Who says cereal should be limited to milk? Or reserved for mornings? Chef Michael Schulson, of the Style Network show "Pantry Raid," shares delicious chicken and dessert recipes made from Rice Krispies and lists the 10 things everyone should have in their pantry:
Ten pantry must-haves
Rice Krispies or any kids cereal
This is great to have in the pantry because you can do so many different things with this simple ingredient and kids love it. You can make cereal, use it as the coating on chicken fingers, put it into salads to add texture — and don't forget Rice Krispie treats for dessert!
Eggs can be used in so many ways: you can make the obvious things like scrambled eggs or more elaborate dishes like fried rice or even crepes (just fill them with fruit, chicken or even chocolate). My favorite thing to do is to make a steak with a sunny side egg on top.
Milk is a must, no questions about it. How can you start your day without coffee or cereal? Some of the other things you can use milk for include breading, hot chocolate, rice pudding, ice cream (blend fruit with the milk and freeze it) and soups (sauté vegetables and add the milk and simmer and then blend, you have a cream soup in no time).
You don't need to do much with fresh vegetables because they're good as is. I love to add vegetables to everything or sauté them with garlic, blend them with milk, eggs and flour and bake them (you'll have a soufflé in minutes). And my favorite thing to do with vegetables, especially in the summer, is to grill them.
Canned Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a great item that never goes bad. You can serve it as is but you can also strain the noodles and vegetables out and use it a stock — or even make another kind of soup out of the broth. You can also use the soup to cook vegetables, fish or meats (if you want a healthy poached piece of food).
Some kind of oil — extra virgin olive oil preferable
This is an item that I use the most in my house. You always use it to sauté food, make a dressing (add 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar for a dressing), make a marinade (fresh herbs, garlic and oil) grilling, and frying foods. One of my favorite things to do with a good oil is to serve it on the table with some fresh bread.
Fruits are great to have because they are healthy and kids love them. You can also have some fun with them — blend them up and make a cold fruit soup on a hot day, skewer them and serve them with a bowl of melted chocolate for a great fondue.
You can even serve cut up fruits in salads to add some great crunch or sweetness. One of my favorite things to do with fruits is to chop them up with some chilies, onions and some fresh herbs and serve it as a salsa atop a piece of meat or fish.
Dried Herbs and Spices
I generally pick fresh over dried, but these will not go bad (at least not for a long time). I love to add spices to things and let my guests figure out what the surprise flavor is. I also utilize the spices to make the region of food that I want to eat. For example, if I want Italian, I pull out the parsley, oregano, chili flakes and the basil. If I want Latin food, I pull out the coriander, garlic, cilantro, chili powder and the cumin.
Cheese is something that you can eat alone by itself, cut up in a salad, in a taco, or as an appetizer with some crackers. You can also serve it hot/ melted, atop bread, on a pizza, as a fondue, in a soup, or make a baked cheese dish, such as baking a large piece inside a frozen bread dough — the cheese will melt inside and the dough will get crispy.
This is the single most important thing to have in the house. How can anything you make taste good if you don't season it? I have found that so many people spend tons of time cooking and forgot to season there food with salt. Salt is also great when you are trying to preserve something, like pickling something (just add salt and water)!