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Great ShakeOut Challenge: 2 LA chefs make a tasty meal with an earthquake kit

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Most earthquake kit edibles are not exactly gourmet, but could they be? Two LA chefs share their gourmet takes on disaster preparedness.

You know what to do in the event of an earthquake: drop, cover and hold on.

But what about getting prepared for an earthquake ahead of time? Do you have an earthquake kit ready?

Take Two producer Lori Galarreta took to the streets to ask Angelenos about how they're preparing for an earthquake...or not.

(Responses from: Joyce Chalfant, Fadi Farage, Andy Reyes, Paula Martinet and Melissa Miller)

The standard recommendation is that you have enough food, water and supplies on hand to last you and your family at least 72 hours after an earthquake.

As to what kind of food, that's your call, but items like canned food, dried fruit and nuts, and protein bars tend to fill up most earthquake kits. 

Convenient? Sure. Long lasting? Yes. Gourmet? Not quite. But could they be?

Two L.A. chefs shared their tasty takes on disaster preparedness:

All-Purpose Baking Mix

From Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes a generous 4 cups mix


  • 4 cups (17 ounces) flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ cup nonfat milk powder


1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk powder to form the dry mix. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place up to 3 months.

2. To make pancakes: Whisk a generous cup of the baking mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and about ¾ cups to form a batter. The batter will make about 4 pancakes.

3. To make dumplings or biscuits: Whisk a generous cup of the baking mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and about ½ cup water to form a thick dough.

The mix is great for camping, but also works well in an earthquake kit as it requires no special ingredients or refrigeration.


From chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Susan Feniger

Yield: 12 cups


  • 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups straight cut macaroni, par cooked to al dente
  • 4 cups diced white onion
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup clarified butter
  • 2 Tbl ground cumin
  • 2 Tbl kosher salt
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or water



In a rondeau, cook onions in the oil and butter until they start to caramelize.

Add rice and lentils and toast approximately 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the cumin and the salt and stir to combine. Toast another minute or so to cook out the cumin, then add the stock.

Cook uncovered on a simmer until the liquid dissolves and the rice mix starts to crackle and toast on the bottom (you can stir occasionally).

Set aside.

Separately, crisp the pasta in:

  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp harissa chile paste

When done, add to the rice mixture and stir to combine. Pour out onto sheet pans to cool.

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