The Essential Grocery List
Does anyone have a short-list of their grocery essentials --13 or so items that they must have in their house to cook?
I don't mean like cereal and milk and bread, b/c those things are super basic and you don't cook those. I mean more like certain vegetables, meats, and such that are the cornerstone of your recipes.
A few that I always have around.
Dried mushrooms. I buy these by the gallon
Heavy whipping cream
Romano or Parmesan cheese. Generally Pecorino Romano.
EVOO, again by the gallon + higher quality in smaller quantities.
Good aged balsamic vinegar. Goes with good olive oil.
Multiple types of pasta
Bacon - as much for flavoring as eating.
Your best bet is to base your list of essentials on what you cook.
If you don't eat pork or hate mushrooms, it does you little good to know that I always have both on my list.
Your shopping list should be based on how you cook and what you cook. Whatever you use every week, over and over, that's your list.
Beans & Lentils
Garlic & Ginger
various types of cheeses
Oil / EVOO
Fresh and dried herbs
Bacon - cooking and seasoning
Pantry-safe Milk (Milk in boxes)
I can make several dishes out of these ingredients on their own. I have a good variety of seasonings and cooking wines on hand. Sugar, flour and yeast are always available. Of course, Frank ensures we always have bread.
Some things I can make out of those ingredients are salmon cakes, scrumptious pasta with clam sauce, a very passable French onion soup, a yummy carbonara pasta, several egg dishes, several pasta sauces, some custards, rice pudding (with sugar from the pantry, quiche (with help from the pantry), etc. Really, I could keep going. :)
Celery, onions and carrots.
Chicken leg quarters.
Pork (chops and/or a large roast that can be cut into various size pieces)
Cream of Mushroom soup
Assorted frozen vegetables (and some canned and fresh)
this could be my list. although not to many canned vegs. as a rule except tomatoes in various forms.two great minds!
Rehydrated use as any other mushroom. Takes about an hour in warm water .
I use them chopped finely chopped dried as a thickener in sauces. Good flavor, and absorb a lot of excess liquid.
From the ingredients above, a quick and easy creme sauce.
Heat cream to just under boil.
Add freshly grated Romano, stirring
Dash of Sherry (don't overdo this)
Fresh garlic (another of my staples)
Dash of mixed cinnamon and cloves (I prefer freshly ground) I grind it and keep it in a mortar and pestle.
Pepper to taste.
Reconstituted mushrooms. Add near the end.
Pretty much a quick Alfredo. Works with most meats, pastas, shrimp. Alter to your taste and ingredient list.
Seafood cream chowder, stew, etc.
Add a quart or so of whole milk
Dill to taste.
To the above add onions, potatoes, celery, bell peppers, etc. Cook till potatoes are al dente.
Add cooked bacon (1 or two slices ) crumbled, shrimp, scallops, FIRM fish, lobster, 2 or 3 small cans chopped clams w/juice if desired. Any combination of seafood will work.
Seafood should be firm but not overcooked.
I don't measure ingredients, and so cannot give you exact measurements, but they don't matter much anyway. To taste works. Careful with salt in seafood dishes. I seldom add any.
I agree with Andy. Your style of cooking should dictate what you need in the kitchen. My list above presumes the normal staples, and reflect my style.
onion, celery, carrots, canned tomatoes, potatoes, frozen peas, butter, bacon, frozen shrimp, Dijon mustard, white and red wine, eggs, cheese of some kind, lentils.
15 basic items other than bread milk and toilette paper! To which should be added some cereal, pasta, beans, etc.
Here is my list
Pork Belly slices
fresh and canned tomatoes
tomatoes ( canned / fresh)
pasta (spaghetti, linguini, rigatoni)
beans ( kidney, pink, chickpeas)
soy sauce ( hoisin sauce, veg oyster sauce, sesame oil)
salsa (sofrito, verde)
cheese ( american, monery jack, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan)
soup stock ( frozen, canned or powdered)
basic basics, always on hand %100 ( dried spices basil, oregano, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic powder, chili powder), flour, sugar, salt, oil ( veg, olive),vinegar, eggs, wine ( white,red,rice)
I use lots of tomatoes, but I can/freeze my own, so they weren't on my shopping list. Same thing for corn and green beans and asparagus.
I think lists like this are too personal to really help anyone else because every family had different tastes. Still, they're interesting to look at. I cook mostly from scratch (not things like yogurt, crackers, for example). Here is what I can think of off of the top of my head.
Spicy pepper paste
Dried beans and peas
Flours of different variety
Various Fruit - whatever's in season
Herbs and spices
With these ingredients I can make just about anything I would need to, but it is FAR from a fair representation of my very extensive pantry. I can or dehydrate what I'm able to from my garden in the summer.
What I also find interesting is the general lack of pre-packaged things..(stuffing mix, instant potatoes, "helpers" etc). I think that is pretty impressive
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