Elevate these 4 pantry staples with 3 recipes from Food & Wine

Elevate these 4 pantry staples with 3 recipes from Food & Wine

The thing about pantry staples is you need to have the essentials stocked and at-the-ready in your kitchen to transform shelf-stable ingredients into a tasty and affordable meal.

To help home cooks add the right staples to their shopping list, Chandra Ram, Associate Editorial Director at Food & Wine magazine, joined “Good Morning America” with her top four pantry picks, three recipes and flavor boosting tips.

Especially for those evenings where you’re short on time and can’t make it to the store, Ram says rice, beans, canned tomatoes and umami boosting additions like soy sauce, miso or sardines are the perfect basis for a tasty meal.

PHOTO: The February 2024 cover of Food & Wine magazine.

The February 2024 cover of Food & Wine magazine.

Food & Wine, Victor Protasio

Check out all the recipes that utilize one of those four pantry staples below.

Coconut milk rice pudding with mango, lime and passion fruit

PHOTO: Coconut milk rice pudding with mango, lime, and passion fruit

Coconut milk rice pudding with mango, lime, and passion fruit

ABC News

While rice is primarily thought of as a side, Ram suggests reframing the ingredient that can easily be used for a main dish or even a dessert. By branching out with different types of rice, you can change up the flavor profiles with recipes like this one from Marianne Williams for a sweet rice pudding.

Active Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 6 servings

1 cup uncooked white jasmine rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 (13.66-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred
1 (12.2-ounce) can evaporated coconut milk (such as Nature’s Charm)
2/3 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk (from 1 [11.25-ounce] can, such as Nature’s Charm)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 cup fresh mango, finely chopped
1/4 cup passion fruit pulp with juice (from 2 medium passion fruits)

Rinse rice under cold water in a fine wire-mesh strainer 20 seconds; drain completely, about 30 seconds.
Add rinsed rice and 2 1/2 cups water to a 3-quart saucepan, shaking pan to ensure rice is submerged. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in unsweetened, evaporated, and sweetened condensed coconut milks and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and mixture is very thick and pudding-like in consistency, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
Top with mango and passion fruit; garnish with lime zest.
Note: Serve pudding warm, at room temperature or cold.

Reprinted with permission from FOOD&WINE as published originally appeared in Food & Wine magazine, December 2023 / January 2024

Tangy black-eyed pea salad

PHOTO: Tangy black eyed pea salad

Tangy black eyed pea salad

ABC News

Ram reminded that this fiber-filled, affordable staple can be used for everything from soups and pastas to salads. Plus, dried beans can cook in a pot of water and broth or done even faster in a pressure cooker.

Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor, Justin Chapple, developed this recipe to brighten up the flavor of this lucky legume full of fresh herbs.

Active Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hrs 10 mins
Yield: 8 servings

For the black-eyed peas
1 medium-size (3-ounce) plum tomato, cored and halved crosswise
6 to 8 (12-inch) cilantro sprigs, to taste
4 large garlic cloves
3 scallions, trimmed and halved crosswise
3 (2 1/2-inch) chiles de árbol, seeded
1 medium jalapeño, stemmed (seeded, if desired) and halved lengthwise
1 pound dried black- or yellow-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
1 quart lower-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the salad
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups packed baby arugula, roughly chopped (2 cups)
2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and thin stems, roughly chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 small (6-ounce) red onion, very thinly sliced and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium (1-ounce) jalapeño, unseeded and thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

Full directions and complete recipe available at foodandwine.com.

Roasted tomato pissaladière

PHOTO: Roasted tomato pissaladiere

Roasted tomato pissaladiere

ABC News

Canned tomatoes are the star of this dish and Ram said that this time of year, the canned ones are even better than the fresh tomatoes you’ll find at the grocery store since they’re packaged at the peak of freshness.

This foccacia-like Provençal pastry recipe, developed by Martha Holmberg, uses whole canned tomatoes, store-bought puff pastry, olives and anchovies.

The sardines in the pissaladière give the dish an umami flavor, which Ram said can be achieved in your everyday cooking with a few other pantry items: soy sauce, miso paste, fish sauce and tamari are all key ingredients to help deliver a depth of savory, umami flavor in any dish.

Active Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
5 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 rosemary sprigs
1 (14-ounce) frozen puff pastry dough (such as Dufour), thawed
10 to 14 drained anchovy fillets (such as Donostia Foods Cantabrian)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved crosswise
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Preheat oven to 300°F. Core tomatoes, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and excess liquid. Place tomatoes, cut side up, at least 1 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with 1/2 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast in preheated oven until tomatoes begin to caramelize around the edges and are slightly dehydrated and chewy, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onions and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add garlic and rosemary sprigs. Cook, stirring often, until onions are caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove and discard rosemary sprigs, and set skillet aside.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll puff pastry into a 14- x 10-inch rectangle, and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread onions evenly over dough. Arrange tomatoes, anchovies, and olives over onions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake at 450°F until pastry is golden and crispy on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.

Slide pissaladière onto a wire rack, and drizzle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Let cool 5 minutes. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Slice and serve.

Reprinted with permission from FOOD&WINE as published originally appeared in Food & Wine magazine, December 2023 / January 2024