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Old 02-10-2005, 06:22 PM   #1
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what "ingredients"/ cooking staples do you make?

I couldn't think of a good subject header but here's what I'm wondering about ...

...things you routinely make/cook that are specifically made to be used as ingredients in other cooking - you make them yourself and always keep them on hand. b/c they're so useful and versatile for the cooking you do. In your mind. they're as basic to your cooking as salt - they're something your kitchen should never be without. Even if its possible to buy it, you personally would never do so - you always make it yourself.

Here's my contribution -
> homemade chicken stock
> homemade tomato sauce (vegetarian)
> roasted garlic
> spice blends (usually Indian style - aka "masalas")
> pesto
> "gomashio" - a blend of toasted sesame seeds and sea salt

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Old 02-10-2005, 08:20 PM   #2
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DEFINATELY pesto

I usually have on hand a spice blend for my beer butt chicken because I make so many of them

I usually have fresh roasted red peppers on hand - they are good in soups, salads, or just on pasta with olive oil, white wine, garlic, and water-packed mozzarella
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:05 AM   #3
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I've never had pesto.

Kitchen..........tell me more about your beer butt chicken.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
I've never had pesto.
You should really try it...very easy and versatile.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:20 AM   #5
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Its just like fresh herbs put in a food processor and you drizzle in EVOO right?
What do you do with it after you make it?
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:22 AM   #6
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I make a marinara sauce and freeze the extra for future use. I also make Paula Deans House Seasoning Blend and keep it within hands reach.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
Its just like fresh herbs put in a food processor and you drizzle in EVOO right?
What do you do with it after you make it?
Kinda on the right track...here is my Pesto For Beginners recipe:

4 0z pine nuts
2 tablespoons minced garlic(more or less to taste)
1/2 cup olive oil(more or less to taste)
1/2 cup finely chopped basil(more for thicker pesto)
1/4 cup red wine (or to taste)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Add all items minus parmesan and olive oil. Start processor.

Slowly alternate adding parm and olive oil until well blended and thickened.

Also...for the first time, until you get used to it , Knorr(soup company) has a dry pesto, that as you add oil to on low heat is very easy to use.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:55 AM   #8
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something else that would be a first for me would be pine nuts........do you toast these first?
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:02 AM   #9
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You can toast them if you want...probably open up a few new avenues for ya, taste wise. If you were to toast them...season em' anyway ya want.

Seriously, the knorr's pesto isn't too bad if you need an introduction!!!
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:13 AM   #10
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Here is what I like to make:

Basic Pesto
Jalapeno pesto
roasted garlic
Salsa
gravies
Italian herb blend
Garlic herb butter
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:25 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tip Erik on the Knorrs.........I'll have to look for that one. Where in the store will I find it?
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
Thanks for the tip Erik on the Knorrs.........I'll have to look for that one. Where in the store will I find it?
I think usually in the dry seasoning packet area...near the criminally wrong gravy mixes, and by like the taco seasoning.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:32 AM   #13
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[quote="Erik...near the criminally wrong gravy mixes, [/quote]

You got THAT right!!!!!
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:33 AM   #14
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Thanks for all your help Erik!

By the way are you near Pickney, Jackson, Ann Arbor, or Gregory Michigan? Just curious I have 3 brothers living up there in MI.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:36 AM   #15
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I'm in New Buffalo...just a stones throw away from Indiana (2 miles) right on Lake Michigan.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:46 AM   #16
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quite a ways from them your lucky though cause your right close to Chicago......I love going there although I haven't been for awhile. Went there one for The Taste of Chicago.........that was a blast.
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Old 02-11-2005, 04:11 AM   #17
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the things i ALWAYS make from scratch, nomatter what?
marinara sauce and meatballs, hollandaise, alfredo, cheese sauce, marinades, beef stock, and brown sauce. pretty much any sauce except pesto.
but i don't don't see any problem with taking some help sometimes with certain foods. i'll buy certain things some of the time but make at other times. these foods include butter, black bean soup, chicken broth/stock, bread, spinach fettucini and spinach ravioli, salsas, mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, and other stuff like that.
i made beef jerky once, and my boyfriend made lots of venison jerky not so very long ago, and so i think i might see if he wants to get together and start trying out new recipes. i'm also planning on making fruit leather and cheese, starting with ricotta.
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Old 02-11-2005, 04:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
Thanks for the tip Erik on the Knorrs.........I'll have to look for that one. Where in the store will I find it?
i get mine either in the produce section near the jars of roasted red peppers and the fresh garlic and shallots, or on the spaghetti sauce aisle.
it's really good, sizz, you should try it, homemade or jar, both are tasty.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:21 AM   #19
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[/quote] I think usually in the dry seasoning packet area...near the criminally wrong gravy mixes, and by like the taco seasoning.[/quote]

If you want to try some really good instant gravy....

Try your local British store, or Indian store and look for either 'Bisto' or 'Oxo' brand instant gravy granules (NOT stock cubes, the gravy granules come in big round tubs). They usually come in 3 types: beef, chicken or turkey gravy and you just add boiling water to about 2 tablespoons of gravy granules and stir, and voila, really rich, very tasty, delicious gravy (nothing like the stuff you get here in the USA, bland and tasteless and the thickness of wallpaper paste - yuck!). Add more or less water for thicker/thinner gravy. I often add my meat juices and maybe some red wine for extra flavour too. The beef gravy is particularly good if you've roasted some lamb wrapped tightly in foil with red wine and rosemary, and then you add the lovely winey-rosemary meat juices from the pan to the gravy. Totally delicious, and so easy. You can also add the gravy granules to pies, stews etc., to thicken and add flavour. It's one of those inventions that I still can't believe is not readily available over here too...

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Old 02-11-2005, 10:04 PM   #20
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Lots of stock ... chicken mostly, but also my own "all but the kitchen sink" stock (in other words, a bag I keep in the freezer where I toss in a bone of this, a bit of that, and many leftover hot wings), and occaisionally, when I'm feeling ambitious and flush (anyone notice it's cheaper to buy a good steak than make a truly, truly great beef stock?) beef stock. Oh, roasted vegetable stock. Oh, grilled vegetable stock.

Always make my tomato sauce from scratch (if you consider using canned tomatoes from scratch), and always make it vegetarian, because I can always add meat of choice later.

pesto. I've recently experimented with different types of nuts, and really like pistachios!! I like toasted pine nuts best, but think that un-toasted (I hate to use that, but am not sure that if when you buy them they are raw) is more traditional. Also used walnuts. All are good. Just had some from the freezer last night! What a taste of summer!!

An oddity. I make up dressings that are semi mine, semi packaged. Good Seasons Italian -- but with a great vinegar and super olive oil, and probably a crushed clove of garlic in the bottom of the bottle. Ranch dressing mix, but with some yogurt and in season, super fresh herbs to make it mine. But I'm getting off subject!!
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