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What do you always have on hand?


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I always make sure I have a tub of caramalized onions in the fridge for sandwiches, salads, omelets and pretty much anything else. Ditto on a container of mushed up roasted garlic. Still, I'd love to know of other simple preperations I can keep on hand that add a bit of zip to pretty much everything.

So what do you make sure to keep on hand at all times? I'm especially interested in things with low preperation overhead and that keep at least a week.

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Roasted red-pepper aioli: Get a jar of roasted red peppers, and give one of them a ride in the food processor until mostly smooth. Add some of that mushed-up garlic and a healthy dose of decent store-bought mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste, and maybe a bit of lemon juice.

Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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Toasted blackened chipotle paste. keeps forever in the fridge, and adds a rich smoky spicy taste to anything from potato salad to actual Mexican food. Got the recipe from a cookbook by Rick Bayless, and it's great!

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prik nam pla (esp. when flying... improves airline food to almost edible :smile:, not bad in airborne vodka and tomato )

and tiny sachets of vegemite (can take the girl out of Oz but....)

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New Mexican red chiles

actually I have a lot of chiles right there in the kitchen by the stove to make chile paste at any moment

fresh ginger frozen ginger, dried ginger, candied ginger ..ginger growing in pots...(I adore ginger)

garlic garlic and more garlic

dried wild mushrooms (especially morels and porchini) I keep some ground up into powder for sauces and to season while cooking ..it is great for any roasted meats to just sprinkle some dried wild mushroom powder on top then later it makes a gravy to die for!)

toasted sesame seeds slightly mashed with kosher salt mixed in I love this on any veggies especially saute 'd green beans or spinach

curry spices I keep all the seeds/spices I need on the counter in jars with tiny scoops...with a cheap coffee grinder then when I want to make a curry I just toss the combo of toasted seeds I like in the grinder and there you go quick and easy...

anchovies mixed with olive oil and capers

feta marinated in olive oil and herbs

tiny hot Philipino peppers in vinegar that I have nurtured for years by just adding more of each ...

home made habenero hot sauce (25 habeneros all colors, 1 cup of white vinegar, 6 allspice berries cracked and 1/2 cup of some kind of juice like mango or pineapple)

dried fruits soaked in rum, port wine and brandy (for my black cakes mainly ..but have may uses like topping ice cream or cakes a really nice dessert...

I have at least 50 probably more things I can not ..nor have I tried to live with out in the kitchen .100s of spices I swear....this is really a good question as I have never thought about how many things I use regularly

no matter how my finances are ..I will go with out many things ..but I really get panicky if any of these things run low! :sad:

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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dried porcini mushrooms

candied ginger

candied ginger preserves from Williams Sonoma

Hannah brand hummus from Costco

frozen home made chili sauce (Chili Colorado from epicurious)

frozen home made Linda's tomato gravy

frozen home made orange/ginger/cranberry sauce

frozen guacamole from Costco

frozen nuts of various sorts

frozen stock

dates, figs (have recently discovered the paper-thin slices of dried figs in salads)

Penzy's Foxpoint

Penzy's chicken paste (that's not what it's called, but it's what it is)

black and green Nyon olives with pits, indispensible, never without

slab of grating cheese, currently grana padano

tiny cans of condensed milk

prepared horseradish

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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For me it is not really prepared foods per se, but saved byproducts, left over items from a dish that need to be used, or way too many items from my garden.

<ul>

<li>Bacon grease - in a mayo jar like any good southerner should have.</li>

<li>I also keep rendered chicken fat (I do not cook duck often enough) for roasting potatoes.</li>

<li>Pickled vegetables for use in salads, bloody mary's, etc. We grow zuchini, cukes, and several varieties of peppers.</li>

<li>Oven roasted tomatoes: cut in half, seasoned, roasted at 200 degrees until they dry. Then pack them in oil. We grow our own tomatoes and frequently can not keep up.</li>

<li>Pesto: several varieties. We make one with Pecans and Cinnamon Basil that is really good.</li>

<li>Hot sauce from jalapeños and anahiems that we grow.</li>

<li>If I have bought too many mushrooms (every trip to Whole Foods), I will make a quick mushroom tapenade. Sauteed mushrooms, shallots, S&P, and whatever herb I have on hand chopped finely then mixed with olive oil.</li>

<li>My dad has a Meyer lemon tree that produces a ridiculous amount of fruit. In the past I have juiced them and frozen the juice in ice cube trays. This year I think I am going to try preserving them in salt and experimenting with preserved lemon in dishes.</li>

</ul>

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pickled green peppercorns, homemade pickles, red chilis, chipotle in adobo, Sweet baby Ray's BBQ sauce, lots and lots of vinegars and oils.

I love Sweet Baby Ray's!

Umm, I keep brownie ingredients on hand at all times.

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Great thread.

I always have:

- Some manner of blue veined cheese - domestic blue, stilton, roquefort, gorgonzola

- Some manner of hard or semi-hard italian cheese - parmesan, romano, sometimes asiago

- Onions, tomatoes, lime juice, jalapenos or serranos. - Must be ready to have pico de gallo at any moment

- Corn tortillas - They keep well and are great for fresh tortilla chips

- Various canned beans - black, pinto, garbanzo

- Assorted oils, vinegars and spices

- Yeast - Both instant and ADY

- Copious amounts of bread flour

- At least 1 bottle of good beer.

Do chipotle peppers in adobo keep well after they're out of the can? I never use a full can of them and I'm usually wary of using them after they've been in the fridge for a couple weeks. But I agree, great stuff to keep around,

Edited by fliplap (log)
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onions

a tub of minced garlic

sichuan peppercorns

more peppercorns

carrots

chilis

nam pla

lemon grass

galanga

sesame oil

soy

mayonaise

gochujang

dried mushrooms

foie gras

pork bellies

bags of salt

corn or bean starch

rice

..........

..........

and there are some containers of frightening looking fuzzy stuff in there that are always at hand, but we're sort of scared of.

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While not low prep - I always have

duck confit and duck fat

veal demi glace

chicken stock

valrhona chocolate pieces (at least 2 kinds)

butter

all the usual baking ingredients

every spice I might need

onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, lemons, limes

nuts: pecans, almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, peanuts

olives

anchovies

tamarind, galangal, ginger

eggs

asst. cheeses

masa

heavy cream

home made pickles, canned fruits, jams

soy sauce, fish sauce, garum

asst. hot sauces, ketchup, mustard

coffee

wine, beer, liquor and mixers

4 kinds of salt

oils and vinegars

rice, pasta, cous cous, beans...

Basicly I could eat well for quite a long time with what I've got on hand.

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Do chipotle peppers in adobo keep well after they're out of the can?

I transfer any unused peppers and sauce into a jar and keep them around for quite a while with no problem.

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This is off topic-y, but I just recently bought my first duck fat. What do I do with it? I bought it for roasting potatoes, but how? Put some duck fat in the bottom of the pan and roast in the oven? What else do I do with it? Anything I do with butter?

It would be an interesting side topic, related -- clever uses of the precious ingredients one must always have on hand. I think they're must-haves because they're versatile, but some you keep them on hand because you have to eat a certain food a certain way. For instance, the anchovy paste is for salad dressings. Little hint from Lynne Rosetto Kasper. Gives any dressing that je ne sais quoi . . .

Lemon juice, baby, gotta have that on tuna salad with those black olives. Things like that.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Do chipotle peppers in adobo keep well after they're out of the can?

I transfer any unused peppers and sauce into a jar and keep them around for quite a while with no problem.

It's always been my understanding that it's best to store the contents of partially used canned goods, whatever they may be, in a clean glass container with a tight fitting lid.

Shel

 ... Shel


 

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Tomato puree and piripiri seasoning. I'm constantly amzed by how much I can put those two in.

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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This is off topic-y, but I just recently bought my first duck fat.  What do I do with it?  I bought it for roasting potatoes, but how?  Put some duck fat in the bottom of the pan and roast in the oven?  What else do I do with it?  Anything I do with butter?

Yeah, if you use butter (savory cooking) you can use duck fat. For the potatoes - I would blanch them first, until they're just barely tender but not quite done, then finish them by sauteeing on the stove top with the duck fat, a little garlic, and some fresh herbs at the end (thyme/rosemary)

Good luck!

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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rendered bacon/chicken fat in the freezer.

roasted-garlic oil.

roasted garlic salt (made with the carmelized cloves for the roasted garlic oil).

spanish olive oil.

nuoc mam.

agave syrup.

honey.

malden's salt.

spanish sea salt.

maple syrup.

kosher salt.

porcini powder.

sherry vinegar.

aged, balsamic vinegar.

grapeseed oil.

toasted (black) peppercorns.

toasted allspice.

limes.

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