Food Network Chef Bobby Flay Gives Advice for Kitchen Newbies

The celeb chef reveals pantry must-haves and what he cooks when he's at home

I ran into Food Network star Bobby Flay at the 2010 South Beach Food & Wine Festival's Burger Bash, where Flay’s burger was the runner-up to Iron Chef Michael Symon's creation. Flay talked about the easiest meal ever, the contents of his freezer, and what he cooks for his wife when she's mad at him.

iVillage: For us kitchen-phobic folks, what’s the first thing we should buy at the market?

Bobby Flay: In your kitchen, you’ve got to have eggs, milk, mayonnaise…and you have to have bacon. For the freezer, vanilla ice cream is a must for anyone who considers themselves well prepared in the kitchen. Haagen-Dazs vanilla.

iVillage: What should a kitchen newbie make for a dinner party?

BF: A great, no-fail meal to make is either chicken or veal Milanese. It’s the perfect, simple meal. Everyone likes it and it’s impossible to mess up.

iVillage: What’s the easiest recipe?

BF: You take a chicken breast, boneless and skinless, and you pound it out. You dredge it in flour, eggs and some breadcrumbs, then you season it. Saute it very lightly in some canola oil. Then you make an arugula salad…throw in some tomatoes and red onions, a little Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, oil and vinegar…and throw it all on top of the chicken or veal. You’ll have gorgeous colors and textures, you can’t screw it up and everyone will be happy.

iVillage: What about your freezer? Any leftovers?

BF: I don’t freeze food. I’m not a leftovers guy, except for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the only time I reheat anything. My freezer only has Haagen-Dazs, milk chocolate almonds, cucumber vodka and regular vodka.

iVillage: What’s your favorite meal after a long shift?

BF: Easy answer—a cheeseburger. I’ll either go out and grab one or make one myself. I’m a burger guy, through and through.

iVillage: Do you have a breakfast routine?

BF: Always eggs. I love eggs, eggs benedict or huevos rancheros. I stopped drinking coffee three months ago because I was in Vietnam with my wife, and I really didn’t like the coffee there, so I had to drink tea. Then I just got used to drinking tea, and I really think I prefer it. I drink a lot of fresh mint tea.

iVillage: What’s the first thing you make your wife if she’s mad at you?

BF: A fried egg, bacon and cheese sandwich. The ultimate comfort food. For my daughter, I make chocolate chip pancakes. Both things make everyone very happy in my house.

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