Raiding the Quarantine Pantry: San Antonio Chefs Share Easy Food and Drink Recipes to Whip Up at Home

We’re not going anywhere for a while, but that’s no reason to settle for the sad boxed meals you panic-bought last week.

We reached out to four top San Antonio chefs and bartenders and asked them to supply creative recipes using simple kitchen staples. The rule many that are already in your pantry — so you can enjoy great dishes and cocktails, even in the midst of a quarantine.

David Caceres, La Panaderia
Eggless French Toast

Local bakery and café La Panaderia is known for its delicious breads and timeless dishes. In keeping with that theme, chef and co-owner Caceres created this French toast recipe guaranteed to create a simple yet satisfying breakfast — even if you’re out of eggs.

1 liter of whole milk
3 tablespoons of almond milk
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or to taste
3 tablespoons of sugar, or approximately 5 packets of low-calorie sweetener
Sliced sourdough bread, or preferred pan dulce, that’s at least a day old
1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Mixed berries (optional)

Add milk, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, chia and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk until items are fully combined. Submerge bread slices into the mixture one at a time, making sure to fully coat both sides. Coat a medium-sized skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium/high heat. Place bread onto the skillet for up to five minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. Remove the French toast from the skillet and top with powdered sugar and mixed berries.

Elizabeth Johnson of Pharm Table
Baba Ganoush
Quarantined life means many of us are checking to see what’s in the fridge more often and snacking on leftovers. This healthy Persian-inspired dip from Pharm Table chef Johnson is a great way to pep up sliced vegetables without the guilt. If you don’t have some of the spices, there are plenty of mail-order options.

2 large eggplants
1 tablespoon of oil
1⁄2 cup of raw cashews
1 teaspoon of sliced fresh turmeric
1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
1⁄4 cup of tahini
Sea salt
1/4 cup of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle sheet pan with oil. Split eggplants in half lengthwise, and place them on the pan, flesh side down. Cut slits in the skin of the eggplant and insert pieces of turmeric. Roast in oven until soft, about 1 hour. Let cool, then scoop eggplant out of skin and set aside. Soak cashews in hot water for 15 minutes. Strain, then place in blender and blend on high, adding water as needed to make a paste. Add cooked turmeric, ginger and tahini. Blend until smooth. Add eggplant. Blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Season with sumac and fresh lemon juice on top.

Rebel Mariposa, La Botanica
Crispy Vegan Tacos

At La Botanica, chef and owner Mariposa is all about bringing community together through flavorful, vegan meals like these crispy tacos, which are perfect for feeding a family. You can find taco shells at any grocery store, but Mariposa swears by the ones from Adelita’s Tamales & Tortilla Factory at 1130 Fresno Road.

1 package of frozen Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground
1/2 cup tomato sauce (add more if you want it to be extra saucy)
1 packet of taco seasoning
8 corn taco shells
1 bag of GO VEGGIE Vegan Mexican style cheddar cheese shreds
1 avocado
Lettuce, shredded
Cilantro, rough chop
Tomato, diced

Bring large sauté pan to medium heat. Add tomato sauce, stir in taco seasoning and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the Beefless Ground and cook for another 5 minutes. Lower the heat to simmer for about 2 minutes. Spoon the “meat” into the taco shells. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, vegan cheese and avocado.

Houston Eaves, The Esquire Tavern
50:50 Freezer Martini

You can’t venture inside The Esquire Tavern right now, but its beverage director is happy to share his secret to making great freezer cocktails. Eaves’ recipe offers

a softer version of a classic 50:50 martini, but the same approach can be used to make other spirit-forward cocktails such as the Negroni or Manhattan.

750 ml bottle of navy strength gin, such Hayman’s Royal Dock
Bottle of dry vermouth, such as Dolin Dry

Wash your hands for 20 seconds, then empty half of one bottle into a clean measuring cup. Pour half of the other bottle into that partially emptied bottle to fill it. Then add what’s in the measuring cup back in the other bottle to fill it as well. Put both full bottles into the freezer, wait a couple hours and pour yourself a Martini, and another after that, and more for days to come. When serving, express the oil of a lemon peel over the drink for enhanced aromatics. If you’re able to find them, enjoy some Castelvetrano olives on the side.

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