Pantry Dinners

I love to play in the kitchen, but I also love easy meals. Get pantry-based recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
As much as I love to play in the kitchen, even I have days when I want an easy meal. But most people who eat my easy meals can’t believe food this good can be so easy. The secret is in what I’m emphasizing all month: a well-stocked basic pantry.

Some of my favorite easy meals developed from flavors I fell in love with while exploring other countries and cultures. My freezer always holds a bag of frozen shrimp, often destined for the grill. But on rainy, freezing, or just plain lazy nights, a cast-iron skillet and oven broiler fill in beautifully. Add some oil, a couple of spices, and a lot of garlic, and the meal brings back memories of Spanish tapas bars and gambas al ajillo. If I cooked up a pot of beans earlier in the week, or have a can stashed on the shelf, I can sip wine, think fondly of Italy, and have a surprisingly filling vegetarian or vegan pasta on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Learn to make Spanish Shrimp in Garlic Oil and Smashed Bean Pasta

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Stir-Fry

 Stir-fries are quick, go-to meals that show off well-cooked tofu. Get stir-fry and tofu recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When the garden is in full swing and sailing season is on, one of my go-to meals is a stir-fry. In the time it takes to cook a pot of rice, the rest of the meal can be chopped, cooked, and ready to serve from one pan as a single-dish meal. In spring, asparagus, early onions, young garlic, snap peas, spinach, and herbs dominate the stir-fry; at the height of summer, freshly harvested onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes take over. By late summer, corn, eggplant, and fall broccoli and peas are ready to mix in.

When you’re rich in a particular vegetable, you can let it solo in a stir-fry, backed by aromatics such as garlic, ginger, and chilies. But my favorite stir-fries are created with dibs and dabs of many vegetables and a protein such as tofu. To guarantee success, fry quickly, at high heat, in an order that lets the ingredients brown evenly, with plenty of movement. It’s in the name: stir and fry.
Learn to make Fresh Improv Stir-Fry and Pan-Fried Tofu