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Until recently, I stocked my kitchen with a wide variety of instant foods that were only meant for emergencies: reserve boxes of Annie’s cheddar shells, random frozen meals, excessively salty canned soups, and Neoguri Instant Ramyun. These supplies were supposed to protect me from ordering take-away evenings when I couldn’t even muster the enthusiasm to crush a clove of garlic. The thing is, I’ve had “emergencies” … a lot. And even on the nights when I managed to steer clear of my beloved fried take-out goodies, I didn’t feel virtuous drinking a box of Instant Macs. I knew I would never stop having emergencies; I also knew my pantry choices could use a little freshening up.
Nowadays, the VIPs on my “emergencies only” supply are a different kind of “instant” food: all kinds of canned fish that live in their own area of my closet. Whether mackerel, tuna, sardines or smoked trout, these small, versatile cans are my lifesaver on nights when my tired ass can no longer stir, stew or sauté. Open a can of smoked trout (Fish woman makes an amazing one), mix it with sour cream, some lemon juice, and salt and pepper, and you have one fishy spread for toast. A couple of meaty sardines layered with lightly arranged arugula and thinly sliced onions make for a mighty fine sandwich. Put a can of tuna right on a plate with a small pile of pickles and crackers for a lazy (me) snack platter. And on the nights when you can muster the energy to boil water, there is no more satisfying rendition of pantry pasta than this variant with mackerelthat I often do with fish Patagonia provisions.
Patagonia commission canned mackerel is my favorite canned fish for everyday use because it’s cheap enough for a Tuesday night $ 30 can of gourmet anchovies For a party), won sustainably by Spanish fishermen who catch mackerel with minimal bycatch or baitfish, and delicious. Like many of the best canned fish, the mackerel is wrapped in olive oil (a must as it adds a lot of flavor straight out of the can) with added spices like Lemon and capers and spanish pepperswhich means less work for me to turn it into a meal. They’re so delicious that I sometimes eat them straight out of an overturned can sprinkled with some flaky salt, like my personal Fancy Feast, with some bread to dip in the flavored oil.
With a can of Patagonia Commission canned mackerel always close at hand infinite ways To make it to dinner without leaving the house, I’m much less tempted to hit the order button on my phone these days – although I definitely still have a 12-pack of Neoguri stashed in my hall closet. You know, for real emergencies.
Cook the recipe:
Mackerel pantry pasta
Keep a few cans of fish in the pantry and that 20-minute pantry pasta is always within reach for last-minute dinners.