Eggs

Custards and puddings let fresh ingredients shine even as they use leftovers. Get simple pantry dessert recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
For this month’s recipes on cooking from the pantry, I use the word “pantry” loosely: it encompasses foods you keep on hand in your cupboards, your freezer, your refrigerator, and perhaps even boxes under your bed. With these basic ingredients, you can pull together dishes with little notice or effort, whether for breakfast, dinner—or now dessert.

Baked custard is a childhood favorite. My grandmother made it as an afterschool snack for me and my sister—and apparently for my mom, because I have it on an old recipe card in her first cursive writing. Custard needs such simple ingredients that even though you can make it from the cheapest milk and eggs on the shelf, local farm-fresh ingredients will take it to another level—one you can taste and see, thanks to a golden yolk. Rice pudding, a more filling variation on the custard theme, has the added benefit of using up leftovers.
Learn to make Golden Baked Custard and Baked Rice Pudding

Advertisements

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

Smoked Beets

One of my favorite kitchen tools sits outside and doubles as grill and low-tech smoker. Get smoked beet recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
One of my favorite kitchen tools doesn’t live in my kitchen: It sits outside the front door, looking weathered and well used. It’s both, whether the summer heat has made me abandon the oven or we’re digging it out of a snowbank for a winter meal. I’m talking about an old charcoal Weber kettle grill, handed down and repaired so many times it’s probably had nine lives.

For years it was just a grill, regularly loaded with fish, shellfish, and many kinds of vegetables and fruits. Then we discovered it made an easy, low-tech cold smoker for cheese. Add a few more briquettes, and we’re smoking chilies, beets, nuts, and more.

I got excited about smoking beets after falling for a vegetarian Rueben sandwich created by a local deli. But when I started harvesting my first beets a week ago, we’d already gobbled up the winter’s stash of sauerkraut. Fortunately, smoked beets are delicious with fresh greens and sourdough bread.
Learn to make Roasted and Smoked Beets and Smoked-Beet Sandwiches

Feel-Good Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. By planning ahead, you can have it in a flash—even when you’re sick. Get Hot and Sour Broth Base and Soup recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Soup is the ultimate comfort food. It warms you from head to toe, even reaching fingertips wrapped around a warm bowl or mug. It can be pleasantly light or satisfyingly filling. You can load it with your favorite ingredients and flavors, and it makes brilliant leftovers. What’s not to love about homemade soup?

Some days, the answer is, “That I have to make it.” When you’re sick, soup can make you feel better, but not if you have to get out of bed, gather and chop the ingredients, and monitor the pot. When I’ve got a bug, I crave hot and sour soup. But one of my favorite recipes, Padma Lakshmi’s Hot and Sour Tomato Broth with Shrimp from Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, requires specialty ingredients and effort. So I’ve developed a version can be frozen as a broth base. The essential work can happen long before you want the soup. When you’re under the weather, you can simply defrost and mix it into homemade stock. On healthy days, you can fill it out to create a full meal for everyone at the table.
Learn to make Hot and Sour Broth Base and Soup