Emerald’s Top 10 Kitchen Essentials

February 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm 4 comments

There are some things in my kitchen pantry that have been there for years: A jar of light Karo syrup. A can of Haggis that someone gave us as a gift. A sack of mung beans I keep meaning to sprout.

But most of the ingredients in my kitchen are there because I use them, regularly.  Here is a list of the top ten things I consider my kitchen incomplete without.

  1. Garlic. I eat insane amounts of garlic. Food tastes bland to me without it.
  2. Sea salt. I used to think, What’s the big deal about sea salt? Salt is salt, right? And then I bought some on sale and became a convert. Sea salt, as it turns out, is not just salt. It’s far superior to table salt in taste and texture. Plus, it’s just romantic that it comes out of the ocean. I love that.
  3. Fresh-ground pepper. We got a pepper mill as a wedding gift and I loves to grind me some pepper. On everything.
  4. Red pepper flakes.
  5. Cumin. I cook lots of Indian and Mexican, and cumin really makes the flavor authentic.
  6. Onion. Onion goes in pretty much everything I make, except brownies. My husband isn’t crazy about onion, but I’ve slowly converted him. That, or he’s stopped mentioning it.
  7. Grits. I eat grits with lots of things, and sometimes substitute them in place of other starches. For example, I often eat them with beans instead of rice. Pork chops over grits is another fave. They’re versatile and delicious.
  8. Really good salsa. I’m always trying different brands and haven’t found a super-fave, but pretty much anything with chipotle in it is going to make me very happy. And yes, I cook with it, along with dunking chips in it or drenching breakfast tacos with it.
  9. Olive oil. Yummy and good-for you.
  10. Fresh eggs. Before I got my chickens, eggs were nice, but not essential. Now that I’ve experienced the joy of free-range deliciousness, I can’t imagine my kitchen without yummy eggs. I eat a lot of frittatas, eggs-n-grits, egg salad, breakfast tacos, quiche, Spanish eggs….the list goes on. Plus, I bake with them and use them in other recipes as binding agents. It’s nice knowing the eggs came from happy, healthy hens, too!



Entry filed under: Food/Cooking/Recipes. Tags: , , , , .

Some good things I cooked/ate this week… Some links to cool stuff…

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ruby  |  February 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Em~ my super FAVE salsa is from whole foods and it is in fact a chipotle salsa, so you might like it. It is fire roasted tomato and I think it is the store brand, it costs about 2.75 a jar and I LOVE it. I stock up whenever it is on sale 2/$4 or whenever I am at WF 🙂

  • 2. Judy  |  February 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    A perfect list of 10. You sound like my kind of cook.

    I’d love to have mung beans to sprout, but I can only find alfalfa locally. Alfalfa is great, but mung sprouts sold locally don’t look fit to eat.

    That Karo would make a mean pecan pie!

    oxo Judy

  • 3. Bellyhoo  |  February 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I love sea salt too. And when I’m feeling the need to indulge- I pour it in the bathtub (I never seem to have epsom salts around). It makes your skin soft and you smell like ..well.. the sea.

  • 4. Emerald  |  February 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    @ Judy- Any sprouting tips you have would be appreciated! I’ve never sprouted anything before and I’m intimidated. And you’re right about the Karo– that is, ostensibly, why I have it. But my mom’s pie is so good, I just let her make it.

    @ Bellywho- Great idea about the sea salt! I love baths, so I’m totally going to try that!


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