How To Stock Your Fridge (& Cook) Like An Adult

You can tell quite a lot about someone from the inside of their fridge. Three bottles of Sriracha? Hello, takeout. A bottle of chilled Champagne? Party-ready, always. In short, the main staples you keep in the kitchen truly predict how you'll cook, entertain, and midnight-snack at home. And, we're always looking for inspiration to up our pantry game in a way that might actually encourage us to cook.
To that end, we kitchen-crashed on some pros. Meet Karen Mordechai from New York, Lauren Godfrey from San Francisco, and Barrett Prendergast from Los Angeles. Besides all having ridiculously glowing skin and light-filled cooking areas we would kill for, they also know how to stock an ice box effectively. Ahead, get the scoop on their favorite year-round recipes, guilty kitchen pleasures, and whether they really do the dishes right away.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Karen Mordechai
Brooklyn, NY
Founder of Sunday Suppers, a communal cooking center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and author of Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings.

What recipe are you constantly making?
"I have a not-so-secret love affair with mushrooms. They are always in my fridge and are such an easy, but wholesome, lunch or weeknight dinner — especially with the egg on top, which makes it a whole meal. It’s a staple."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
How did you discover your love for cooking?
"I grew up in a home of good food — and a maternal lineage of great cooks. Both my mother and grandmother cooked often, and brought the family together over warm meals and gatherings. I now cook quite differently from my mother, but when I left home and moved out on my own, I began to cook for friends, and found my own culinary voice. The roots, however, stem from a family in which shared meals and cooking is at the core."

Where do you typically shop for groceries?
"It’s a mix. I love to go to the farmers' market in Union Square when I can. Otherwise, I’ll use a service like Good Eggs (which does farm-fresh deliveries to your door) or, in our neighborhood, Marlow & Daughters is a good local spot to pick up groceries for that evening’s dinner."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
What are your main go-to ingredients?
"In my fridge you will almost always find: avocados, bread, lemons, hummus, mushrooms, farm eggs, butter, fresh herbs, and greens."

Do you have a method for organizing your fridge?
"I like to put my produce into bowls in order to keep them accessible — and it makes for a prettier fridge."

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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
If you had to choose a favorite kitchen weapon, what would it be?
"My Maldon salt and a mortar and pestle."

Truth time: Do you do the dishes right away?
"No, but right after is where my lovely husband steps in. We often joke that I cook and he cleans — it’s a pretty good setup."
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Mushroom Toast With Soft-Cooked Eggs
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 thick slices country bread
6 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the bread
1 clove garlic, cut in half or smashed
1 tbsp butter
6 cups assorted wild mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 large organic eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbsps crème fraîche
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush the bread slices with olive oil and transfer them to a baking sheet.

2. Toast the bread in the oven, flipping the slices over once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Rub the garlic clove over the toast.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the butter in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Add the mushrooms, sea salt, and rosemary sprig, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
4. Remove from the heat and drizzle the lemon juice over the mushrooms. Remove the sprig of rosemary. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.

5. Crack each egg individually into a small bowl and then pour the egg into the skillet, being careful not to break the yolk. Cover and cook for a few minutes, until the whites have cooked but the yolks are still a bit runny. Season with salt and pepper.

6. To assemble the toast, spread 1 tablespoon of the crème fraîche over each slice, followed by about 2 tablespoons of the cooked mushrooms, and finally a fried egg. Serve.
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Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Any guilty pleasures in your freezer?
"There’s almost always ice cream in our freezer. Currently, a homemade goat cheese ice cream left over from a dinner we hosted."

Do you have any morning and evening rituals in the kitchen?
"A cappuccino almost every morning — we have a machine at home, so we are quite spoiled — then breakfast a little later. In the evening, a cup of rooibos tea to unwind."
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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Lauren Godfrey
San Francisco, CA
Author of We Golden.

What recipe are you constantly making?
"I love making soup, especially this time of year, when there are so many hearty root vegetables in season. Soup is really fun to make because it's an easy canvas to play with ingredients and flavors, and it's always so satisfying to eat. I have to confess that I never use a recipe to make soup; it's just something I do, and it's different every time, depending on what looks good at the market."
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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
How did you discover your love for cooking?
"I've always loved to make things, including food, and I started cooking at a pretty young age. That love went away in college when all I had was a hot plate in my dorm room, but it reignited when I started working in advertising, and would travel on production with an expense account. I would always try to eat cheap breakfasts and lunches and splurge on amazing dinners. Seeing what chefs were up to in New York, Chicago, London, or wherever work took me really inspired me to start cooking again. Then I started spending more time discovering the bounty of amazing food and restaurants at home in San Francisco, and it was all over!"

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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Do you have a method for organizing your fridge?
"Yes, but I'm not gonna lie, it normally doesn't look this pristine! I definitely purged some out-of-date condiments for this shoot!"

If you had to choose a favorite kitchen weapon, what would it be?
"My Zanmai chef's knife. I use it more than anything else in the kitchen. It's really pretty, and it could definitely maim someone if need be."

Truth time: Do you do the dishes right away?
"Yes. Working in kitchens has instilled the need for a clean work space in my psyche. That, and I'm married to a neat freak."

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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Where do you typically shop for groceries?
"My go-to is Bi-Rite, which is very well-curated, and has direct relationships with numerous local farms. I also have some other favorites for specific needs, like Nijiya Market (Japanese), New May Wah (various Asian cuisines), 4505 (the best sausage), Target (toilet paper!)."

What are your main go-to ingredients?
"I'm totally obsessed with Chia-pods for breakfast, and I love House Kombucha (especially Ginger Fire). I'm on a probiotics kick, so there's usually lots of kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi in the fridge. And, rosé. Rosé is totally a staple, even in the winter."
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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Carrot Coconut Soup With Toasted Hazelnuts

Ingredients
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 lbs carrots
1 tbsp + 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
1 large yellow onion, cut into long slices
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 2-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
8 cups of water
1 cup organic, full fat coconut milk
Kosher salt, to taste
Hazelnut oil, to garnish
Hot pepper powder, to garnish
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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they start to become golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.

2. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, use your fingers to remove any loose skins. Roughly chop and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Clean carrots and chop into large pieces. Place half of the carrots on a baking sheet and toss with one teaspoon of sunflower oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast the carrots until they begin to caramelize, for about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil. Add the onion and a big pinch of salt, and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5. Add the remaining carrots, water, coconut milk, and another big pinch of salt. Cover and simmer until the carrots are tender enough to easily stick a knife through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Drain the carrots and reserve the liquid. Working in batches, add the roasted and simmered carrots to a high powered blender and add enough of the reserved liquid to cover.

7. Blend until smooth adding enough liquid to achieve your desired consistency. If you prefer a thinner soup add more, if you like it thicker add less. You can also add more coconut milk if you want a creamier soup.

8. Return the blended soup to a clean pot to reheat. Add salt to taste.

9. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with a splash of hazelnut oil, toasted hazelnuts and a sprinkle of hot pepper powder.
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Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Are you seeing any specific food trends in San Francisco?
"I'm seeing a lot of really dedicated chefs taking the extra time to do a lot of things in-house, like butchering and creating all of their own pantry goods. It's really amazing."

What's the weirdest thing we'll find in your fridge?
"I have a quart of black garlic that I made while recipe-testing for the Bar Tartine cookbook."

What's your worst kitchen habit?
"I'm a total spice-hoarder. Really glad you didn't get any pics of that situation!"

What's the sexiest food, in your mind?
"Egg yolk raviolo."
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Photographed by Julia Stotz.
Barrett Prendergast
Los Angeles, CA
Author of Valleybrink Road.

What recipe are you constantly making?
"Frittatas are the perfect weekend food. I love using whatever vegetables I have in the fridge to make this quick and delicious dish."

How did you discover your love for cooking, and what encouraged it?
"I discovered my love for cooking my freshman year in college. I had recently had my heart broken and was pretty miserable. I started watching a lot of Food Network, and from there, I fell in love with cooking. Once I started experimenting with food, I just fell in love with the whole creative process."

Where do you typically shop for groceries?
"My favorite spots are the Hollywood Farmers' Market, the South Pasadena Farmers' Market, and McCall's Meat & Fish."

What are your main go-to ingredients?
"Fresh bread, eggs, fruit, cheese, and chocolate."

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Photographed by Julia Stotz.
Do you have a method for organizing your fridge?
"I try to organize by type of food — one shelf for beverages, one drawer for vegetables, one for fruit, etc."

Besides the recipe you prepared for this shoot, what are some of your favorite dishes?
"I make a lot of pasta. It is easy, and you can always use what you have on-hand. Garlic, onions, vegetables, or a simple tomato sauce. It really is the ultimate comfort food for me."

If you had to choose a favorite kitchen weapon, what would it be?
"A good knife."

Truth time: Do you do the dishes right away?
"I am lucky to have a husband who always helps out with the dishes... so he is usually washing right away!"

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Photographed by Julia Stotz.
Farmers' Market Frittata

Ingredients
2 tbsp unsalted butter
6 eggs
2 tbsp whole milk
1 leek, cleaned, cut in half, and sliced into half moons
3 asparagus, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 handful of small basil leaves
1 handful of parsley leaves
1 tbsp of garlic chives or regular chives
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
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Photographed by Julia Stotz.
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, crack the eggs. Add the milk, a generous pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until combined. Set aside.

3. In a cast-iron skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften. Pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle the mozzarella, basil, parsley, and chives on top. Turn off the stovetop and transfer the skillet to the oven.

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Photographed by Julia Stotz.
4. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the center of the frittata has set.

5. Remove and serve with a small salad or some sliced avocado. Enjoy!
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Photographed by Julia Stotz.
What's the weirdest thing we'll find in your fridge?
"I'm not sure how weird it is, but I eat a lot of string cheese — it was a favorite in my childhood, and still going strong!"

What's your worst kitchen habit?
"My husband would say not screwing the lids tight enough on bottles that contain liquids. Unfortunately, we have had a few big spills that have been blamed on me."

What's the sexiest food, in your mind?
"Amanda, from Moon Juice, sent me some Moon Juice Sex Tonic, so that would definitely be the sexiest thing!"
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