If you’re like me, you need variety of meals to keep yourself interested in eating healthy foods. Though I do have a handful of go-to dishes, often times it’s trying new things that keeps me inspired in the kitchen. Whether it’s something I’m putting together on the fly or a recipe from a cookbook that I am following meticulously, nothing throws a wrench in the plans like a missing ingredient. There are good resources like this one for figuring out ingredient substitutions, but it’s always a good feeling to be stocked up.
I’ve often asked Chef Brian what the ingredients for a proper pantry should be and he provided a list of the things he has in his house–an array of ingredients that help him whip up almost anything he can think of.
Note that necessities are marked with an asterisk.
Salt*; Sea salt; Smoked salt; Pepper*; Allspice; Anise seed; Caraway seed; Cardamom; Cayenne pepper*; Celery seed; Cinnamon*; Chili powder; Ancho chile powder; Chipotle chile powder; Cloves; Coriander*; Crushed Red Pepper*; Cumin*; (Madras) Curry powder*; Fennel seed*; File powder (for gumbo); Garlic powder*; Ginger*; Liquid smoke; Mustard powder*; Nutmeg; Old Bay seasoning; Onion powder*; Dry oregano*; Paprika*; Sweet paprika*; Smoked Paprika*; (Dry) Rosemary; Saffron; Star anise; Dry Thyme; Turmeric
Baking powder*; Baking soda*; Cocoa powder*; Flour*; Powdered sugar; Semolina flour; Sugar*; Vanilla extract*
Bread crumbs; Panko bread crumbs*; Tabasco sauce
Almonds; Peanuts; Pine Nuts
Grains and starches
Arborio (risotto) rice; Basmati rice; Black lentils; Cous cous; Jasmine rice* (multi-purpose); Polenta; Sushi rice; Wild rice
Apple cider vinegar*; Balsamic vinegar*; Champagne vinegar*; Red wine vinegar*; Sherry vinegar*; White balsamic vinegar; White wine vinegar
Fish sauce*; Green curry paste; Mirin*; Oyster sauce; Red curry paste; Rice vinegar*; Sesame oil; Soy sauce*; Sriracha*; Sweet chili sauce; Ume (plum) vinegar
Cheap red wine*; Cheap white wine*; Marsala; Plum wine; Port