The Most Useful Cooking Ingredients Used Commonly in Many Dishes
Whether you’re beginning a journey in the kitchen or you’ve been cooking for years, there are a few ingredients every cook needs to keep in their kitchen. If you’re ever in need of an extra boost to your food, these ingredients are guaranteed to make a difference and add tons of flavor.
Out of all the most useful cooking ingredients, garlic comes in at the top of the list. It doesn’t matter what form you choose to use. If you decide to use garlic powder, you can lightly season everything from an omelet to guacamole with it. Melt some butter and add a tablespoon of garlic to the mix and you’ll instantly have a sophisticated herbed butter to spread on breads and meats. For a more pungent and flavorful taste, use garlic cloves. You can easily peel and crush the cloves. If you’re making a stew, you can choose to mince the garlic clove and place it in the mix. You can also throw the whole crushed clove inside and pull out the clove when it’s time to serve the dish.
The lemon has amazing detoxifying properties. Though it’s flavor is very tart, it can transform into sweet and savory dishes a use the juice and the zest to create delightful lemon bars. Lemon bars are wonderful to enjoy with tea. You can also use the entire lemon when it’s time to prepare a piece of salmon. Squeeze the lemon juice on the salmon to clean it. Grate the zest and add it to the salmon along with other herbs for baking. If you want to keep it really simple, just throw a slice of lemon in a glass of water to enjoy.
3. Tomato Paste
Tomato paste is a great cooking ingredient to have because it’s one of the easiest options to take a dish to another level. Add butter and other herbs to a tomato paste and it’s perfect to spread on chicken. Sit that mixture under the broiler and the results will be phenomenal. If you’re in the mood for a small plate of pasta, add water to the tomato paste. Add some some salt, pepper and any other Italian herbs. Now, you’ll have tomato sauce for spaghetti and meatballs.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is ideal for the kitchen because it is one of the healthier oils. However, it’s best to avoid using it for frying. Pull out some of the oil and add garlic, salt and pepper to it. If you choose to make it more sophisticated, you can add tomatoes and fresh basil to the mix. Use the blend to coat some bread and bake it for a few minutes. In this case, the extra virgin olive oil serves as the perfect base for bruschetta. It’s also great to use for dipping sauces and salad dressings.
Rice is a vital cooking ingredient to keep in your kitchen because it can serve as both an entree or a side dish. You can boil a pot of jasmine rice and add some lemon zest and coconut milk. It’ll be a perfect side dish to a chicken or fish entree. Alternatively, you can cook the rice and set it aside. In a skillet, fry an egg, mixed vegetables and mushrooms. Add the rice and continue to fry it. Then, add soy sauce and continue to stir until it’s the perfect vegetable stir-fried rice.
Beans are great sources of fiber. They’re also versatile for a variety of dishes. You can easily purchase and store the beans in a dried form or a canned form. They can sit in the pantry for a considerable amount of time. As soon as you are ready to use them, beans are easy to prepare. You can put lentils on the stovetop and cook a delicious soup. You can add canned chickpeas to a blender along with lemon juice and other seasonings to make hummus. Crush black beans and mix them with carrots, oats and seasonings. Roll the mixture into balls and make black bean burgers. Add kidney beans to a crockpot and throw in some ground turkey, tomato paste, water and seasonings. You’ll be able to enjoy a delicious chili dish in a few hours.
7. Frozen Vegetables
It’s really simple for fresh vegetables to rot. After a few days in the refrigerator, you’ll need to put those vegetables into preservation mode. However, frozen vegetables are great because they can last a long time and still maintain their nutritional value. Consider having a cooking night with your colleagues and get creative with ways you can take a simple frozen vegetable and make it the star player of a dish. You can also go to one of those Cozymeal cooking classes that teach about frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables like corn, carrots and spinach are also inexpensive and can taste amazing with the right seasonings. You can also create vegetable purees and feed them to your little ones. Between the nutritional value and the versatility, frozen vegetables should take up some space in your freezer.