THE PANTRY

I do not have a walk-in larder. But I have a walk-in kitchen with restricted cupboard space so I make-do with the bare essentials.

Here’s my pantry survival kit:

photo(7)CUPBOARDS

• coarse sea salt (a bit obvious I know – you can choose to put some in the grinder for a finer mill, or keep coarse for roasties)

• olive oil (it’s often recommended to use Extra Virgin olive oil for dressing, ‘normal’ for cooking, or even Rapeseed Oil for frying. However my weekly food budget and lack of storage space simply do not allow for such extravagances. One of them does the job fine)

• tomato puree (for pretty much anything, and more)

• Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (not-so-secret weapon to give anything that ‘lift’)

• a tin of anchovies (you’re probably pulling a face right now but the fact they dissolve completely in hot stock makes them THE ultimate secret weapon for hearty meaty winter stews –and what else would you chuck in otherwise dull pasta when the fridge is empty? With a dash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, your soul will be grateful)

• chicken stock cubes (I fully understand the benefits of homemade chicken stock of course, but until they add more hours to the day, I’ll keep a stash of Kallo stock cubes handy)

• tinned tomatoes (the list of possibilities is endless)

• dried herbs & spices (I would edit the list down to mixed herbes de Provence, bay leaves, chilli flakes, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, ground ginger, cloves. Anything extra is a bonus of course)

FRIDGE

• Dijon mustard (as a born and bred Dijonnaise, of course I will recommend the one and only Maille Dijon mustard. Both wholegrain and original are in my fridge)

• lemons (always)

• eggs (you’ll never go to bed hungry if you have eggs in the house)

• cream (I’m French)

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