Canned isn’t so bad. Dishes you can make with your emergency food

Food in plates and bowls
In case of an earthquake, have plenty of canned food on hand so you can make decent meals.
(Photos by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times; photo composite by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

Once you have your cook’s kit stocked, here are some “recipe” ideas for “dishes” to make with your provisions. Not to be taken too seriously, these are simply fun concoctions that might keep your spirits up while you wait out the utilities’ resurrection.

Rustic Hummus With Pita Chips

  • Open one 15-ounce can of chickpeas and empty the contents, liquid too, into a bowl. Mash the chickpeas with a fork, then stir in about 1/4 cup tahini (or another nut butter) until smooth. Stir in a hefty pinch each of garlic powder and ground cumin, a good four-second glug of olive oil, a two-second splash of vinegar and, finally, a pinch of chile flakes. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Spread in bowls, drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with more cumin and chile flakes, and serve with pita chips.

Cassoulet From a Can

  • In a bowl, pour in a two-second glug of olive oil, then add a generous pinch each of dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, parsley and/or basil. Open one 15-ounce can of white beans and pour the contents, liquid too, into the bowl. Tear up a handful of jerky (turkey or duck, if you have it) into small pieces and stir into the beans. If you snagged a container of bacon bits in a panic at the store, stir in a spoonful. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with crackers or pita chips crumbled over the top.

Peaches and Creamed Corn Breakfast Porridge

  • Open one 14.75-ounce can cream-style corn and pour into a serving bowl. Break up a couple slices of canned peaches into bite-size chunks and dot them in the corn. Dollop some jelly or jam, preferably blackberry or another berry variety, over the top, then sprinkle with granola, preferably one flavored with cinnamon. If you have some packets of turbinado or brown sugar saved for your coffee, shower the top with a large pinch. A pinch of flaky sea salt will help this.

Sicilian-ish Seafood

  • Pop open one 4.4-ounce tin of sardines (or another canned seafood) and empty onto a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with half a handful each of raisins (preferably golden) and nuts (preferably pine, but chopped almonds, hazelnuts, cashews or peanuts will work), then sprinkle with a pinch of chile flakes. Pour over a two-second glug of olive oil and a one-second splash of vinegar. Let it all soak for a a few minutes, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Sop it all up with whatever flour-based carb you have that might have survived in the kitchen, like pita, flour tortillas or bread (crackers work too).

Pop-Top Pozole Verde

  • Drain one 15-ounce can of hominy, one 10-ounce can of chicken and one 4-ounce diced green chiles, then combine in a bowl. Pop open two 7-ounce cans salsa verde and pour into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Serve in bowls with spoons and some saltine crackers.

Spam Choucroute Garnie

  • Open one 14.5-ounce can of sauerkraut, drain, then spread it out on a plate. Pop open one 12-ounce tin of Spam and crumble it over the top in large chunks. Add some sliced, canned potatoes and/or artichoke quarters from half a 14- to 14.5-ounce can. Sprinkle with a pinch of chile flakes, drizzle with a two-second glug of olive oil and, finally, add a hearty splash of vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a giant dollop of Dijon mustard and pita chips or rye crackers.