Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pantry Essentials

Plenty of people are ready to tell you what you need to have on hand to cook with. And while my pantry is usually well stocked, I don't even abide by lists like this or like this. In part, because I don't like or use some of those things all that often, so I don't feel the need to keep them on hand at all times. And, any list like this is necessarily subjective and based on how you cook.
That having been said, I'm still going to attempt it! I've already attempted a partial spice list, which you can find here, so those aren't on this list.
  • flour
  • sugar
  • rice
  • pasta
  • canned tomatoes
  • frozen veggies
  • onions
  • chicken broth/stock/boullion
  • vinegar (I keep rice wine for Asian recipes, and red and white for others.... but you can probably get away with white, and add more styles according to your taste)
  • olive oil
  • vegetable oil
  • butter/margarine
  • cooking spray-- not necessary, but darn handy
  • dried beans, dried lentils (or canned, if you prefer. they don't take as long to cook, but are often salty, more expensive, and you have less control.)
  • hot sauce
  • soy sauce
  • lemons or lemon juice can be very handy
  • Cooking wine: you can get little bottles for cheap (i.e. Holland House) to keep in the pantry to whip up a quick wine sauce or add to almost anything
  • Frozen chicken (or protein of choice)
  • optional, but I adore sesame oil
  • Italian dressing-- the normal, cheap stuff. Makes an amazing, quick, easy, cheap marinade for chicken, pork and fish!
If you bake, you will also want to have:
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • yeast
  • cornstarch
Plus, it's always nice to have:
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • peppers (hot, bell, sweet)
  • tomatoes
  • seasonal produce
  • salad
  • seasonal veggies
Happy cooking!

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