Emerald’s Top 10 Kitchen Essentials
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.
- Garlic. I eat insane amounts of garlic. Food tastes bland to me without it.
- 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.
- Fresh-ground pepper. We got a pepper mill as a wedding gift and I loves to grind me some pepper. On everything.
- Red pepper flakes.
- Cumin. I cook lots of Indian and Mexican, and cumin really makes the flavor authentic.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Olive oil. Yummy and good-for you.
- 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!