Tuesday, September 21, 2010

These are a few of my favortie things...

I think everyone who cooks has a few staples in their kitchen that they just can't live without. Things that they use over and over and always replace when they run out. Growing up it was always parmesean cheese, the grated kind that comes in a can. I could not get enough of it, and I put it on EVERYTHING! Since then my tastes have evolved (though there is still always parmesean cheese in my fridge, it's now freshly grated), but there are still some things in my kitchen that I love and find myself using over and over. I thought I would compile a list of my top five condiments for the vegetarian kitchen and share it with you. This will be the first in a series of "favorites" posts. Hopefully you'll find some of your favorite things here too, but if not feel free to leave some comments with your favorite kitchen staples!

1. Colgin's Liquid Smoke: This is an excellent staple to have around! I use it in sauces, marinades and soups a lot, and especially when converting a non-vegetarian recipe to something vegetarian. It's great to give that smoky flavor to a vegetarian split pea soup, or to add that "just out of the smoker" flavor to portabello mushroom burgers.

2. Dynasty Thai Chili Garlic Paste: this is one of my new favorites! It has only been in my fridge a few months and it is already almost needing to be replaced! Used in a lot of Asian recipes, it is a great staple to spice up any recipe a bit more! Be careful though, a little goes a LONG way. Two teaspoons of this stuff gives you about the spiciness of a can of diced green chilies, so I use it when I don't have diced green chilies and don't want to run to the store.

3. Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Though this one is mostly consumed with bits of bread and crackers as a snack (because I cannot resist is red-peppery goodness) I have used it for a number of things. It is an excellent sandwich spread, and it does wonders to pasta sauces, adding both flavor and protein. Any hummus is good, but this particular brand is my favorite! So glad are local grocery store finally started carrying it!

4. Spice World Minced Garlic: Okay, this one should go without saying... recipe after recipe uses garlic and sometimes you just don't want to go through the trouble of peeling and mincing one clove of garlic. I get the 24 oz size I think. I know it looks like a lot, but if you cook regularly you will use it up in no time! You do lose a little of the garlic flavor, so if you are making something where Garlic is the star flavor you'll want to get it fresh.

5. Jack Daniels Original No. 7 Barbecue Sauce: This is the only barbecue sauce we ever have around the house, as the hubby is quite particular about his barbecue sauce. This is an essential for wonderful marinades in the summer, great as a sandwich spread, and delightful in soups! It is an essential ingredient in my favorite black bean soup!

These are just a few of my favorite things! If you watch for them in my recipes you will see that they recur quite frequently! Remember to comment with some of you favorites. Who knows, they might be seen in a recipe later. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I love the #1 & #5. Oh, and #4, because it is so much better than dried garlic. Yummy!