Stocking Your Kitchen Series: Pantry
What are the items to keep in your pantry so that you don’t have to run out every time you decide to try some new flavors? The possibilities are endless but there are some key items to keep in stock that will give you a broad range of options when cooking. Much like stocking your kitchen tools, you want to ensure you have the essential basics to keep you moving. Generally your pantry is where you keep the all important flavor building items, as well as easy sides like your grains, pastas, and beans.
THERE ARE 3 KEY CATEGORIES:
Flavor builders, Grains & Such, and Baking Needs. We will highlight them below. Subscribe here for a complete list.
Why flavor builders? Because everything in this category can be used to impart flavor, a bit of this, a dash of that can elevate a dish or change things up to avoid being mundane even in short on time weeknight cooking. Having a few options for oils, vinegars, and spices, sets you up for so many dishes, and is a good way to take a trip around the world without leaving the confines of your home. For oils, stock extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and canola oil to start. The trifecta of vinegars, white wine, red wine, and rice wine vinegar will take you far. Yes, of course add balsamic, everyone’s favorite but the former give you many more options in terms of flavor. Last but certainly not least are the spices, salt and pepper of course, but you can get lost in salt alone. Start with Kosher salt and go from there. Cumin, Paprika, Ginger are solid staples to have around. The list here will depend on your taste and the flavors that appeal to you. We’ve outlined a detailed list in our pantry checklist for easy reference.
Grains and beans are solid staples and frankly a great way to change things up. From brown rice to pastas, quinoa, and fun, less used grains such as farro, they are a great way to change things up and to round your out your meals. Having a few on hand makes it easier to put a meal together. For both rice and pastas, be sure to have a couple of different types on hand. Brown rice is great for everyday cooking, but Jasmine rice works for dishes such as coconut rice for example. And as for pastas, you need one kind for mac and cheese and something all together different for say lasagna. Start with your favorites and go from there.
Baking is its own animal and your pantry should be tailored to the sweets you enjoy making and of course eating. Most of everyone’s go to baked goods and let’s not forget the quick breads--pancakes and such require flour, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda to start. Keep those on hand and you’ll have most of the items on hand for a sweet bite.
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Let us know your favorite go to pantry items.
See you in the Kitchen!