My Favorite Cuisine Helpers

March 17, 2010 by Kenmore

Do you have favorite ingredients and go-to helpers that you depend on?

Cooks we know always keep these eight ingredients on hand to quickly prepare a wide variety of meals:

  • Chicken: skewered, grilled, poached, braised
  • Beef: hamburgers, meatballs, roulette, skewered, tartare, Wellington, braised
  • Asparagus: boiled, roasted, sautéed, grilled, fried
  • Potatoes: fried, grilled, baked, mashed
  • Citrus: salad, smoothie, juice, dessert, poached
  • Berries: smoothie, salad, oatmeal, muffins
  • Baguette: crostini, sandwich, croutons, bread crumbs, gratin
  • Pasta: macaroni and cheese, casseroles, cold pasta salad

These flavor combinations rule!

  • Dijon, soy and ginger
  • Rosemary and garlic
  • Lemon, thyme, garlic and olive oil
  • Lemon oil and rosemary
  • Smoked paprika, soy, cinnamon, brown sugar and oregano
  • Cumin, coriander and fennel

Secret ingredients for fabulous flavor

  • Capers: The briny buds of the nasturtium flower add tang to salsa verde, salad dressing, chicken piccata, roast cauliflower and veal.
  • Vinegar: Add a tablespoon to mashed potatoes, salad dressing or barbeque sauce for the perfect finish.
  • Thyme: Adds great flavor to meat rubs, adds taste and texture when combined with butter, and is fantastic sprinkled over green beans and almonds or oven-roasted new potatoes.
  • Mustard: This pantry staple is great in potato gratins, barbeque sauce, sandwiches, dressings and as a binder for baked chicken breading (my favorite is with crumbled pretzels).
  • Fish sauce: An Asian staple, this pungent sauce is great in dressings, marinades, red curry and dips.

Love your helpful appliances
Most cooks can’t live without a food processor. It mixes, chops, grinds and shreds for simple prep in any recipe. Use yours to:

  • Pulse olive oil, walnuts and arugula together to make a pesto.
  • Chop nuts for brownies.
  • Process stale bread to make crumbs for macaroni and cheese.
  • Grate cheese for pizza or Mexican casserole.
  • Chop cold butter for flakier piecrusts.

Blenders do so much more than make smoothies. Use it to thoroughly combine sauces, dips and marinades.

  • Emulsify oil and vinegar or citrus acid for salad dressings.
  • Puree vegetable soups for creamier, richer-tasting meals.
  • Blend ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and spices for quick, homemade barbeque sauce.
  • Combine milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon, and slowly add flour for crêpe batter.
  • Coarsely combine tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, cilantro and lime for salsa verde.

Your stand mixer isn’t just for baking.

  • Use the dough hook attachment to make homemade pizza dough.
  • Beat egg whites for soufflés.
  • Use the pasta attachment to make homemade pasta dough.
  • Grind meat with the meat attachment for homemade burgers or sausage.
  • Combine cream cheese, goat cheese and herbs for a delicious dip or crostini topper.

The even temperature and quick cooking time in a convection oven makes it ideal for cakes, and it’s perfect whenever you want even cooking and browning.

  • Rub a chicken with a little olive oil and some herbs and spices, and roast it for a classic comfort meal.
  • Bake a piecrust in about half the time.
  • Roast root vegetables until they’re soft and caramelized.
  • Heat a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven, then shift the stone to the middle rack and place pizza on it. Bake for five minutes on the highest temperature.

Try out these recipes:

Sear-Roasted Turkey Breasts with Mustard Cream Pan Sauce

Roasted Asparagus Bundles with Fontina and Prosciutto

What are you most dependable ingredients and sides for cuisine crunch time?


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