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Store cupboard essentials

The more I cook from scratch at home, the more I realise the benefits of a good store cupboard.  This way it's only the protein and veggies/fruit I need to think about.

My starter cupboard list is: Olive oil, garlic salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, chillies, ginger, crushed garlic, onions, curry powder, stock cubes/powders, rice, cous cous, coconut milk, worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, bay leaves.

And good to have is: Tinned chopped tomatoes, passatta, tuna, flour, lentils, lemons, dried tarragon, dried oregano and dried coriander, borlotti beans, star anise, ground mixed spice, oats, dark brown sugar.

Anyone got any other versatile suggestions that keep for ever?

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We have pasta as a staple, also dried noodles, bread and other flour, soy sauce (dark and light), vinegar, sesame and sunflower oil, pickled onions and chutney.

Celery salt. Makes all vegetables just that bit nicer.

Groundnut and/or sunflower oil, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, balsamic gaze, tinned chick peas, dried black beans, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, crystallised ginger, malt extract, honey, yeast (easy-blend and/or active), desiccated coconut, coconut oil, olives (we like Crespo olives in yellow packets rather than the ones in jars or tins), olive oil spray, rice vinegar, salt, sea salt, caster sugar, icing sugar, granulated sugar, anchovies, egg noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles, pasta, arborio or carnaroli rice, brown basmati rice, white basmati rice, chocolate chips (white, milk and plain), dark chocolate, sourdough starter.

Eggs don't technically keep for ever, but they keep long enough that I consider them to be a store-cupboard item.

And then the spices: cumin seed, coriander seed, fennel seed, caraway seed, cayenne pepper, green cardamoms, paprika, smoked paprika, asafoetida, cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon, nigella seed, turmeric, saffron, cloves, nutmeg, mace, white mustard seed, black mustard seed, fenugreek.

And I would break down flour into: plain white flour, plain wholemeal flour, strong white flour, extra-strong white flour, strong wholemeal flour and rye flour. (Don't need self-raising; that's why I have baking powder.) But I bake a lot.

Personally, I don't bother with dried coriander, which I don't find to hold its flavour well when dried. I either use fresh or do without.


Edited at 2014-06-18 05:46 am (UTC)

We tend to keep around a fair amount of tinned beans (various types), tinned chickpeas, tinned lentils. They're still pretty cheap and last ages, but they're a lot easier to just use at short notice than stuff that needs soaking.

We keep one tin each of chick peas and kidney beans for emergencies. But I have vast arrays of dried pulses in the cupboard.

I keep bottles of concentrated stock rather than cubes or powders, I find it more versatile. In the same vein I usually have curry pastes rather than powders.

Fino and cream sherry, bottled lemon and lime juice, light and dark soy, oregano, cumin, strong maple syrup or honey, cocoa, peanut butter, marmite, sweet chilli sauce.

Tabasco, Henderson's or Lea and Perrins, tube tomato paste, some dried fruit, nuts, dill pickles.

In the Life's Little Luxuries section - truffle oil or puree, rose syrup, pomegranate molasses, flavoured crystal salt, smoked garlic, wild rice, asafoetida.


Vermouth for risotto! Ginger wine - lovely in a beef casserole. Tamari, fish sauce, oyster sauce, star anise (put it in a plum crumble or a chocolate cake), various seeds (nice for breadmaking), good quality chocolate drops for baking.

Always fresh ginger and garlic.

I like to have emergency party nibbles -nice jar /tin olives, dolmades, a slab of feta in the back of the fridge, some frozen prawns in the freezer, decent tins of three bean salad, some nice crackers and a jar of garlic mayonnaise,

I keep garlic and ginger cubes in the top of the freezer.

My secret ingredient is smoked paprika and I will be restocking with cheap saffron when I go to Budapest with Roger later this year.


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