Let’s do this Wednesday’s Recipe for Saturday’s Dinner a little different this time. As you know, I have been remodeling my kitchen. It has been a lesson in design, function, patience and how to best drink a martini, daily, to get through it all. I am now restocking my pantry and getting ready to post some easy recipes for the holidays so you can both relax and enjoy (and feed) family and friends.
People ask me all the time how to cook something, or how to create from what they have in their kitchens. It’s easy so let’s get a list going of basic supplies that can be the foundation of so many great meals. It goes without saying that wine and coffee need not be listed, they must exist in your kitchen.
What every kitchen needs (non-perishable):
- Pasta- a really good box for a great meal or your basic Barilla will do just fine.
- Can of white beans
- few cans of chopped clams
- Bottle or two of clam broth; any other type of broth or stock
- capers, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts or walnuts
- Whole peeled tomatoes or a few cartons of Pomi in any form.
- Fresh herbs- sage, basil, tarragon and mint
- broccoli rabe (careful how to cook it)
- red pepper flakes- serves a multitude of sin!
- salt, a good salt like Malden Sea Salt Flakes
- Colman’s Mustard- it is dry and sharp. You can’t beat it.
- figs or fig spread
What every kitchen needs (perishable):
- BUTTER- no kidding, butter. It’s okay, really.
- Light cream or okay, milk
- mascarpone- basis for some great sauces
- fish- anything you like in any form
- bag of frozen shrimp
- A rotisserie chicken or fresh chicken (I’m not a big red meat fan)
- ravioli or tortellini- any kind
- piece of sushi grade tuna, you can get this frozen
- CHEESE- any kind in any form. Goat cheese, parmesan, Locatelli, Gouda you name it.
- pesto, fresh if possible
- veggies: onions, shallots, peppers, leeks and mushrooms, any type or size.
- Prosciutto, bacon or pancetta. No substitutions. No turkey version of anything. You can get it but use it somewhere else!
- smoked salmon, thinly sliced pre-packed. It works everywhere!
What to do: You can either build it, buy it or steal it.
You can build it by building your own recipes from these lists and food suggestions; you can buy it, by not cooking all of it from scratch but supplementing your creation; or you can steal it by finding a recipe that is tried and true and take it from there. Any way will work, just make sure it works for you. Relax and enjoy the process. You really can’t go wrong. My list is small and I could go on forever but it’s a start and now you can build your own list. Invest in a good knife, a cutting board and maybe a cheap mandolin. The rest you can wing.
Happy cooking. Please post your need to have lists to this website so others can benefit from your knowledge. That’s how we all learn.