I've been making lists my whole life, what's one more?



I've been building/discombobulating a lot of stuff lately. It's been really interesting to see how things work and to understand what makes things run (or not run:). It got me thinking...if someone were to take apart my kitchen, what would they find at the heart of it? Besides a healthy dose of intuition and a sprinkle of narcissism here and there, they would find a bevy of staples that have become like an old friend to me (not the ones in my red swingline, but, yeah, those are special too:). So, I've started a list here of things I always have to have, or think I have to have. without further ado:
FRESH VEG
potatoes (come on. only like the most versatile veg on earth.)
carrots (mirepoix component, good for roasting, soups, stir fries, snacks)
celery (mirepoix component, good snack, leaves are great for flavor boosts)
onions (I put onions in everything. Just know that right now.)
garlic (see onions. above:)
cilantro (like to have on hand for making chutney, flavoring mex/asian dishes
flat leaf parsley (it's mostly for pretty, come on, I take pictures of dinner...)
ginger root (actually use this in a lot of stuff, more than you would think)
some sort of pepper (usually poblanos/pasillas, sometimes bells, sometimes jalps)
DAIRY
milk
parmesan
butter (salted and un)
a range of cheeses (try to have a few ranging from soft to firm, in case emergency cheese plate assemblage is needed, it's for guests and stuff. and seriously, sometimes you just want to eat some good cheese.)
eggs? (why are eggs always in dairy? weird. always buy cage free organic, unless my mom brings them to me.)
sour cream
plain yogurt ( Really like greek stuff, but is wicked expensive, usually get dannon)
fruit yogurts ( I like wallaby, and brown cow brands the best.)
heavy cream (was reluctant to put this in there, but I do usually have it.)
DRY/CANNED GOODS
canned whole tomatoes (I like the "clearly organic" brand at super saver)
canned tuna in olive oil
canned broth/stock (chicken, beef, veggie)
Tomato sauce
tomato paste
various pasta (like to have a thin spaghetti, and penne or something shorter)
rice( jasmine, basmati, sushi, and arborio)
quick couscous
dried chiles (ancho, new mexico)
ap flour
wheat flour
sugar/dark brown sugar
baking powder/soda
vanilla
dark chocolate
cocoa powder
olive oil (of course!)
roasted walnut oil (for dressings)
veg oil/canola oil
sesame oil
balsamic, red wine, rice, apple cider, and distilled white vinegars
fish sauce
soy sauce
oyster sauce
dried beans (pinto, baby lima, lentils, split peas, black turtle, and navy)
pam (or other pan spray)
MEAT/FROZEN STUFF
Bacon
some good sausages (andouille, chorizo, brats)
at least one whole chicken
peas (don't be a hater, frozen peas are top notch for risotto and stews)
at least one good, big, roasting meat for entertaining (lamb, beef, pork shoulder, etc)
shell-on shrimp (talk about a quick, easy dinner.)
ice cream (wifeshow would be disappointed if I forgot, yeah, I know we're out:)
MISC
perrier (2 bottles a week)
crackers
pickles/olives
potato chips (I try to buy a bag of kettle chips once in a while, not too often though)
corn chips/salsa
tortillas
tostada shells
red curry paste

so, yeah, seems like a lot, but there are ENDLESS possibilities here. It is really nice to have this stuff on hand, because it all keeps really well (with the exception of the cilantro) and you'll be able to throw together a good, healthy meal really easily. I won't even go into my spice cupboard, that's another post entirely...not even joking.
oh, almost forgot, food. first pic is roasted sausages with scallions and cherry tomatoes on grilled ww baguette. (used staples). 2nd pic is a braised chicken (whole chicken, potatoes, carrot, celery, onion, beer, spices) (all staples). 3rd pic is creamy potatoes and peas (potates, peas, onion, milk, butter, bacon, parsley.) you get the idea. Outfitting your pantry with stuff like this makes your life so much easier, and will make you such a better cook.
I probably left out a ton of stuff, but my kitchen is up stairs and I'm in the basement.
Let me know what you guys have to have in your kitchens. I'm interested to see what things are lurking in your cupboards...
DISH is reading: "The shining", Stephen King. I try to read a scary book every halloween season. I have to admit, I'm kind of scared...
DISH recommends:
St. Andre cheese. Thanks to Mia, I have a new weakness. If I ever get locked in that cracker prison, I hope I have this on hand. Those salty bars of wheat won't have a chance. ( got it at super t. Expensive? some would say, but cheaper than selling your soul away, which is what you might have to do to quit eating it.)

6 comments:

Erin said...

You've definitely hit on most of mine! The stuff I *always* have to have, no matter how bare the pantry: crushed tomatoes & paste, veggie stock, canned black beans (yeah, I have dried, but always forget to prep 'em in time), garlic, onions, olive oil, good olives, good cheeses (I favor trying new ones from Whole Foods tiny cheese basket... GREAT way to try really pricey cheese), plain water crackers, 1/2 & 1/2, eggs, good caf & decaf coffee beans, and chips & salsa casera from my favorite Chicago produce market. I also must have everything under the sun for baking; I need to be able to bake almost anything at a moment's notice.

Of course fresh veg & fruit and numerous whole wheat pastas, brown rices, and risotto are staples... but I can't function without my main list.

There is just something so satisfying about a well-stocked pantry, non? :D

Melissa Hurst said...

A big hell yea on the St. Andre!

the DISH said...

rin- totally agree on the baking part, sweets and pastry at least, it's instant therapy!
melissa- isn't that stuff the best! I've gone through most of one package by myself (not proud/sort of proud:)!

Amy said...

First, I love lists. Second, I cannot believe you forgot beer (especially the beer), oj, bananas, apples, and pom juice.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that's a pretty extensive list. My veggies and fruits vary, and I usually don't have much meat on hand. But I do keep canned beans a lot, because they're good for a jiffy dinner.
I think you forgot, um... peanut butter? How else are you supposed to make quick peanut noodles? And did you mention nuts? I usually have either walnuts, pecans or almonds.

mc

the DISH said...

mc-
totally forgot the pb. and, we usually have some sort of mixed nuts for snacking, and walnuts/almonds for baking and stuff. good eye...good eye.