Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stock the kitchen for Christmas (or any time)


I received an email from Organizational management, who shared with me their blog post about stocking the kitchen...here is a preview:

Spices Cupboard

If you aren’t familiar with go-to spices, you want to get acquainted starting now. Spices can make all the difference in your cooking and can take a cheap cut of meat from drab to fab. Technically, they aren’t all spices, but they’re all used to add a kick to main dishes, soups and stews.

1. Garlic powder. For those evenings when you aren’t in the mood to mince fresh garlic, garlic powders adds the same garlic-y goodness with just a few sprinkles .

2. Sea salt. It’s healthier than regular salt and if you’re a fan of coarse salt, sea salt will knock your socks off.

3. Various types of whole or ground pepper. Fresh ground black pepper is brilliant, but check out white and pink pepper which add an interesting dimension.

4. Sage. Perhaps a vastly underused spice, ground sage is ideal for homemade rubs and marinades and pairs well with chicken.

5. Red chili flakes. A few red chili flakes can make all of the difference when making chicken or beef.

6. Chili powder. Use it for basic chili recipes, but also for fish tacos.

7. Bay leaves. Even a dried bay leaf can add significant warmth to stews or a slow-cooked bolognese.

8. Ground coriander. We’d never choose ground coriander over the real deal, but for some dishes, this spice adds a fresh element that can’t be captured with anything else.

9. Onion powder. If your family is finicky about onions, use onion powder to add the same aroma without getting bits of onion all over the food .

10. Cumin. Ground cumin is one of our favorite spices to work with, especially when making soups or working with pork.

11. Ground mustard. Add serious intensity to your beef with ground mustard.

12. Cayenne pepper. It’s delicious for chicken and can also be used to make Mexican hot chocolate.

13. Paprika. Paprika is a secret ingredient for many for cooking up the perfect burger.

14. Basic steak seasoning. This can be a Montreal steak seasoning or any seasoning meant for beef that your family enjoys.

15. Dried thyme. This is one dried herb that can almost stand up to its fresh counterpart. We love it on pork and in breads.

Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies make a great snack on their own and add some color and nutrition to many dishes.

16. Potatoes. You decide the type (we suggest red potatoes and leaving the skin on), but potatoes are brilliant for roasting in the winter and grilling in the summer.

17. Mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms can be a tad pricey depending on where you live, but they add a hearty punch to many dishes and can beef up quantity when you’re feeding guests.

18. Onions. Onions of every type rank high on our list of veggies to have in the fridge at all times. Shallots, red onions, white onions and chives are some of our favorites (and the most versatile).

19. Leafy green lettuce. Forget about the iceberg. There’s no nutritional value and seldom any flavor. Instead go for romaine or any leafy green lettuce that is rich in color and texture.

20. Bell peppers. No matter what color you choose, bell peppers are delicious fresh or sauteed.

21. Garlic. If you can get used to adding fresh garlic to many meals, you’ll discover that it adds a memorable flavor. If you don’t like mincing, invest in a microplane and grate garlic directly over your saucepan or pot.

22. Apples. A good apple makes a fabulous snack on its own, but it also works well with real honey, plain yogurt and various cheeses.

23. Bananas. A banana works by itself and is brilliant on a slice of toast with Nutella.

24. Lemons and limes. Both are a must for whipping up your own quick marinades or garnishing a drink.

25. Oranges. Throw them in a salad or get your vitamin C by noshing on it straight up.

The post is entitled: Perfect Pantry: 80 Essential Ingredients for a Well-Stocked Kitchen

Click the highlighted link to view the rest of the article.


If you like that article, check out: 23 tips for getting your fridge and freezer organized


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