As restaurants continue to close to dine-in customers over coronavirus concerns, people in affected areas have two choices: order in or cook. For those lacking talent in the kitchen, don’t fear. Tom Colicchio is here.
The restaurateur and “Top Chef” personality took to Twitter on Monday for a Q&A with followers looking for guidance through trying times. He even started the hashtag #CookingInACrisis.
“Ok, if you are not used to cooking for yourself and have questions ask away. For instance. I would cook vegetables now and freeze them for future use,” Colicchio tweeted.
“We eat a lot of salads at home but now not realistic to get fresh lettuce every few days. Ideas for ‘side salads’ with frozen veg?” @Sandberg_Max asked.
“Keep lettuce heads whole until needed they should keep for around 10 days, when ready to use, take only the outside leaves that you intend to use. Let them sit in cool water for about 10 minutes,” Colicchio replied.
One Twitter user suggested stocking up on kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage because they last longer. "You can cut shavings of brussel sprouts for salads. Add dried cranberries, apple, buts, etc. I love salads. Not all salads need lettuce. Drained chickpeas or beans w/sweet or hot peppers, onion, tomato, herbs, etc. lemon juice/EVOO," @birkirstin added, to which Colicchio said, "Great suggestions."
“If you could only have five food staples in your house right now to last you a couple weeks what would they be?” asked @64AnnyBug.
“Beans pasta frozen fruits and vegetables,” Colicchio replied.
Another user asked how long homemade pizza dough would last in the freezer, to which Colicchio replied, "A year."
The 57-year-old also shared a follower’s 13-meal plan for a family of five, which involves preparing two meals each night — one to eat and one to freeze. The provided PDF includes recipes and a grocery list.
Colicchio's "Top Chef" co-host, Padma Lakshmi, shared her two cents in a video uploaded to Twitter, in which she listed off pantry items essential to self-quarantine, including frozen vegetables, beans, lentil, quinoa and other shelf-stable foods.
TV food personality Rachael Ray also weighed in and tweeted a link from her website, which includes 15 meals you can make with pantry staples.
Alton Brown of “Good Eats” tweeted, “Dry beans, grains, canned tomatoes, maybe some eggs. Oh, dry pasta and capers, tinned fish...gin. We can get through this.”
He also tweeted a tutorial on how to properly wash your hands.
Michael Symon, host of ABC’s “The Chew,” is taking things one step further by offering cooking demos for 10 nights on Food Network Kitchen’s Facebook Live. The recipe for each night’s meal will be posted the night prior so people have time to prepare. Viewers are welcome to comment and ask questions as he’s cooking and, afterward, the video will be uploaded to Instagram.
“These recipes are meant to be flexible based off of what you guys have in your kitchen and what is available in your local grocery stores… I will talk through more of this in the videos,” Symon tweeted. “Cooking has always been my source of comfort. My hope is that these videos will bring a little bit of normalcy, a little bit of entertainment, a little bit of comfort for all of us in these unprecedented times…grateful to share this w you guys & @fnkitchen fam.”
And, though it’s not food, the first female Iron Chef shared her two-ingredient recipe for DIY hand sanitizer.
For more tips and tricks on making the best out of cooking at home, keep an eye on the social media accounts of the biggest celebrity food stars of the 2010s.