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Chef Thomas Keller fried egg BLT

© Kana Okada

What can you cook with no spices other than salt? This is not a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge—it's just the issue I had to deal with last week, when I stayed at a beachside condo in the Florida Keys and needed to make dinner for my family. I wanted to spend my time relaxing, not cooking (not that cooking isn't fun, but you know what I mean), and I didn't want to buy a lot of ingredients that I’d just have to throw away when we left. Two recipes that fit the bill: chef Thomas Keller’s BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich (pictured)—I buttered the toast instead of using mayo and added sliced avocado—and Spaghetti with Shrimp and Spicy Tomato Sauce from my friend (and former F&W editor) Jane Sigal. This easy recipe uses mostly pantry ingredients (I often substitute a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes for the fresh if tomatoes aren't in season), plus I skipped the basil and substituted a jalapeño for the dried chiles. I'd love to hear other recipe suggestions for future trips, if anyone has thoughts.

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