One of the reasons I haven't blogged was because I was eating things like Soft Shell Crab Po-Boys at Mother's and this Banana Cream Pie at Emeril's in New Orleans this weekend.
You can be jealous. It's alright. It happens sometimes.
Today I am going to share with you not a recipe, but a list. A list of fooding items that are important to me, and items that I think are important for everyone to have available at all times. This list will not be exclusive. As I type this, I'm not even sure what I will put on this list, maybe fooding tools, fooding foods, fooding techniques. Who knows, I'm just gonna let the creative juices flow... Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee....
I'd also like to hear what you find important in your kitchen. Whether you read my blog for the commentary or the recipes, you love to cook or hate it, I know you do it at some point. Do you love your microwave because it heats the only things you know how to cook - hot pockets? Do you love your $45, 8oz jar of specialty curry powder you can only get by ordering it from across the globe? Let me know. Because I'm nosy like that. Don't mind me.
I've got about 20 of these, so I'm gonna give you the first 10 now, and another 10 later. And no, I don't really have any reason for doing that.
So let's go:
- Fresh Garlic: Nothing can replace the power of fresh garlic. Think it's too potent and sometimes bitter tasting? Do whatever you want to garlic, but don't burn it. Cause nothing likes to be burnt, and garlic will let you know. Don't like how your hands smell after peeling and chopping a whole bunch? Get one of those chopper things or wear gloves. But the more you eat it, the more you'll love it, and the more bitter finger tips won't bother you. (It's also nothing a little lemon won't cure). Do what you need to do, but use fresh garlic 98% of the time.
- Real Butter: If you don't want to butter your toast with it fine. But if your baking or sauteing, just do it. Just do it. It'll be okay.
- Good Quality Olive Oil: Taste it alone. If you don't like how it tastes by itself, don't use it. Ever.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Basically it comes down to this. Real vanilla extract is alcohol soaked vanilla beans. The fake stuff is alcohol soaked wood that contains Vanillin. Vanillin is chemical treated to mimic the taste of vanilla. Now that you know, it's your choice. Plus, the real stuff tastes sooo good.
- A Good Knife: I received a pair of Shun's which have become invaluable in my kitchen. Unless you are doing some insane stuff in your house, you probably only need one or two. But trust me, when you can slice through a soft tomato without blinking, you'll understand. Oh yeah, and keep it sharpened.
- Cheese: I like good cheese. Expense cheese. Cheese from all over the place. But what do I keep in stock at all times? Parmesan, Mozzarella, and some form of Cheddar or Pepperjack. I'm not talking about the pre-shredded stuff here people. Go invest in a nice chunk of Parmesan. It'll last you a really long time and a little of the real stuff goes a long way. Mozzarella and Cheddar can be used in almost anything. Plus, I sort of have this little rule that everything tastes good with cheese on it.
- Homemade Tomato Gravy: If I don't have any stored in my freezer, I feel like we are out of food. Pasta, Sandwiches, Pizza, the possibilities are endless. Always good to have on hand for a quick backup dinner.
- Microwave: If anything, for those times I want to make dessert, but fail to take my unsalted butter out of the freezer in time to thaw.
- Soy Sauce: A dressing, a sauce, a marinade, a seasoning.
- Wine: Because you need to stay hydrated while you cook. And your recipe my call for a splash or two anyway.