Friday, January 25, 2008

In the Pinch Pantry

The Pantry 

With these things in your cupboards and fridge you can make a variety of Asian-inspired meals.

  1. Fish sauce
  2. Thai Kitchen red curry paste
  3. Mae Ploy chili sauce
  4. Reduced fat coconut milk
  5. Soy sauce
  6. Eden Organic Tamari
  7. Tamarind paste
  8. Rice Vinegar
  9. Mirin
  10. Toasted sesame oil
  11. Hot chili oil
  12. Essential produce: fresh garlic and ginger, green onion, bell peppers and cilantro.

  1. Barilla Penne and Thin Spaghetti
  2. Beretta Arborio rice
  3. Organic Basmati Rice
  4. Organic Wild Rice
  5. Muir Glen Whole Peeled Tomatoes and Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
  6. Albacore tuna in spring water
  7. Pimento-stuffed jumbo green olives
  8. Giardinera - Hot and Mild
  9. Tillen Farms Hot and Spicy Beans
  10. Imagine Organic Chicken Broth
  11. Mama Lil's Kick Butt peppers
  12. Noh Hawaiian BBQ sauce - tied here with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
  13. Organic Garbanzo beans
  14. Tahini
  15. Cholula
  16. Anchovies
  17. Horseradish
  18. Mustards: Dijon, country dijon, Pommeray, spicy

The Baking Cabinet
Vestiges of my professional life are evident in my pantry: I buy the largest tupperware containers that will fit into my cabinets and dump several bags of flour into them (this method is also less messy as paper flour bags are no good for storage). And now I label them so everyone knows what's what.
  1. All-purpose flour. I buy the organic 365 label at Whole Foods and have a container that holds about 15#.
  2. Cake flour. Soft as Silk or Swansdown are often available in regular grocery stores. It's in a 2# box. My container holds about 6#.
  3. Whole wheat flour. I spend a little more here, as there's more depth of flavor in the smaller batch flours. Whole Foods has a nice selection. I'll provide an update soon on the order I've got coming in from Ireland. Mmmm...brown bread! My stainless steel canister holds 5#.
  4. Pure extracts: vanilla, almond and peppermint
  5. Sugars: white granulated, superfine, light brown, powdered. Also: Sugar in the Raw (well-priced at Target - look for the 2# bulk box); rustic but still chic La Perruche cubes; coarse white crystal sugar for sprinkling atop scones.
The Spice Drawer
  1. Milwaukee Iron seasoning (from The Spice House in Chicago)
  2. Hometown blended seasoning (from Town & Country market on Bainbridge Island, WA. They're kind enough to ship me several jars once a year).
  3. Ancho Chili Powder
  4. All the basics from The Spice House - a fantastic purveyor

The Fridge
  1. Beef base, chicken base (Better than Bouillon is great)
  2. Kalamata olives
  3. Grana Padano
  4. Gruyere
  5. Buttermilk
  6. Bell pepper
  7. Fresh ginger
  8. Fresh herbs: cilantro, parsley, basil
  9. Green onions
  10. Jalapenos
  11. Leeks
  12. Lemons
  13. Limes

The Freezer

  1. Tilapia or Dover Sole - these both thaw nicely and are great for a dinner of fish and chips.
  2. Meatballs. I buy 1# packages of lean veal and pork at Whole Foods, and the leanest ground beef (96/4)at Trader Joes and make a big batch of meatballs a few times a year. Save some for that night's dinner and freeze the rest on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a big ziploc bag. Prepare straight out of the freezer: brown the sides in olive oil, add some tomato sauce, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 min until cooked thru.
  3. Uncooked shrimp - deveined, tail on. At Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

The Root Cellar
  1. Yellow onions
  2. Red Onions
  3. Garlic
  4. Shallots
  5. Russets
  6. Red New Potatoes (seasonally)
What Other Sites Are Saying:
Mark Bittman's Must Haves for the Pantry
Gluten-Free Girl's Pantry Essentials
101 Cookbooks: Building a Natural Foods Pantry