Chef, cookbook author, and sustainable seafood expert Barton Seaver throws open his cabinet doors to reveal the kitchen essentials he can’t live without—and you shouldn’t either.
Canned Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: I keep cans of Hunt's fire-roasted diced tomatoes on hand for quick sauces, slow-braised ratatouilles, and hearty vinaigrettes.
Allspice & Black Pepper: This combination, when ground fresh together, gives foods a floral hint of the exotic.
Smoked Sweet Paprika: Best used along with oil or butter, La Chinata's spice lends incredible richness of flavor.
Hot Sauce: When I want the rich flavor of chiles, Tapatío is my go-to—a traditional red hot sauce.
Pepper Sauce: For most dishes, I use Texas Pete sauce. Its acidity complements delicate seafood better than a highly flavored sauce.
Canned Tuna: There was ne'er a more simple lunch than a can of quality U.S. albacore tuna—I like Henry & Lisa Lovejoy's Ecofish Tuna—eaten straight from the can with a healthy dose of hot sauce.
Tinned Anchovies: You may think you don't love anchovies, but when sautéed with olive oil and fresh vegetables, their individual personality disappears into an incredibly satisfying and complex favor.
Related: How to Make the Best-Ever Crab Cakes:
Pancake Mix: It sure is awful nice to treat yourself to something in the morning.
Vinegars: I like O vinegars: Other than salt, acid is the essential component of great cooking. Don't skimp on quality.
Olive Oil: Buy in bulk. Use with abandon.
Mustard: A good quality, grainy mustard, like Maille Old Style is a must-have.