Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Well-Stocked Pantry from Eating Well Magazine

I found this article about a well stocked pantry in Eating Well Magazine. It is, in my opinion, the closest list to the perfect pantry to be able to cook almost anything. My edited version is below. Anything in your pantry should last at least for 3 to six months (some will last even longer). Try to buy smaller sizes so you run out before six months. Your freezer is an important extension to your pantry. Not only should it contain frozen meal size portions of your home cooked foods, but many pantry items below can be portioned and frozen to extend their shelf life (bread is a great example.) I have omitted produce like garlic, onions, ginger, fresh chiles and potatoes. Just know that you need those and they should be replenished regularly. Check out your pantry and see how well you match.

Oils, & Vinegars
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for cooking and salad dressings
  • Canola oil for cooking and baking
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Toasted sesame oil, walnut oil
  • Vinegars: balsamic, red-wine, white-wine, rice-wine, apple cider
  • Kosher salt and coarse sea salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Anchovies
  • Dried herbs: bay leaves, dill, crumbled dried sage, dried thyme leaves, oregano, tarragon, Italian seasoning blend
  • Spices: whole allspice berries, caraway seeds, chili powder, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ground cumin, curry powder, ground ginger, dry mustard, whole nutmeg, paprika, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, turmeric, saffron
  • Lemons, limes, oranges.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Pure maple syrup, grade B
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Asian flavorings: soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, mirin, oyster sauce, chile-garlic sauce, curry paste
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, natural and/or Dutch-processed
  • Bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips
Canned Goods & Bottled Items
  • Canned tomatoes (lots of these, I like Muir Glen and I get diced, whole, crushed some that are fire roasted and some that are not.)
  • Tomato paste, in a tube
  • Chipotles in Adobo
  • Clam juice
  • Canned beans: cannellini beans, garbonzo beans, black beans, red kidney beans
  • Chunk light tuna and salmon
Grains & Legumes
  • Whole-wheat flour and whole-wheat pastry flour
  • All-purpose flour
  • Assorted dried pastas, some whole wheat (in shapes you can't easily make at home)
  • Long grain (for simple rice) and short grain rice (for risottos)
  • Steel cut oats (I like the quick cooking version)
  • Dried lentils
  • Dried cannellini beans
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • Plain dry breadcrumbs
  • Corn Starch
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
Nuts, Seeds & Fruits
  • Walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Coffee beans
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Tahini
  • Assorted dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes, cherries, cranberries, dates, figs, raisins
Refrigerator Basics
  • Good-quality Parmesan cheese and/or Romano cheese
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Cotija cheese, or queso anejo
  • Kalamata olives, green olives
  • Dijon mustard, big jar
  • Butter, unsalted. Store unopened sticks in the freezer.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Capers
  • Ketchup - Try Muir Glen Organic
  • Barbecue sauce - Try to find one without too much sugar
  • Dry white wine.
Freezer Basics
  • Frozen homemade chicken or fish/shrimp stock
  • Fruit-juice concentrates (orange, apple, pineapple)
  • Frozen vegetables: edamame soy beans, peas, spinach, corn
  • Italian sausage, pancetta and sliced prosciutto
  • Good quality breads (e.g. La Brea Bakery) cut into smaller portions
  • Whole boneless chicken breasts, frozen into family size portions
  • Frozen raw shrimp, shell on, 16-20 size
Perishables you should have
  • Non-fat milk
  • Whole milk for some sauces
  • Cream
  • plain yogurt and/or vanilla yogurt.
  • sour cream
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Potatoes
  • Eggs, any size, just by the freshest
  • Blue cheese
  • goat cheese
  • carrots
  • celery
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