Friday, June 10, 2011

Pantry, Fridge and Freezer Staples

One important aspect of being able to cook frequently and quickly is to keep several go-to items on hand. Here is my essential list. If I run out of any of these items throughout the week, I add it to my grocery list. Then, even if I'm not planning to use it that week, I buy it anyway so that I'll always have what I need to make a quick lunch or dinner (or dessert, or side). I generally grocery shop each week for these items (when I'm out of something) and also buy fresh proteins, fruits and veggies to use through the week. Your list will probably change a bit over time but hopefully this is a good starting point. Let me know in the comments if I've left anything out!

  • eggs
  • milk
  • lemons
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • large block of Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese - the expensive stuff
  • jalapenos - fresh and pickled
  • chicken base - to make chicken broth
  • Sriacha sauce
  • Dijon mustard
  • mayo
  • anchovy paste
  • soy sauce
  • blocks of cheddar, jack and mozzarella
  • Romaine or green leaf lettuce
  • fresh parsley
  • unsweetened chocolate squares
  • olive oil - I buy this in bulk and use a spout bottle to pour from
  • kosher salt
  • sea salt
  • peppercorns and a grinder
  • garlic
  • onions
  • several shapes of pasta - I like the Whole Grain variety
  • organic, crushed tomatoes
  • diced tomatoes
  • whole, peeled tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • black beans
  • breadcrumbs
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • croutons
  • white rice - Texmati is my favorite
  • brown rice
  • grits
  • Rapid Rise yeast
  • unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • whole wheat flour
  • granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • chocolate chips and peanut butter chips
  • cornmeal
  • honey
  • balsamic vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • spices - cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, bay leaves, oregano, garlic salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne are my must-haves
    • whole wheat tortillas - use wax paper to separate them before freezing
    • bacon - with portions of 4-5 pieces rolled into a ziploc
    • boneless, skinless chicken breasts - frozen in ziploc packs of 2
    • bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts - frozen in packs of 2
    • cooked ground meat - I cook off the leftovers from a package and freeze small portions
    • pepperoni - usually turkey

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