Chef Krista Espinal
of Birdsall House and Gleason’s in Peekskill
A late-night snack craving hits. What do you reach for in your fridge?
A comforting and simple PB&J made with Jif Natural Peanut Butter and strawberry jam.
From your current contents, what could you make for dinner if, say, relatives or friends showed up unexpectedly?
Lots of condiments and beer and eggs but not much else, so not sure I could make anything. I don’t get much company anyway, since I get home from work late, at 11:30 p.m.
Anything in there really old or of unknown origin?
I’ve been collecting a bowl of duck fat since December. I use it to sauté potatoes or other veggies. Makes them special.
Item that would impress a foodie (Siberian caviar, for example?)
A homemade balsamic-and-cherry compote. Good with duck.
Rate your fridge from 1 (don’t open without hazmat suit) to 10 (I may have OCD).
6—on the neat side. I live like a true bachelorette, so never too much in there to get really messy.
Any embarrassing fake foods, e.g., Cool Whip or Cheez Whiz, etc.?
Can’t say there is—but I will own up to liking Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. That nuclear orange packet of “cheese” is the best.
Fussy about any staple being organic, fair trade, etc.?
My dairy. I have Nature’s Promise Organic Yogurt and Stonyfield Organic Milk. My butter is always a European brand, which, while not necessarily organic, is superior to American butters because of the higher fat content.
Anything not allowed in your fridge (e.g., soda?)
Not a soda drinker—the exception being Seagram’s Ginger Ale if I have stomachache.
Any random/unusual items in the door shelf?
Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce. I use it on rice noodles.
What’s the meat situation like? M
y boyfriend, Eric Dawes, roasted a chicken not long ago, but the only evidence left of it is a container with some chicken stock. He’s not a chef [he’s an operations manager for Gap] but probably does 60 percent of the cooking in the house. He has a recipe with bacon, peas, and white cheddar that won the mac-and-cheese competition at The Big Cheese in Rosendale, New York. We went out for the first time the same week he won the competition.
How about produce?
There’s some dried-up parsley. So sad.
Let’s talk the really cold stuff, as in 32° F and below.
There’s always frozen berries for my protein shakes. To counter any healthy lifestyle choices, I have Talenti pistachio gelato!
What’s your favorite item hanging on the refrigerator?
A magnet from Speakeasy Tattoo in Peekskill. Most of my tats I got there; the latest was a cover-up on my left arm of a cotton-candy zombie girl—a design by my sister. It’s now a rose.
Anything on top of the fridge?
A bunch of GNC Puredge Complete Vegan protein powders, plus Nutro Dog Treats for my boyfriend’s pit bull, Misha.