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Old 07-11-2018, 01:11 AM   #1
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Must Have Ingredients

This seemed like the logical place to post this thread, please move it if I’m mistaken!

What is your short list of must-have ingredients? And which of them are the most expensive? Let’s stipulate the staples: eggs, bread, milk and the like, and list ingredients that you may find necessary, but others may not.

For me:
Honey $$$
Yogurt $$
Good canned salmon $$$ (nearly as expensive as salmon fillets!)
Cheese $$ (even at the dollar store, block cheese is two bucks or more!)
Extracts $$$ (vanilla, almond)

If I thought about it, or added to the list while I was cooking, the list would be a lot longer! And I’m sure when I see your lists, things will come to me too.


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Old 07-11-2018, 04:52 AM   #2
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Cheese, the type I prefer to eat cost 10- 15 dollar per kilo
Eggs, I prefer free ranges eggs so that is 4.5 dollar per kilo
Flour, 2 dollar per kilo
Strong flour : 3 dollar per kilo.
Onion : 1.4 dollar per kilo.
Potatoes: 1.4 dollar per kilo
Milk: 2 dollar per 1˝ liter
Butter: 9 dollar per kilo.
Rapeseed oil : 3 dollar per liter.
Yeast: 80 cent per double package.
This is what I need to cook so I can keep my tummy filled, as long I have this I have food. Everything is just extra. Well I need salt and spices too.

For the love of Cheese!
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:06 AM   #3
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Cashews $$$$
Tomato Products $
Coconut Milk $$
Chili/ Taco seasoning $
Tofu $$
Vital Wheat Gluten $$$
Frozen Spinach $
Pasta $
Tortilla $
Veg Chopped Meat Product $$$
Liquid smoke $$

Cashews - Bing a vegetarian ( and my wife now being vegan), i need raw cashews to help me achieve a ' cream sauce' - like texture. The cashews, after being soaked then blended with some kind of milk ( soy, almond, coconut) really does a pretty good job at this. They are also often in Indian recipes.

Tomato products - Im sure a lot of people would have this on their list. Things like canned tomatoes, paste I use frequently ( especially after I run out of my fresh supply from the garden. A good percentage of my meals are Italian or red sauced based, so I always keep some in stock ( Italian, Mexican, Indian, Moroccan, soups..)

Coconut Milk - Often used in Asian, Indian and vegetarian dishes, this item has become more prevalent in my must have ingredient list. ( Also adds a creaminess to sauces, primarily Indian and certain asian dishes).

Chili/ Taco Seasoning - Although I have a vast array of herbs and spices, and could surely create my own, I do have several long days where I get home late. These packets allow for a quick Mexican - like meal, whether it be for Tacos, chili, burritos.. I can usually whip up something in 15 minutes to 1/2 hour .

Tofu - Basically for obvious reasons being vegetarian. Stir fries, soups, pressed- seasoned and placed on a panini press for sandwiches, crumbled and seasoned ( with dill, turmeric) the scrambled with onions tomatoes and spinach for a ' mock scrambled eggs', blended to thicken sauces and many other uses

Vital wheat gluten - High gluten flour used to make imitation meat/ protein for vegans. If done right tastes pretty good with a decent consistency. If done wrong, well, not so great

Frozen spinach - Always good to have on hand for multiple dishes. Although I often used fresh from the garden, due to the physical properties of spinach cooking down to nothing, I usually have to supplement to get the amount of post cooked spinach I need for a dish. Spinach pie, Indian Palaak dishes, Spinach - malanga soup, spinach - feta pasta salad

Pasta - The obvious. Used to be a staple item for me, but since my sugar levels were high and my waste line expanding, I have limited the use of pasta, but I still have them stocked for when I go on a pasta binge ( which is in the near future, as the tomatoes start to ripen in the garden and the scent of basil flows from the garden into my kitchen ( and the fact that I just harvested my garlic)

Tortillas ( Corn/ Flour) - Once again for the quick go to meal, burritos, soft tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, mu shu ( i get special ones from the asian store for this), wraps

Veg Chopped Meat products - A staple for many things I cook, always good to have in the house. chili, sloppy joe, taco, burrito, ' meat sauces, lasagna..

Liquid Smoke - Vegetarian things dont girl the same way real meat products do ( due to the abscess of fats that drip when grilled that would enhance the flames), so Ill often marinade or baste with some liquid smoke ( not a lot) but some to help it achieve the ' outside , cooked on a bbq flavor.

These are the ones that come to mind at 4am Im sure there are others. Being vegetarian/ vegan (wife), I need certain things on hand that likely differ from everyone else. They used to be specialty items, but now, the way I have to cook, they are used quite frequently and always need to be fully stocked

Things I always have no matter what ( what I consider the extreme basics) would be potatoes, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, lettuce, lemons, Olive oils, spices, S&P, flour, sugar, corn starch, dried mushrooms, various dried beans and grains, various canned beans, canned corn, vegetable stock, ketchup, mustard, vegan mayo, hot sauces, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, black bean paste, sesame oil, vinegars, It would be a rare day for me not to have any of the above on hand at any given time. ( Im sure I missed a bunc)
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:27 AM   #4
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Olive oil- EVOO and ordinary
flour, cornflour
selection of ingredients such as couscous, farro, bulghur, rice - Italian and basmati
Pasta, sheet, long pasta, short pasta
canned toms, plum, passata (sieved)
dried herbs, spices
baking ingredients,
tuna, canned
frozen meat - ground beef and pork, sausages, cubed meats
frozen fish
frozen veggies, mixed and individual types
fresh fruit, lemons (and squeezy lemon juice)
hot sauces, soy sauce, teriyaki, & other
Red vinegar, white wine vinegar, both types aged and young as well
sugar, cane sugar.
garlic, fresh and powdered
mustard, (French, American, German)
olives, green, black and Taggiasca olives (small and aromatic, from the Italian Riviera), Pesto - classic and other - wine, red and white, brandy, dried pulses of all types -list too long for the purposes of this thread).
This is more or less the kind and style of my store cupboard.

I have a cold room in the basement of out house, which works very well, and where I can store stuff safely. That's next to our wine cellar, which is a purpose built one, and maintains a constant temperature, ideal for the wine and other items that benefit keeping stuff and a constant low temperature. It's also a little museum because it's set up as a small, family cellar, and it dates back decades, when growers would make their own wine for market. We have the press, the de-stalker and crusher, the original barrels for ageing, and a bottling bench. We've never cleared it because it's a little bit of history, and the temperature is ideal for storing stuff. Guess we're lucky.

di reston

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Old 07-11-2018, 06:35 AM   #5
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Is this a "what you always have on hand" query or what you have to have for your planned menu? Being the adventurous eaters that we are, our "must have" ingredients would be for our weekly planned menu. We always have main pantry/refrigerated/freezer staples.

Canned tomatoes
Chipotles in Adobo
Dried chilis
Sushi, jasmine, basmati, arborio, black (forbidden), wild and good old Uncle Ben's rice
Wines for cooking
Dried mushrooms
Several flours we keep in the freezer as well as the King Arthur AP in the pantry
Bob's Redmill grits
Homemade sausages
Chicken thighs and breasts
Pork butt
Herbs and spices (fresh and dried)
Hot sauces
Boxed chicken and beef stock
Empire soup bases
Kimchi base
Several mustards
Several Asian bottled and jarred ingredients
Homemade Worcestershire sauce
Thai curry paste
Dry pasta

Those are probably 3/4 of what we always have on hand.
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:06 AM   #6
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(I'm sure there are many others but that's my main staple, especially since I'm not a huge fan of rice)

Side note...first post! Hello fellow food lovers
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:43 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum, miasong!

I have way too many must have ingredients! Just all those chile peppers I have number a few dozen, but I could whittle it down to maybe 20, if I tried.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:33 AM   #8
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Garlic for sure.
What would be on my list would depend on my financial status. When seriously broke:
  • tamari
  • brown rice
  • sesame seeds
  • carrots
  • onions
  • cabbage
  • eggs
  • some sort of cooking oil or bacon fat
  • salt and pepper
Anything else would depend on what was cheap at the moment.
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:07 PM   #9
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Bread and wine
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Bread and wine
And Thou?

Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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