A Few Of My Favourite Things

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A chef once told me that a meal is only as good as the ingredients that go into it, and I’ve always kept that thought close when cooking. It’s really important for me to have a good stock of quality items in my cupboards and fridge in order to effortlessly create tasty food. Here are some of my fave essentials in no particular order:

– organic unsalted butter, the beginning of so many delicious dishes

– 100% cocoa powder, or better yet raw cacao. It’s fabulous to always have on hand to ensure cakes and brownies are never far away if desired

– vanilla bean extract, as above. Very important to buy extract and not essence, organic if possible as it contains more of the good stuff

– unrefined muscavado sugar, perfect for adding a touch of sweetness. A tablespoonful is often all that’s needed in a cake that will be serving 6

– coconut flour, my newest friend in the kitchen. A versatile alternative to grain based flours, opening up doors for making bread, pancakes, etc

– tinned coconut milk, for use in both sweet and savoury dishes. It’s important to find one that’s just coconut and water otherwise it can be loaded with E numbers and unnecessary extra ingredients

– coconut oil, I use this every day in my coffee and most days when cooking, again in sweet and savoury dishes alike, also for greasing purposes

– organic tomato purée, a little goes a long way in stews and casseroles

– balsamic vinegar, a staple in many of my slow cooked recipes

– anchovy paste, one of my secret ingredients. Awesome for coating red meat to give it an amazing flavour

– cider vinegar, bought from our farmers market it’s true local produce

– tamarind paste, from the international shop near us. This is a must for cooking curries from scratch. International shops are a goldmine for many obscure ingredients that would cost a fortune in a supermarket or health food shop

– tamari, wheat free soya sauce

– hazelnut & almond butters, a delightful alternative to the peanut variety

– organic forest honey, totally delicious natural sweetener from bees that have not been fed sugar and antibiotics

– Thai fish sauce (nam pla), the tangy, salty base of most of my oriental dishes

 

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