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What foods/ingredients must I always have on hand?

cheessus

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I love to cook, but as a 2L, I rarely have the time. However, I do try to make 3-4 meals each week, and do spend a lot of time on the weekends experimenting with new recipes. However, I don't have much time to go to the store and everything I get is at Safeway (until my car gets fixed). So I was wondering what should I always have in my fridge/pantry to make a wide variety of dishes?

Generally, I always have some pasta, a 20lb bag of jasmine rice, a sack of potatoes, frozen peas, and at least 2lbs of chicken breast. I naturally would like food that could last at least 2 weeks in the fridge.
 

holymadness

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What's a 2L? And good question. I cook almost every night of the week, but I find I get bogged down in the same few dishes because specialty ingredients don't get used enough before spoiling.

Help us, kwilk!
 

cheessus

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Second year law student. My life sucks.
 

lpresq

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Olive Oil
Eggs
Bread
Frozen Vegetables
Onions
Chicken Breast
Linguine
Pasta Sauce
Tortillas

Condiments:
Chicken and Beef Boulion Cubes
Garlic
Itailian seasoning
S & P
Sirachi Sauce
BBQ Sauce
Soy Sauce

This is a very basic and inexpensive list, but it gives you a variety of options. For ex., you could make soups, stir-frys/lo mein, as well as red pasta dishes. In addition, chicken gives you a great base to create simple dishes: Seared, Baked, BBQ, Fajitas, Wraps, Philly Chicken Sand., Chicken Salad......
 

SField

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This basic list will allow you to make most dishes you could ever want. Always keep these in the house. Most of them keep for some time. Simply add a protein and other veg. I broke them into types. Any self respecting cook will have all of these.

Onions/shallots/garlic/scallions
Celery
Carrots
Mushrooms
Lemons
Chillis
Whole ginger
Butter
Beef stock/Chicken stock/Veg stock/Fish stock
Cream
Fresh rosemary (keeps well in the fridge)/basil/thyme/oregano/cilantro/parsley/bay/dill
Romaine lettuce/arrugula
Fleur de sel/Sea salt
Good pepper//Cayenne
Paprika/Cumin seeds/Turmeric/Coriander/Fenugreek/Cinnemon/Nutmeg/Cloves
Great olive oil/Canola oil/Sesame oil/Truffle oil
Vinegar: Rice/Balsamic
Eggs
Good cheese: parmesan/sharp cheddar/mozzarella/camembert/a good blue cheese
Tomatoes/paste/crushed/whole plum/heirloom/cherry
Dried pasta/spaghetti/penne/lasagna
French bread
 

feynmix

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Originally Posted by SField
This basic list will allow you to make most dishes you could ever want. Always keep these in the house. Most of them keep for some time. Simply add a protein and other veg. I broke them into types. Any self respecting cook will have all of these. Onions/shallots/garlic/scallions Celery Carrots Mushrooms Lemons Chillis Whole ginger Butter Cream Fresh rosemary (keeps well in the fridge)/basil/thyme/oregano/cilantro/parsley/bay/dill Romaine lettuce/arrugula Fleur de sel/Sea salt Good pepper//Cayenne Paprika/Cumin seeds/Turmeric/Coriander/Fenugreek/Cinnemon/Nutmeg/Cloves Great olive oil/Canola oil/Sesame oil/Truffle oil Vinegar: Rice/Balsamic Eggs Good cheese: parmesan/sharp cheddar/mozzarella/camembert/a good blue cheese Tomatoes/paste/crushed/whole plum/heirloom/cherry Dried pasta/spaghetti/penne/lasagna French bread
Good list. The problem with fresh herbs is that they don't last too long even in the fridge. I would add beans to the list too. Garbanzo, kidney, black, etc.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by feynmix
Good list. The problem with fresh herbs is that they don't last too long even in the fridge.

Rosemary, thyme and bay leaves last a bit. The others, not so much.
 

Connemara

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I'd suggest dried herbs but I have a feeling they are inferior (well, I know they are) and SField will yell at me.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by Connemara
I'd suggest dried herbs but I have a feeling they are inferior (well, I know they are) and SField will yell at me.

Revolting for the most part, unless it's in slow cooked foods where they make sense. Some herbs are ok dried, like rosemarie, but even that tastes like 20 times better fresh, plus it keeps so long that you're an idiot to not use it.
 

cheessus

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I might start buying fresh herbs and then grow them. I figure I can do this easily with basil, at least that is what my mom does.
 

The Wayfarer

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You may find of thread of mine to be of some interest. It ties in with this topic a bit. http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=81722 As for myself, the supply of groceries I always try to keep on hand fall between SField and lpresq's, probably leaning more toward the list lpresq provided. Everything else, I tend to pick up as it's needed.
 

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