Julia Childs - “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
In days of yore human-beings stocked their kitchen cupboards. These closets of wonder even had special names - the Pantry for posh types in big houses or Larder for the not so grand. Folk got in the essentials which meant that on a freezing cold winter's evening when someone staggered in from an 18 hour shift gravel mining or peasant beating (depending on social status) they could rustle up a plate of filling hearty fare for next to nothing.
Somewhere along the way we've lost the plot when it comes to food. Yet, with a few kitchen basics and a smidgen of time & thought we can get back on track and eat healthier, tastier & indeed way cheaper food.
A. Be able to cook to some extent (easily learned).
B. Have a few basic ingredients to hand.
C. Possess some kind of cooking pot/pan & the means to heat it.
Do remember - we're talking basic here - just enough to get you up & simmering.
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper (either get a grinder or the coarsely ground version)
- Olive Oil (preferably Extra Virgin as you can splash it on salads)
- Vegetable Oil
- White or Red Wine Vinegar
(you can get these for around 40 cents a pop in Lidl, Aldi or any semi-decent supermarket)
- Oregano (my favourite)
- Herbes de Provence
- Chilli Powder
(As with the herbs these are what I tend to have in at all times. Go crazy - you get whatever you want!)
Stock is totally brilliant stuff. Well, you've seen the Marco-Pierre White Knorr ads haven't you? Just so happens he/they are right. If you want flavour - add stock. Simple.
- Whole Plum or Chopped Tomatoes (see 'No Brainer Tomato Sauce - Lidl variety highly recommended)
- Kidney Beans
- Pasta (whatever lights your candle - grab a couple of bags)
- Spaghetti (also pasta - essential - you'll find out why in a bit)
- Rice (Long grain, easy cook - it's up to you)
- Flour (Ordinary, Self-raising - not only for cakes & bread - Oh no! Brill too for thickening sauces)
- So, a quick as quick can be lunch or dinner sorted for under a euro courtesy of the über-talented Merven. You had all the ingredients at home and now boast a larder fit for a Prince, or Princess. How cool are you?
- Next time on Drew's Dinners more Kitchen & Cooking essentials. See you then for Back to Basics (2)...