We’re asking chefs to peer into their pantries and tell us their top shelf-stable essentials. Here are six staples that Elle Cuisine’s Lauren Mozer made sure to stock up on before we went into lockdown.
What kind: Riso Ceriotti
Where she bought it: Mozer got it from her wholesaler but you can get it from Lady York.
What she does with it: “When I get home from a long day, risotto is my go-to dinner. These days, our fridge is often empty or full of leftover takeout, but I can make a delicious, 20-minute risotto with only seven ingredients: stock, arborio rice, white wine, onion, parmesan, butter and some veggies.
San Marzano tomato sauce
What kind: Elle Cuisine’s marinara sauce
Where she bought it: This is Mozer’s own sauce but you can get similar San Marzano marinara from Loblaws.
What she does with it: “I’m always looking for quick meals I can cook for my fiancé́ when I get home around 9 p.m. With a pantry full of different dried pastas, I can use this San Marzano sauce to make a bunch of different dishes by adding just a few other ingredients. If I add whipping cream, it becomes a rose; if I add mushrooms, chickpeas and kale then it becomes a hearty stew. The versatility of this sauce is what makes it a staple in my pantry.”
What kind: Arz Lebanese Za’atar
Where she bought it: Arz Fine Foods
What she does with it: “I’m pretty obsessed with this spice blend. I sprinkle it on tomatoes and labneh. I use it in vinaigrettes. I dust it on pizza and flatbreads, or mix it with olive oil for dipping fresh baguette. I even make a barbecue chicken marinade using it—all you need is some za’atar, olive oil and kosher salt.”
What kind: D-I Easy Jerk
Where she bought it: Call 647-219-7230 to place your order.
What she does with it: “One of our chefs makes this jerk marinade, and now we use it for all kinds of proteins at Elle Cuisine. It’s perfect on shrimp and flattened chickens.”
What kind: Fleur De Dijon
Where she bought it: Find it at Costco or Inabuggy.
What you make with it: “I use Dijon in a lot of daily food prep. I put it in all my vinaigrettes and most of my marinades. I spread it on sandwiches and eat it as a sauce with my steak.”
White truffle oil
What kind: Urbani Tartufi
Where she bought it: “We carry this item in our Elle Market, but you can find it at Cheese Boutique, too!”
What she does with it: “I put this shit on everything—I love truffles. These days, I don’t get to work with fresh truffles much because it’s not really a product I can put on menus since we pivoted from high-end events to prepared meals and groceries. I add truffle oil to risotto, to mac and cheese, to vinaigrettes, to baked brie and honey.