So as I chef I obviously have odd hours, definitely not the 9 to 5 type. Getting off of work after midnight, my food options are really limited. Shitty bar food? Check. Deep fried things? Check. Chinese delivery? Check. Fast food? You get the idea; all super healthy choices. It stinks that after cooking amazing food all night I get stuck eating not so amazing food. Don’t get me wrong, after blowing off steam with a few cocktails Shanghai Express or Player’s Retreat can be freakin’ delicious. However, it is way too expensive to get food delivered or eat out every night; plus it’s also not very good for you. Gotta watch my figure ya’ know? So it got me thinking, what are some ingredients you can keep at your house to make quick and easy meals late at night? This can also be applied to those who have kids and a family and don’t have all the time in the world to make a home cooked meal. So again, I am made another list of staples everyone should keep in their kitchen at all times.
Dry Pasta/Jarred Pasta Sauce: Spaghetti and meat sauce is always a super easy meal. Plus who doesn’t love it?
Onions/Garlic: Any jarred pasta sauce can be doctored up with adding sautéed onions, garlic, ground beef and chili flakes.
Lemons/Limes: Besides having them for the bar, citrus can always add freshness to any sauce.
Proteins: (Ground beef, chicken breasts, etc) When I buy a pack of chicken breasts I’ll usually freeze them individually and pull them as needed; less waste. Ground beef freezes really well also. Bacon is a no brainer. Pork fat is a food group.
Flour or corn tortillas: Tacos anyone?
Decent spice and condiment collection (s & p, canned tomatoes, soy sauce, Dijon, Siracha, chili flakes, capers, etc) Any bland food can be saved with Siracha and soy sauce.
Quick cook rice: Need a quick starch? Fried rice?
Potatoes: Roasted, mashed, fried? Enough said.
Good olive oil/vinegar: Base for everything. Acid always brightens up a dish.
Sugar/honey/flour/eggs/butter: Frittatas and omelets are always an easy way to get rid of leftovers. Butter obviously makes everything taste better.
Parmesan cheese: Adds salty flavor to anything. Red sauce, veggies, eggs. Spaghetti Carbonara if you are feeling adventurous, which I was today. Picture below.
Stock of some sort: Great base for any sauce. Adds more flavor than using water.
Frozen veggies: Not as good at fresh, but hey, they last longer in the freezer.
Stock up your kitchen and start cooking; food tastes better when it’s made at home anyway. Did I miss any ingredients? Cheers foodies!