and help with the end of the world blues.
Canned pork and beans
Foraged mustard greens, cleaned and roughly chopped
Foraged mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped (know your mushrooms … )
Onions, medium dice
Root vegetables, peeled and diced (carrots, parsnips, turnips, etc.)
Broth, canned chicken or beef. **
White rice. Brown rice will go rancid quickly in your survival pantry
*Quantities will depend on availability, and what you may have in your pantry
**You could trap squirrels and rabbits to make a stock from their carcasses. The meat could be added to the dish for extra flavour and protein value.
1. Sweat onions over medium heat until starting to brown slightly
2. Add root vegetables and foraged mushrooms
3. Sauté until mushrooms soften and root vegetables begin to brown
4. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine and simmer until wine is almost evaporated
5. Add enough broth to fill your pan approximately 1 cm
6. Cover and let vegetables steam until almost tender
7. When vegetables are almost cooked, add the canned pork and beans
8. Continue cooking until beans are hot, vegetables are tender, and sauce has thickened
9. Fold in the mustard greens
10. Serve over rice and drink the rest of the wine. But don't drink too much wine, as you will have to keep a lookout for zombies
*If using squirrel, or any other meat you may hunt, add the meat before the onions and sauté until browned. Continue as in original recipe.*
The mustard greens will provide a nice peppery heat, and the canned pork and beans will provide salt. Extra seasoning should not be required so that you may save your precious salt and pepper for other applications.
This recipe may also be made in to a hearty soup by adding more broth.
Andrew Parker: Chef Parker Catering and Events
The thing I love about being a chef is the opportunity to challenge myself and become creative. If said apocalypse were to happen, I know I would be prepared. Resources like fresh produce would have to be self-harvested. Other manufactured items like cooking oil, spices and artificial flavours wouldn't be around anymore. Cooking just become that much harder. When thinking of a Spam recipe, I thought of stuffing pasta. But wait, you would have to make your own pasta. I know when I was going to college, I learned how to make a mean Kraft Dinner, so cooking with limited resources is nothing new. You would have to stock up on condiments, canned goods and whatever other non-perishable food items you can and make work with what you have.
3 Cans Spam
1 Can kidney beans
2 Cans diced tomato
1 Can whole corn
1 Can mushrooms
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp salt (That's if you've stocked up on spices)
If you managed to grow produce, add some celery, onions and carrots.
Put all ingredients in a large pot and let simmer for 45 minutes.