Last Call: What are some unlikely pantry pairings we should know about?

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I’ve always been a bit of a scrimper and saver, seeing how far I can stretch the items already in my kitchen before admitting defeat and heading out for groceries or takeout. In the current landscape, that scrimping has gone from being just a personal habit to a matter of civic duty, and it has resulted in a few unlikely successes when cobbling meals out of whatever’s around.

Pickles and hummus on a flour tortilla—with just a hit of sriracha or sambal oelek—has become a smash hit snack in our household. We can’t get enough of the way the creamy, garlicky hummus is cut through with the puckery crunch of the pickle spear, all wrapped up in some warm carbs. Given that tortillas freeze pretty well, we’ve got plenty of these provisions on hand.


Pickles also came in handy when there’s some leftover white rice you don’t know what to do with. Scrambling an egg right into the hot rice, then dressing it up with chili crisp oil and chopped-up pickles, satiates a few of the brain’s craving centers at once: you’ve got stimulating flavors and filling grains. And a hot meal will somehow always satisfy more than a cold one.

We’re heading into the weekend, and I could use further inspiration. (Half a can of black beans is sitting in my fridge awaiting those lightbulbs to go off.) Have any of you been experimenting with the odds and ends inside the pantry that have to be used up? What pleasant surprises have you found in the course of this “research”? Anything that you’d try to recreate for a future meal?