Any cook knows that you need to have some essential basic items in your store-cupboard. In addition, though, it´s extremely useful to have some items in stock that will help you to make delicious dishes. You don´t need to make fancy recipes to achieve that; sometimes just a splash of this or a pinch of that will add that certain extra mmmmmm to a meal. So here are some incredible ingredients to make delicious dishes.
Even the cook without a garden can have some fresh herbs on hand – all you need is a sunny windowsill. If you have room for a herb garden then you can grow all kinds of herbs to make delicious dishes – the fresh variety are definitely tastier. And what Italian meal would be complete without them?
2. Super Soy
A bottle of soy sauce is handy not just for Chinese dishes. Soy can add flavour to all sorts of meals. If you´ve run out of gravy or stock cubes, a splash of soy diluted in water can make a reasonable substitute.
3. Awesome Oil
Oil flavoured with herbs or chilli can add that special something to make a really delicious dish. A set would make a great gift for a gourmet friend. It´s also really easy to make them yourself – use a good quality oil and leave the contents to steep a while before using.
4. Magic Balsamic
Balsamic vinegar may have acquired a reputation for being loved by pretentious foodies, but it´s worth keeping a bottle in your cupboard. It doesn´t have to be expensive, but it adds a great taste to many dishes. Even the humble salad tastes amazing when tossed with balsamic vinegar.
5. Room for Mushrooms
Check out the range of dried mushrooms in your local ethnic or health food store. It´s a bit of a drag having to soak them before use, but it allows mushroom fans to add lots of flavour to create some delicious dishes. Since they keep for ages, keep some in your kitchen.
6. Pep It up with Pepper
This might seem to obvious to mention, but I really recommend having a pepper mill in your kitchen. Ready-ground pepper just doesn´t have the same impact. It´s worth getting this basic condiment right – I´m not fond of salt but I couldn´t cook without pepper.
7. Tasty Tomato
Any cupboard should have a stock of canned tomatoes, but for that extra flavour keep a tube of tomato puree around. It adds an extra intensity that makes for really delicious dishes, and costs very little. A squeeze of puree can be added to so many dishes.
8. A Punch of Cayenne
Yes, that´s a deliberate misspelling. You do have to go easy with cayenne, but it can turn basic meals into delicious dishes. Start with a tiny pinch – you can always add more (but not too much). You don´t want to blow your head off!
If you want to make delicious dishes without much effort, then keep these ingredients handy. It´s amazing how you can add so much flavour with just one ingredient – meals don´t have to be complicated. Which ingredients would you never be without to make your own delicious dishes?
Top Photo Credit: weheartit