For now, some of my favorite things to have in the kitchen…
Numero uno; the big kahuna; the single most important thing in your kitchen – Kosher salt. If you’re still cooking with Morton’s iodized salt you need to stop reading right now and go to the store and buy some Kosher salt. No questions – just do it. It seasons more evenly, dissolves easier… why am I even explaining – this one isn’t negotiable.
Scallions are my number one dish finisher. I keep at least one bunch of them in the fridge at all times. Along with yellow onions, they are one of the only things I buy every single time I’m at the store. They go great on top of everything and anything and you can use the whites like something between garlic and onions.
Pickled vegetables. You can “pickle” almost any of your leftover vegetables that you’re afraid you might not have time to use up and you’ll extend their life by about 4x. I use quotes on “pickled” because they’re really just vinegarded the way I do em but you could really pickle them too if you want some serious sour and some seriously healthy stuff. They’re a great easy way to add crunch and some nice acidic flavor.
Roasted garlic/garlic “confit”. If you have extra garlic, wrap it in foil, cover it in olive oil, seal it, toss it in the overn at 400 for about an hour, and then spread it all over every and anything you can get your hands on. And it keeps.
Cured meats. If you eat meat, you should always have some cured meats around. Especially the porky ones. Fatty pork (which most all cured products are) freezes really well because the fat never quite fully hardens. Because of that, it’s easy to just keep a hunk of bacon or pancetta always at the ready. It provides an extra depth that you just can’t get from anything else. Keep a slab of unsliced bacon in the freezer and you can just trim off hunks as necessary or slice off a few bits to fry up when you need a salty meat snack. I keep a slab of bacon and a nice hunk of guanciale in the freezer at all times. That way I can choose between smokey fatty pig or unsmoked, air-dried fatty pig depending on the dish.
Hot sauce. I love it. Frank’s is my favorite. The end.
More to come… I’m going to keep adding to this page so be sure to check back.