According to Google, we’re all doing a lot more cooking from home these days. And it turns out the stars, especially the culinary ones, really are like us in this regard. One of our fave foodie personalities is Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons. Simmons has already shared the contents of her fridge with us (bourbon maple syrup, preserved lemons with chili, mango pickle – yum!) and needless to say, we fell head over heals with her cooking style. So, we were elated when she recently shared her pantry staples with Eater.
If you’re tired of relying on recipes and flavors you’ve eaten one too many times while in quarantine, now’s your chance to stock up on some of Simmons’ favorite foods. They’ll inject a little life into the staples you’ve been cooking, and maybe even inspire you to try something totally new in the kitchen.
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1. Atlantic Sea Farms Sea-Chi Kelp Kimchi
When we spoke with Simmons she had kimchi in her fridge, and these days, she’s been enjoying it by way of Sea-Chi, a kimchi made from fermented raw kelp.
2. Yamaki Kappo Shirodashi Versatile Dashi Base
If you keep a dashi base on hand, like Simmons does, you can make your favorite Japanese dishes at home (without having to make a dashi broth from scratch).
3. Siggi’s Coconut Yogurt
Siggi’s is an Icelandic-style strained yogurt called skyr, which has a rich, creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt. Simmons likes the coconut flavor.
4. Ajinomoto Ajipanda
A shaker bottle of MSG can take food from bland to brilliant with just a dash. If a Top Chef judge isn’t scared of MSG, you shouldn’t be either!
5. RiceSelect Sushi Rice
With a high-quality sushi rice on hand, you can make your favorite maki rolls at home, or try your hand at onigiri.
6. Yuzu Juice
Simmons likes to add a splash of yuzu juice (yuzu is a type of citrus popular in Japan) to her water and seltzer (it’s also an excellent addition to salad dressings and marinades).
7. Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
This vinegar is tart with a bit of a sweet taste, making it a versatile addition to your pantry.
8. Marmite Yeast Extract
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Simmons enjoys eating Marmite on toast with butter.
9. Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
If you need dulce de leche in a hurry (apparently, Simmons sometimes does!), a can of sweetened condensed milk is the key to making a shortcut recipe that tastes just like the real thing.
10. New York Shuk Herby Harissa Spice Blend
This aromatic spice blend features spicy chilies, oregano, and fennel – all of the spices you might find in a harissa paste, but in a pantry-stable form that can be sprinkled into just about anything.
11. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps
Served with dips, cheese, or on their own, the salty crisp of these pretzel chips is irresistible.
Before you go, check out all of Giada De Laurentiis’ favorite ingredients that are available on Amazon.
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