Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Les ingrédients

What goes into the daily market basket is important, but, perhaps not as important as the ingredients I have at home. Les ingrédients--shallots, oil, butter, salt, potatoes, cheese--are the backbone of my kitchen. Knowing I have staples at home is what allows me to buy that eggplant at $0.98 a pound and have a delicious ratatouille and couscous on the table at 7:30.

Today almost every cookbook provides a list of staples, ingrédients that are helpful to have on hand; every cook will edit the list according to his or her budget and tastes. I divide my list into perishable staples--the ingredients that are purchased every seven to ten days--and pantry staples, which are less perishable.

Perishable staples
onions
shallots
garlic
potatoes
lemons
olives
nuts
cheese, hard and soft
butter
milk
cream
eggs
chicken broth

Pantry staples
salt
peppercorns
spices
jam
rice
couscous
pasta
beans, dried/canned
canned tomatoes
anchovy paste
tomato paste
mustard
olive oil
vinegars
flour
sugar
baking powder
baking soda
wine

That's it. With these ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry, I am confident that anything I buy at the grocer can easily be made into a delicious dinner.

I asked a question yesterday, and I'm posing a similar one today: you are at the grocer and see that your favorite small, creamer potatoes are on sale, $2.39 a bag. The yellow and green zucchini look lovely, and fresh chicken is on special. Consider what you have in your pantry and fridge: what will you make for this evening's meal?

Tomorrow's post: Le pain quotdien

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting your pantry list. This is great to have on hand. I'm going to have to copy and keep this list for use to stock my own pantry.

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  2. I have many of these staples in my pantry now but there are a couple I don't keep that I will add. Looking forward to tomorrow.

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  3. Love your grocery list, love this series on shopping and cooking.

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  4. Great minds think alike. The only difference in my pantry list are for perishables, I include Yogurt, Romaine lettuce and Italian parsley (always need these on hand). For my nonperishables, the only other ingredients I have besides what you do are: honey, extracts, such as vanilla and anise; tea, maple syrup and oatmeal. Other than that we are on the same page. Love your writing so much
    Kristi from FC

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  5. I'm enjoying writing these posts, but was worried about coming off as heavy-handed or pushy. Thanks to all for your comments.

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