; Supermarket Serenade: The 10 Things I Could Not Live Without in my Pantry

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The 10 Things I Could Not Live Without in my Pantry

10. Grey Salt- I have to credit Michael Chiarello for this one, he always used grey salt on his Food Network show and I became very intrigued and had to try it for myself. I’m hooked. If it’s possible for salt to taste saltier, this one does. Favorite use: summer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garden basil and a sprinkle of grey salt.

9. Wondra Flour- this in a pinch thickener and slurry maker has saved more than one way too thin pan sauce in my busy kitchen. It dissolves instantly, even in cold liquids. Favorite use: toss beef cubes in a Ziploc bag and shake in Wondra, salt and pepper to prepare beef for stews.

8. Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil - OK, I hear the grumbling…”they’re so 90’s”, but wait, before you cast them aside with your Chumbawumba CDs give them another chance. They are tangy, tasty and versatile. Favorite use: toss the sun dried tomatoes (oil and all) into a food processor with garlic, basil, pine nuts and lemon juice, salt and pepper for a tasty red pesto.

7. Pacific Foods Chicken and Beef Broths – by far my favorite brand for broth. They both have a clean, rich flavor that makes them a great base for soups and sauces. Favorite use: soup, any soup-I love soup.

6. Crystallized Ginger – It takes a great deal of self control on my part to not eat the entire container as a candy snack. I love the sweet spiciness. Favorite use: finely chopped and added to homemade jumbo gingersnaps.

5. Raw Almonds – A girl’s gotta snack. These cholesterol lowering antioxidant rich seeds of the almond fruit are great for snacking, but also a great addition to my favorite baked goods and savory dishes. Favorite use: ground and mixed with a bit of flour, then pressed onto fish before lightly frying.

4. Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet Seasoning and Browning Sauce – What can I say? I like my gravy dark. Whisk into that too light gravy and voila your gravy is transformed into a dark, rich and delicious sauce. Favorite use: when Soy Sauce is missing from my pantry I substitute a bit of seasoning and browning sauce, since soy sauce is a major component of browning sauces.

3.Tellicherry peppercorns – I am a pepper freak. I always reach for the peppermill long before I would think to reach for the salt shaker. Named for the area in India from where they are exported, Tellicherry peppercorns are the most robust peppercorns you can buy. Favorite use: freshly ground and pressed onto beef tenderloin.

2. Funky shaped pasta – Actually any shaped pasta will do. I just can’t seem to hop on the carb free bandwagon. Life without spaghetti? Life without bowties? Or worse yet, life without tortellini? I don’t think so. When you have kids in your house there are just going to be pasta days. You know, boil the water, scavenge through the fridge, see what’s fresh and toss it with hot pasta. Dinner is done. Favorite use: my ultimate I’ve had a bad day and I want a warm bowl of spaghetti meal…spaghetti, crushed tomatoes, a bit of shallot, salt, pepper, parmesan and a touch of heavy cream..

And my number 1 couldn’t live without this in my pantry item is (drum roll please)….

1. Barbara’s Bakery Puffins Cereal – Sorry if I let you down, I know it's just cereal by they’re low fat, low sugar and wheat free (not that I can’t or don’t eat wheat –see number 2). I just think the best way to start my day is with a bowl of cereal, some sliced fruit and a cup of tea. My husband thinks it’s a stretch, but, I think they taste a bit like really low sugar Captain Crunch (my childhood go-to sugary cereal that my mother never let me have or at least it seemed that way). Taste them and let me know if you agree or tell me if I’m just dreaming of sugary goodness. Favorite use: bowl, spoon, milk.


Prudy said...

I just found your blog from Tracy's. I love it and I love your theme. I can't live without sun dried tomatoes either; they are such a great pantry item. I love Giada's sun dried tomato pesto pasta-just a jar, garlic, basil and parmesan in the blender. I'll be back! Erin
By the way-I love all of your favorite movies-especially to kill a mockingbird. Atticus is my hero.

Veronica said...

So glad you stopped by and right back at you...I can't stop singing the cake song-it's making my kids crazy!! Atticus: wise and sensible, yet loving and warm-he's my hero too.

Jenny said...

Great list Veronica!
I too, will always have sun dried tomatoes on hand as well as some sort of pasta. With how much I make pasta, I couldn't live without those sun dried tomatoes. Talk to you soon!

Lisa said...

Good choice of staples. I love sea salt. I found some red Hawaiian salt at Trader Joe's and it is great to put on Caprese salad. Have you ever tried red salt? And pasta, I just couldn't live without that in my pantry!