With coronavirus stay-at-home measures extending into their fourth month, people have been cooking more than ever. Here, six celebrity chefs recommend staples that everyone needs in their pantry.
Alton Brown (“Good Eats,” “Iron Chef America”)
Dried beans. You can feed a family of four for six months on different kinds of beans. Beans are cheap. They’re plentiful. They’re incredibly nutritious. They can be turned into anything, from dips to soups to salads. You can do anything if you’ve got enough beans.
Padma Lakshmi (“Top Chef” host)
You should always have onions, garlic, ginger, potatoes, rice, quinoa, cornmeal and fennel, because those things add flavor to your dishes. Then there’s your spice kit — oregano, thyme, crushed red chili, cumin, coriander. You should have things that are not as common like sumac and za’atar, which are from the Middle East and add great flavor to dishes that aren’t necessarily Middle Eastern.
Guy Fieri (“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”)
My go-tos are spices, grains, beans and pickled peppers. Certain things like frozen corn and peas work out better than canned because [canned vegetables are] mushier when they sit in the liquid the entire time.
Antoni Porowski (“Queer Eye”)
Everyone should have lemons. I put lemon zest literally in 99.9% of everything that I make. It just adds another level of flavor, and it’s a free ingredient because it already comes with the lemon.
Alex Guarnaschelli (“Supermarket Stakeout,” “Chopped”)
Lentils, chickpeas and beans — whether they’re canned or uncooked and dry. There are new ways to use them, and we’re all looking to ideally make more than one meal out of one thing, right?
Nadiya Hussain (“Great British Bake Off” winner, Netflix’s “Time to Eat”)
Dried spices are really important. If I didn’t have my spice cupboard, I would be stuck because it’s all about adding flavor to things. I found lots of people have bought these things but aren’t sure how to cook with them. And that’s where social media is amazing, because you can learn how to cook things that you’re not used to.