Optimize Your Food Shopping

With everyone hunkering down at home more people then ever are turning to their kitchens to bring back the family meal.  This may seem daunting for those who haven’t spent much time cooking, but a well stocked kitchen and some roll over recipes can simplify the task.    Why not limit your trips to the grocery store by making sure your pantry is filled with kitchen staples and starting with a few recipes that can roll into multiple meals throughout the week?

Chef Diana Albanese has taught our Techniques of Cooking Series since we opened in 2007.   She emphasizes to students that starting with these staples will allow you to pull together a lot of recipes without having to run out to the supermarket.  While you probably have a lot of these items doing a quick check of your pantry for these items may save you future trips.

Pantry Basics
All purpose unbleached flour
Baking powder
Baking soda
Semi-sweet/unsweetened chocolate
Cocoa Powder
Vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar
Brown sugar
Cooking spray, Pam
Granulated sugar
Light & dark brown sugar
Active dry yeast
Assorted nuts -almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts
Spices – dried rosemary, thyme, oregano, chili powder, cumin, dry bay leaves, peppercorns, red pepper flakes
Plain dry breadcrumbs
Panko bread crumbs
Assortment of dried fruit
Canned beans, black, red kidney, white Cannellini
Black olives, Calamata
Dijon & Coleman’s dry mustard
Kosher salt
Whole black peppercorns
Canned stock, chicken, beef, vegetable
Canned whole Italian plum tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce
Capers in bring
Roasted red peppers
Canola oil, extra virgin oil
Assortment of vinegars – balsamic, red wine, white wine
Soy Sauce
Rice – long grain, basmati, Arborio
Assorted dry pasta

Refrigerated Basics
Unsalted butter
1 dozen large eggs
Hellmann’s mayonnaise
Heinz ketchup
Whole piece Parmesan cheese
Whole piece Pecorino cheese

Lemons, Limes, Oranges
Flat leaf parsley
Potatoes – red, russet

Rollover Chicken:  Cook Once Eat Three Times

This is a Rachel Ray recipe that we used in our kids classes when we first opened the studio.  The ingredient list for this recipe may seem long, but when you consider that it rolls into two other complete meals it ends up an economical way to provide three family pleasing dinners.  Make sure you put together a shopping list that includes the ingredients from all three recipes.

Jerk Chicken with Roasted Vegetables & Pineapple

3 red onions, 1 roughly chopped and 2 sliced
4 cloves garlic
4 scallions
2 limes
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded
3 Tb. red wine vinegar
½  cup orange juice
1 Tb. sweet paprika
1 Tb. cumin
2 tsp, allspice
½ tsp. cinnamon (eyeball it in your palm)
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
½  cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2-3 tablespoons for drizzling
8 chicken drumsticks, bone-in, skin on
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and black pepper
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into small bite-size pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Place one red onion, garlic, scallions, lime juice, jalapeño peppers, red wine vinegar, orange juice, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and thyme in a food processor and pulse to combine. Turn processor on and stream in about 1/2 cup EVOO to form a thick paste.

Place the chicken pieces in a roasting pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Rub the paste on the chicken and roast 45 minutes.

Pile the pineapple, bell peppers and remaining red onions on a baking sheet, coat them in 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Add the tray to the oven after chicken has been in for 15 minutes, roasting the fruit and vegetables for about 30 minutes.

Serve up half the chicken (one drummer and one piece of breast per person) and half of the roasted pineapple, peppers and onions for dinner.

Cool leftovers before you wrap and refrigerate them.

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken

1 pound spaghetti, whole wheat or plain
½ cup chicken stock
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
3 tablespoons peanut butter
¼  cup Tamari (dark soy sauce)
A couple dashes of hot sauce
2 Tb. canola oil
2 Tb. honey
Half of the remaining chicken, skin removed and meat shredded (about 2 cups)
Half of the remaining pineapple, peppers and onions
1 sack slaw salad mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) (16 ounces)
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
3 Tb. toasted sesame seeds

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add some salt and the pasta and cook to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the chicken stock in a small saucepan. Once warm, add the ginger, garlic, peanut butter, Tamari, hot sauce, canola oil and honey and whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the leftover shredded chicken, peppers, onions and pineapple and 2 cups of slaw salad mix. Reserve the rest of the slaw salad mix for the next rollover supper.

Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl. Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss to combine. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Jerk Chicken Quesadillas

1 lime, juiced
2 Tb. rice wine or white wine vinegar
2 Tb. Tamari (dark soy sauce)
A dash of hot sauce
3 Tb. honey
3 Tb. canola oil
Salt and black pepper
½ English (seedless) cucumber, cut into matchsticks
¾  cup scallions, thinly sliced
Remaining slaw mix, about ¾  pound
4 large whole wheat tortillas
Remaining vegetable and pineapple mixture
Remaining roasted chicken, skin removed and meat shredded

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, pepper Jack or smoked cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, mix together the lime juice, vinegar, Tamari, hot sauce and honey, stream in the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the cucumber, scallions and the remaining slaw mix and toss slaw.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add one tortilla to the pan and cook about 1 minute per side, or until starting to blister.

Add a quarter of the vegetable and pineapple mixture, a quarter of the shredded chicken and a quarter of the cheese to half of the tortilla and fold the other half up to create a half moon. Cook until cheese is melted, flipping halfway through, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Cut into wedges and serve with the slaw salad.


This an easy slow cooker pork recipe that takes just a few minutes to prep, and you can turn it into two completely different meals to maximize your time in the kitchen!  Pork is a great meat for the slow cooker as it gets better and better with slow heat! This recipe calls for pork shoulder, which is also called pork butt or Boston butt. It’s the most common cut for pulled pork.  Get your kids involved! They can: stir together the pork marinade. whisk together coleslaw dressing and coleslaw.

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Pork: BBQ Sandwiches

1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 cup beer or chicken broth
2 Tbsp. honey, divided
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
3.5 lbs. pork shoulder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
14 oz. bag of shredded coleslaw
46 hamburger buns
for serving: bbq sauce, mayonnaise, pickle spears

  1. Slice onion in half moons. Chop garlic.
  2. Place onion slices in the bottom of a 6-qt. slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, beer (or chicken broth), 1 Tbsp. of the honey, and mustard. Pour over pork.
  4. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. When it’s finished, lightly shred with two forks and set aside at least 2 cups of pork for later in the week. Season with additional salt if necessary.
  5. A half hour or so before meal time, prepare the coleslaw. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and remaining 1 Tbsp. honey. Toss with coleslaw mix, stirring occasionally until it’s time to eat.
  6. When you’re ready to eat, heat large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each side of the bun and heat, mayo side down for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Top buns with pork, bbq sauce and slaw if desired. Serve slaw and pickle spears on the side

Honey BBQ Pork Pineapple Quesadillas

This is a great way to use the leftover pork and is a very different twist on your basic quesadilla

1 yellow onion
1 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. can of pineapple
2 cups leftover pulled pork
8 whole grain tortillas (soft taco size, about 810 in)
8 oz. shredded cheese (mozzarella)
1/2 cup bbq sauce
baby carrots
1 cucumber

Slice onion in half moons.

Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add butter to pan and when it sizzles, add sliced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until soft and caramelized.

Prep other ingredients: Heat pork in microwave or on the stove. Drain and chop pineapple. Slice cucumber.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add a tsp. of butter or oil to pan and swirl so that it coats the entire pan. Place one tortilla in pan and top with the following:  1/4 cup cheese +1/2 cup pork + 2 Tbsp. bbq sauce + 1/4 of the onions + 1/4 of the pineapple + 1/4 cup cheese + another tortilla.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes, carefully flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Repeat for remaining 3 quesadillas.

Serve with baby carrots and cucumber slices.

Please follow this link to visit some of our archived blog pages that are filled with more ideas for cooking together:  https://www.tasteandtechnique.com/blog/

We hope these recipes provide you with a little inspiration while we are all practicing social distancing and staying home for dinner each night.   Let’s try to focus on the positive fact that with more time then ever we have the opportunity to sit together as families and enjoy meals around the table.   We look forward to having your back around our counter at Taste & Technique and hope that you and your families stay healthy and safe during this unprecedented time.