01 Jan Cooking for Luv Ingredient Staples
Cooking for Luv Ingredient Staples
There are a few things that I keep constantly stocked in my kitchen, no matter what the meal is I always seem to use some combination of them in every cooking session.
Morton’s Kosher Salt
A little salt can elevate and intensify all the flavors in a dish. I prefer Kosher Salt over your garden variety table salt for a few reasons. Mainly, I find it much hard to over-salt something when using kosher salt (a pinch of the larger granule kosher salt has a lot less salt than a pinch of table salt). Also, I am not one who uses measuring spoons often so kosher salt’s coarseness makes it easier to pinch. Finally, it is less refined, less processed than table salt. Morton’s is my favorite because of the size of the crystals.
Black Pepper Grinder
Adds a little kick and spice without overpowering other flavors, pepper is a great addition to finish off a dish. The finely ground spice jars are fine, but a pepper grinder gives a more intense and fresh flavor. You can use a one-time grinder from the grocery store (Trader Joe’s has some fun ones) or purchase a nice refillable one.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Heart Healthy, full of flavor, and extremely versatile, EVOO is used daily in my kitchen. Great for dressings, roasting, sauces, sauteeing, frying… the list goes on and on! Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both have store brands that are great quality and have a great price point for everyday use.
I love garlic. Raw (although we’ll stay away from that for date cooking!), sauteed, roasted, a clove or an entire head…it is an extremely versatile ingredient that adds amazing flavor to a wide variety of dishes. If you don’t cook often, you can keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge (seems to last forever!), but fresh cloves deliver the best kick.
After salt and pepper, lemon is the mos commonly used flavoring ingredient in cooking. When something doesn’t quite have the punch you would like, it’s usually salt or acid that is missing! I also love to zest the rind for a pretty garnish or an added layer of flavor.
Carmelized, sliced razor thin and raw, grilled, minced, frizzled, stuffed, roasted…the possibilities are endless. Use as a star component or a subtle building block for any dish.