What off the beaten path food item do you always have on hand?

  1. Ok, if you check in your refrigerator or panty we all have certain staples; milk, bread, cheese, soup, etc...but do you always have (and why) that might not be so everyday? I am thinking I might find some inspiration from you guys to switch up my basics...which is what I look to when building my menus.

    For me, off the top of my head I always have:

    Carmalized onions...such a pain to do, so about every 2-3 weeks I do a huge batch and put them in ziplock bags in the freezer.

    Roasted garlic...love to have it hand to spice up just about anything or make garlic toast.

    Mire Poix, again, I do it in large batches and freeze...that way I can liven up rice, noodles, etc quickly. Even my son will use it to make ramen, which loves as an after school snack.
  2. Eggplant Hummus
    Sundried Tomatoes
    Flaxseed Meal
    Greek Yogurt
  3. Hmmm... I always have chopped dill in the freezer and I try to keep a couple of SUPER condensed homemade chicken soups in the freezer for sick days... like cooked WAY down and then I need to add 2-3 times the water to the base to rehydrate it.

    But off the beaten path???

    Hmmm... Semolina flour for European style dumplings in soups (semolina, one egg and a bit of oil and a dash of salt).

    Pine nuts

    Boy... i'm pretty boring!
  4. I'm kind of boring. The most exciting thing is hummus. Everything else is fairly normal.
  5. Dried pork fu (gives quick protein to an occasional ramen, sandwich or salad)

    Any leftover liquor (any kind) I add a dash o 2 to liven things up

    Fried scallions/onions (for toppings)

    Goat cheese (extras, in soup/salad, stuffing for meat or just eat from z tub)

    Dried chilli pods (I like em spicy plus it adds color to my greens)

    Lee Kum Kee (seasonings; chicken powder/oyster sauce/XO sauce), I make sure never to run out of those

    Can Pears/Peaches, Jellies and Cream Cheese for those dessert making crave days (I call them instant dessert)

    Stuffings (I double as bread crumbs) always on hand but not my typical fare

    Saffron and curry (powder), add dashes and colors for rice/potatoes or color/spice chillies with that special twist... I cannot live without

    Cinnamon sticks whole (as stirrers for when I serve hot chocolate, egg nog, coffee even tea) and seasoning. And after the cup, wash it and just "roast" it over the stove on a cast iron pan for a nice cinnamon aroma

    Hot cocoa (seasoning coffee and even to give chocolate taste to some dessert or pancakes... oh... and garnish for the desert plate "powder trails") besides drinking

    Pancake mix (cheat for my desserts when I don't have cake mix on hand or ran out of flour)... but I don't like making pancakes

    Maple syrup (for desserts and also my regular carrot recipe/maple ginger sugarplum duck)

    Left over ice cream (great dessert martini base)

    I probably can name tons more and I have a very variedly equipped kitchen, I have a tendency to not follow recipes so have a habit of using normal stuff not traditionally (other than they are usually used for)... I improvise everything and loved cooking like that. ;)
  6. Tuna...I always have cans of it in my pantry! I know it's bad to eat so much of it because of the high levels of mercury...but I love the stuff!!
  7. I'm really into fresh herbs and spices. I keep pots of as many herbs as I can keep alive (parsley does really well, so I ALWAYS have fresh parsley). IMO, the next best thing to fresh green herbs is freeze-dried, which I also keep on hand. I always have saffron threads, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, whole dried chilies, etc. If they need to be ground, I do it myself right before using them. It makes a HUGE difference in flavor!! I have a million dried/ground spices as well. It's pretty ridiculous :shame:

    As far as actual products, I always have Nutella and Vegemite, just because I love them. People usually find that really odd.
  8. Korean fermented miso paste (in a large tub)
    Korean red pepper paste (in a medium-sized tub)
    Japanese miso
    Three Crabs brand Fish sauce
    Lee Kum Kee Oyster sauce
    A jar of Pickled Shrimp
    Pickled ginger
    Pickled Sour Chinese mustard greens
    Sheets of dried seaweed
    Homemade pesto sauce
    Gosh, this is all I can think of off the top of my head... anyone ready to :throwup: yet? Should I list what's in my pantry now???:roflmfao:
  9. Green curry paste
    Sambal Oelek
    Belecan (fish sauce)
    Fetta Cheese
  10. mmmmm vegemite my favourite - are you an Aussie?
  11. garlic and ginger. i use them (choose one and chop it up) with salt to stir fry green vergetables in almost every meal. i find cooking vegetables like this to be more healthy and yet tasty :smile:. (but my friends think it's really bad taste food and pity my hubby :p)
    *Red wine- madeira, marsala etc
    *William Sonoma Gravy base
    *True Parmigiano Reggiano
    *Low fat or fat free ricotta- not part skim
    *Frozen chopped spinach
    *Fat free and low sodium broth
    *Baking nuts
    *Mushrooms- I think the whole canned ones are awesome in a pinch!
    *Sweet thai chili sauce
    *Sesame oil
    *Wick Fowler's chili mix
    *Taco seasoning
    *Wasabi paste
    *Lawry's seasoning salt
    *Tuna- there was a huge sale so we stocked up (20+ cans!)
    *Golden Butter cake mix- we tweak it and it makes the best almond rum cake
    *Bisquick- Love impossible pepperoni pies!
  13. Thanks, lots of great ideas! I especially like the demi-glace, that's a great idea. I don't use ginger very often, so that might be worth a try too.

    I do the window herb garden too...love having fresh!!! I have chives, italian parsley, basil, dill and cilantro. I also have to have pine nuts, too.
  14. ^ Nope, I'm American. I had a teacher who gave it to us at school when I was little. She brought in a toaster and made buttered toast with vegemite for snack. I've been obsessed with it ever since!!!
  15. Cadbury's Chocolate spread. TO DIE FOR! OMG!
    Thats about it...but I love that stuff!