There are a number of ingredients which come up time and again in cooking, and they form the backbone of many recipes. They are there to provide flavour and substance and should be well stocked in readiness for the ‘Go To Moment.’
Many of the following items will store well, so they can be purchased in reasonable quantity without fear of the product going past their best; provided stored correctly.
Baked beans – a very good source of protein and great for an instant meal.
Canned tomatoes – these are one of the basic ingredients for pasta sauces and soups … and will store for months.
Cans of tuna – fabulous with a baked potato and mayonnaise, for spicing a salad or adding to a pasta sauce.
Cheese – a good mature cheddar adds taste and substance to many dishes. Always keep wrapped to avoid the cheese drying out. If mould does appear it can be simply cut off – it won’t affect the rest of the cheese.
Eggs – whether it’s a Spanish omelette, simple cakes or just scrambled on toast, it’s always good to have half a dozen in the kitchen. Free-range would be the preferred option and certainly taste better and have deep orange yolks that add colour to any recipe.
Flour – essential for sauces and for baking!
Herbs & spices – as well as fresh herbs the following dried herbs are very useful to have to hand.. basil, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, mint, parsley, thyme, marjoram and mixed herbs. Useful spices include grounder ginger, chilli flakes, curry powder and garam masala.
Mayonnaise – always keep a jar in the fridge. It will go with many things such as chicken, tuna and potatoes. Mayonnaise is also a great accompaniment for any roll or sandwich.
Rice or Pasta – rice or pasta dishes, using leftover meats and vegetables are easy to rustle up. Both products also store very well and have many variations to sustain interest.
Seasoning – sugar, salt, pepper and mustard …. a must have. Used sensibility will elevate all recipes.
Oils – whilst a good vegetable oil or sunflower oil is essential for frying food, olive oil, although more expensive is delicious for salad dressings. For stir-fries, the use of sesame oil will improve the taste and flavour as it has a rich, nutty taste.
Onions and Garlic – These are essential for any ‘wet’ dish or sauce and will add taste to just about anything. Stored in a dry, cool place they will last for several weeks.
Soy sauce – great for many dishes as an alternative to salt ….. great for adding to stir-fries.
Stock cubes – quick and easy to use and will add real flavour to any recipe including soups, sauces, risottos and casseroles.
Worcestershire sauce – delicious with many beef dishes, cottage pie and bolognaise …… and more simple things such as cheese on toast and tomato soup.
So, don’t forget to stock up …. you will never have to dash to the supermarket! So, over to you now…What do you think of our list? Are there any foods that you think should be added? Please leave your comments below!