Of course, one can not live off olive oil alone. In addition, Lagasse keeps a New Orleans specialty in stock. “I love having red beans around,” said Lagasse. “It’s tradition here in New Orleans to make red beans and rice, and I find myself doing that quite frequently.” For this, Lagasse does not use the canned variety of beans and instead uses the dry version.
Dry beans require soaking but generally taste better than canned and have a long shelf life. Dry rice, too, has a long shelf life and makes a perfect pantry addition. However, Lagasse humbly acknowledges, “So many people to do it 10 times better. I’m still working on mine.”
Lagasse said he’s also a big fan of Calabrian chilies for his last pantry staple item. “I put them in about everything when I’m eating at home, whether it be pasta, or in some rice, or if I’m eating a piece of meat or something like that,” he explained. Calabrian chilies are hot peppers that offer a smokey and spicy flavor to whatever dish they are added to.
Emeril’s New Orleans is now open for dining. For reservations and additional information, please visit Emeril’s restaurant website.