Nowadays most of us don’t have a larder. We have kitchen presses or cabinets or cupboards. Whatever you choose to call them, their main purpose is to stock food. The kind of food you choose to store in them is very important. If they are brimming over with tv dinners, Cuppa Soups and Pot Noodle, then you’ll probably always have something to eat, but it won’t be nutritious, tasty or varied.
I like to keep the presses well stocked with products that can be thrown together in various combinations to cook or bake tasty, reasonably healthy and, above all, adaptable meals and snacks.
If you happened to call to my house and have a root through the cupboards and the fridge, it is quite likely you’d find a selection of the following in there:
In The Press
Tinned tomatoes (for soups and sauces)
Tinned cannelini beans, lentils and chickpeas (for soups, casseroles and curries)
Dried herbs (e. g. oregano, bay leaf, thyme) and spices (cayenne pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, cloves)
Olive oil (for dressings, flavoursome marinades and for drizzling)
Sunflower oil (for frying and baking)
Olives (for tapenades, savoury baking, adding to sauces, or for snacking on)
Tomato puree (gives solour as well as depth of flavour to dishes)
Nuts for crunch and flavour (e.g. pine nuts, almonds, walnuts)
In The Fridge
Bacon (rashers or lardons)
Anchovies (for dressings, sauces and tapenades as well as pizzas)
Capers (ideal for fish dishes or sauces with anchovies and olives)
Butter (for baking and sometimes for frying)
Eggs (a great all rounder – quiche, omlette, fried eggs, boiled eggs, for baking, for binding, for glazing…the list is endless)
Milk (for rice pudding, custard, bechemel sauce, hot chocolate)
On the windowsill or in the garden
With a good selection of tins, jars, some herbs, spices and a few chilled basics in the fridge there’s a huge range of dishes to cook. Throw in some fresh veg, meat or fish and there is no end to the meals you can make.
How do you ike to stock your kitchen cupboards?