Monday, February 13, 2006

Kitchen Sorcery (have within reach, will definitely cook)

My top 30 ingredients in no particular order - excluding the obvious meat, seafood, veggies, salt, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, patis, oil, butter, egg, flour and pang-gisa trio of tomatoes, onions and garlic

1. wholegrain mustard: adds zing to everything from salad dressings, savory crusts, marinades, sandwiches...
2. hoisin sauce: for an instant Chinese meal, just stir-fry with chicken or pork; use as sauce for diced leftover roast duck wrapped in lettuce leaves; brush on grilled chicken wings
3. shallots: great for wine-based sauces for steaks and grilled items, fry 'em until aromatic and sprinkle on traditional Chinese soups
4. pesto sauce: pasta, name it, pesto makes it remarkably distinct
5. sun-dried tomatoes: fantastic in salads, chili con carne, pasta and sundried tomato oil
6. cottage cheese/feta/mozzarella/fontina/bleu cheese: vegetable gratin, bruschetta, dips galore, with fruits and honey, salad garnish, pinaputok na kesong puti, sublime appetizers (think crostini with roasted garlic, adobo flakes and feta), paired with an excellent bottle of wine
7. peanut butter: licked from a spoon, coating a banana, on bread with a sprinkling of sugar, Oriental dressings, kare-kare, desserts
8. tuna in brine: a dieter's dream! Nicoise salad, tunamelt sandwich, pasta, quesadilla filling , pizza topping
9. red wine/white wine: lends a deep flavor when reduced for sauces, perfect for marinating, flambeing seafood
10. fresh black mushroom: the buttery taste and sensual texture is perfect for salads, mushroom sauces, Chinese cooking and Derrick's favorite- mushroom tempura!
11. Chinese cooking wine: Unbeatable for Chinese stir-fry and braised dishes, steamed fish
12. Balsamic vinegar: I cannot get enough of this. I use it for dressings, as a marinade, and make balsamic reduction for drizzling over foie gras, grilled fish, salad
13. lemon: want zing? zest? flavors to come alive? use lemon
14. extra-virgin olive oil: no explanations needed
15. Fresh Basil: salads, bruschetta, piadina, panini
16. tempura flour/breadcrumbs/panko/cornstarch: for the crispiest, crunchiest deep-fried dishes
17. Lea and Perrins/Knorr seasoning: salpicao, roast chicken, beef steak taste exceptionally marvellous with these enhancers
18. Chicken powder: better than salt; use it to flavor sauces, pasta boiling water, as a spice rub, marinade (lots of msg though)
19. Chicken stock, beef stock, fish stock: made from the real thing, i.e. chicken, veal, fish bones. With these on hand, sauces and soups are done in a snap!
20. Capsicum: grilled, stuffed and baked, sauteed, crunchy sweet goodness in three luscious colors
21. Butternut Squash: good for practically anything, best for Cream of Apple Butternut Squash Soup
22. Bagoong Balayan: pinakbet, monggo, Pinoy Caesar dressing, grilled eggplant, boiled okra, dinegdeng, veggies in coconut milk, all the Ilocano dishes Derrick grew up eating
23. Sesame Oil: a drop here and there makes a big difference , divine aroma
24. Italian trio of capers, olives and anchovies: varying degrees of saltiness captured in each piece, slice, sliver
25. Mexican spices like cumin and chili powder: Derrick has to have tacos, chili con carne, fajitas and nachos with the works at least once a month
26. Chocolate: food for the gods, of the gods
27. Paprika: color, flavor and aroma packed in small bottle, this is my "secret" ingredient for a lot of my recipes
28. Indian spices like coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric: Derrick is in his "in-love-with-Indian-food-can-eat-it-everyday" phase, especially chicken makhani, which, fortunately, was the bestseller at Hotel Le Soleil, so i try to recreate it as best as I can (Jashan is tops if you're too lazy to make this)
29. Yogurt or Sour Cream: like paprika, a "secret" ingredient, also the star of my favorite tsatziki ( I can eat Greek food everyday), cucumber raita, Hungarian goulash
30. Rum: crepes, chicken wings, drinking while cooking, pineapple glazed with rum syrup, bananas with rum, roast fruits, rum butter cake (can you imagine a more delectable, sinful dessert?)


Blogger shyguy said...

My Wish List 1 -3:

Number One: I would to try each and everyone of your listed ingredients and their respective your gracious home one of these days!

Number Two: see Number One!

Number Three: see Number Two!! :)

11:50 PM, February 13, 2006  
Blogger Bandit said...

Rum butter cake! share the recipe! share!

10:34 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger ragamuffin girl said...

am in the process of typing all my treasured recipes; collected, handwritten, and lovingly filed over the past 10 years, just in case Joaquin or my future children decide to pursue the culinary arts. my mom did this last year and i got a copy of our heirloom Chinese recipes. once i find the rum butter cake recipe i will definitely share. right now everything is on various bits and pieces of paper and notebooks that have seen better days, all with mysterious stains on them, and the ink has started to fade... time to type, save and print.

12:18 PM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger shyguy said...

If you're a lazy ass like me, check out: the site of THE best rum cake that i've ever had...full stop! they're made in the caribbean and the company ships their cakes worldwide. shelf life is 6 months.

9:32 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger Pam said...

Ragamuffin girl, how can you type all these ingredients when you're on the SBD? Don't you get tempted to cook up a storm just to savor the aromas and tastes? Damn girl! Call me if you need someone to finish anything you cook up. :)

12:50 AM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger midicrux said...

Whoah! Don't leave me in the dark on this one! And thanks for dinner, btw! I'm going to raid your fridge after rehearsals and night class, ha?

That is, after Derrick *sings* for his supper.

10:46 PM, February 18, 2006  

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