Perfect Pantry: Part 2

I'm back after a little hiatus. It's been a busy summer so far but I've been mulling over ideas for this blog. Getting inspiration from a lot of places. Here are some more things you'll probably find in your pantry or that are great to have on hand because a lot of recipes call for them.

Broths/Stocks-Broth and stock are very similar and a lot of times in recipes they're used interchangeably. The difference is that stock is made from the bones and a broth is made from meat and bones. For example: if I'm making my own chicken soup, sometimes I buy a whole chicken, pour cold water to fill the pot and simmer. Then I can also use the meat in the soup. That would be a broth. Sometimes though I'll make chicken soup with a leftover roasted chicken. I will take all the meat off of the bones and then put the bones in a pot of cold water. This would be a stock. The idea is that the flavor is very similar and it's hard to tell the difference especially in a recipe where you're using a little. I usually use stock when I'm making a chicken dish (because the flavor is a little bit stronger) and broth when I'm making a sauce or a meat other than chicken (for example: pork). I like to keep a lot on hand because I use it a lot. The two brands I use most often are: Kitchen Basics Stock and Swanson Broth.

Canned Tomato Products-There are so many types of canned tomatoes-tomato paste, tomato puree, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, etc. I tend to have at least one can of each of them but I use whole tomatoes most often. I make my homemade tomato sauce with some tomato paste, whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. You'll see different combinations of the tomatoes in a lot of recipes though and it just depends what you like. For tomato paste, I usually buy the one in the tube because I usually only use a tablespoon or two at a time and that can goes to waste. You can usually find it in a little box right around the canned tomatoes.

Canned Tuna-Tuna is a staple because you can make tuna salad, a tuna melt, or you can add it to some mac 'n cheese. It's an instant protein item that is already cooked so it's great in a pinch. I also keep canned chicken in the house which is good for chicken salad and dips.

Beans-I'm not really a bean person so I don't keep many types of beans but there are some recipes that I will buy beans for. I like cannelini beans (medium size white beans) and they can be used to make a white bean dip or added to a soup or stew to make it more hearty. Dried beans require a lot of extra work because you must rinse them and soak them overnight so I rarely use them. If using canned beans, check the recipe, but most times you should rinse them before you add them to the other ingredients.

Prepared Sauces-Mayonnaise, Ketchup, Mustard, Tabasco/Hot Sauce, BBQ sauce, Soy Sauce. The condiments you obviously want to use as condiments but they can also be used in other sauces or dips. The sauces are great to have on hand and they can also be doctored up with some other spices or flavorings (Sandra Lee-style).

Peanut Butter & Jelly(or jams/preserves)-Besides for obvious reasons like sandwiches, these are also great bases for sauces. Some Asian sauce recipes use peanut butter in them. Jellies/jams/preserves can be used as a filling for a cake or heated to make a glaze for a cake.

Baking Ingredients-Flour, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Chocolate, Baking Powder, Baking Soda. These are the basics for creating most basic recipes. You may want a variety of flours-cake, whole wheat, all purpose, etc. You may also want a variety of chocolate such as chocolate chips, dark, white, and milk chocolate bars.

Dry Mixes-Cake Mix, Brownie Mix, Cornbread Mix, Pancake/Waffle Mix. It's good to have these on hand. You never know when you're going to want a brownie sundae one evening or pancakes on a Sunday morning. Cornbread makes a quick side dish especially with BBQ foods.

Dried Herbs-My favorites are dried Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Bay Leaves.

Spices-I always have paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, chili powder, coriander, and mustard powder.


Christine said...

You will be SO proud of me. I have all of these items on hand at all times. It really does make life a lot easier. My hubby always tells me I'm well prepared for an emergency bake sale. hehe

Bri said...

Haha you're all set that's great!


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Culinary school grad figuring out how to cook for two people semi-healthy. After learning how to cook in huge batches with tons of butter and salt, this proves to be a challenge. Learning how to be a wife and homeowner.