10 Foods To Always Have In Your Kitchen
The following is a list of 10 foods to always have in your kitchen. These items are staples in my kitchen and should be in yours! The list is in no particular order.
I regularly use buttermilk to cook and bake with. It makes a great base for my ranch dressing and offers a tang to my buttermilk biscuits.
Hot sauce or cayenne
My secret ingredient when cooking is usually hot sauce or cayenne. I use it in my spaghetti and meatballs, carnitas, and buttermilk fried chicken. It can highlight certain flavors and provide a nice background heat. The key is to not use too much!
High quality olive oil
There’s something so special about olive oil that has a robust flavor. It’s great in salad dressings, like my Italian dressing, as a topping for a pasta dish, or simply used as a dip for bread.
Another secret ingredient of mine is garlic powder. It’s the main seasoning in my buttermilk fried chicken, the rub on my carnitas, or the seasoning that tops my seasoned fries. It doesn’t result in the bite raw garlic has and doesn’t leave your hands smelling for days!
Yes, American cheese is a must in my refrigerator. It’s melting capabilities makes for the cheesiest grilled cheeses, gooiest quesadillas, or succulent cheese sauces for pasta and vegetables. There is no other cheese like it. I promise.
Bread in the freezer
About every 2 to 3 weeks, Ian and I buy a few loaves of sourdough bread from Harmon’s. We immediately freeze them. Freezing the bread keeps it surprisingly fresh and flavorful. It can go straight in the toaster or can be used frozen as the base of a sandwich to be eaten in a few hours. The bread will thaw and taste great. Now, we rarely waste bread.
Milk (whole, half and half or cream)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to make a dessert and it calls for milk or cream and it’s not in my refrigerator. I’ve learned from my many runs to the store to always have milk on hand. It’s used in the frosting for my buttermilk chocolate cake and the topping to my salted caramel budino.
High quality eggs
The key to this ingredient is the high quality. Yes, they a bit more expensive, but they are that much tastier and will result in food that tastes better. You can fry them up as a topping on your buttermilk pancakes, used as part of a caesar dressing, or hard boil them for an easy and healthy snack.
Vinegar or Lemons
Salads are a go-to dinner for me. While any vinegars will do, I would suggest having white wine vinegar because it’s the most versatile. If you don’t have vinegar on hand, a lemon is a great alternative. Lemons are also used to highlight certain flavors, such as the shrimp in my shrimp scampi recipe.