|Recipes by |
Robyn Webb, MS, LN
A few basic pantry staples will turn you into a chopping champ and a skillet star. Take a look at Food Editor Robyn Webb’s list of must-have ingredients (Cook's Staples, below) and follow her lead in crafting a delicious meal.
These ingredients are my go-to basics in the kitchen. They will help you turn just about any lean protein and fresh produce into a delicious meal. —Robyn Webb, MS, LN
→ Mustard: I always have Dijon mustard on hand, although stone-ground varieties work well, too.
→ Citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges: Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for freshness. In addition to the juice, grate the peel for flavorful zest, which can be frozen and used as needed.
→ Broth (fat-free, lower-sodium): Depending on your pantry space, stock up on cans or cartons of broth or use instant broth packets with water, as directed on the package.
→ Shallots: These small bulbs are a bit milder than onions and store for up to six months in a cool, dry, dark place. If you’re out of shallots, swap in onions.
→ Black pepper: I keep a peppermill stocked so I can grind it fresh as needed for the most zing.
→ Kosher salt: The large crystals of kosher salt help you eat a little less sodium because fewer fit onto your measuring spoon.
→ Onions (red, white, and yellow): Sautéed onions make a fragrant base for any number of delicious skillet dishes. There are subtle taste differences, but any color will do in a pinch.
→ Olive oil: This gift from the olive adds fruity flavor and healthful fat to our meals. It works equally well in cooked and cold dishes.
→ Marmalade or fruit preserves: One of my favorite flavor tricks is to add just a touch of sweetness to a savory dish, as I did with the turkey cutlets. Later, put a bit of marmalade to good use stirred into plain yogurt or oatmeal instead of sugar.
→ Garlic: Fresh garlic keeps well in a cool, dry cupboard. Cooking releases and mellows its bite.
→ Balsamic vinegar: This aged, slightly sweet vinegar adds a rich tart-sweet flavor to savory sauces and sprightly dressings. In a pinch, substitute red wine vinegar. Cook and reduce balsamic vinegar for an elegant drizzle for fresh fruit.