Desert island kitchen

Ok… this post started a while ago. When I first started blogging.

One day I plan to write a cookery book but that’s for another day and why write it now? So the other evening I went to make pizza dough and almost died when I realised I didn’t have the right flour (yes there is such a thing!) and the shops were shut… so out of those cupboard came the best pizza base we have done so far….

I do love a good cookery book but I also love to open the cupboards and fridge and go hunting for what we can make.. so here are my kitchen things I would literally die without…

This is today’s… cupboard/fridge raid… awaiting to cocoon some cod fillets tonight!

So my cuisine is very mixed due to my upbringing. Read my blogs people!!!

So here am my cupboard essentials incase you’re interested….

And I won’t list all the crap like flour (rye whole meal whatever), cooking chocolate (this doesn’t count as calories if you eat it), yeast, pasta blah blah blah. And remember this is simply what works for me. And if you ever want a recipe or some inspiration? Just ask me… remember I type as I talk. Fast.

Here goes.

Olive oil. No words needed. I grew up with this. I love it. I don’t fanny about with the new oils and coconut shizzle. Give me old school. Every bloody day.

Knorr chicken stock cubes. There are others but anyone who knows anything about Portuguese food will know these are much needed. Yes I make stock but that’s saved for soups and gravy.. if I have enough and whilst on the subject of stock? Freeze the bones and when you have enough that’s when you boil like a bitch; not before! Why waste time.

Basmati rice; again Portuguese white fried rice can use other types of rice but when you are in the Uk…..needs must. My rice rule? 1 mug of rice = 2 mug of boiling water…. 1 mug should do just over 2 people with a good appetite. For Risotto. If you want leftovers for the next day aim for 100grms per person… most risotto comes in either 1kg or 500grm bags… this should make life a little easier.

Garlic. I can’t get enough. Raw, pickled, roasted rubbed into salt…. you get the idea.

Chunky salt and coarse black pepper. No words needed really! For me the coarser the better.

Lemons; life’s miracle! Stops things going brown add a zing to things. Can deglaze if you don’t want to use wine…. we go though about 6-8 lemons every week! Try lemon and mint sprigs in your water? You may be surprised.

Marsala wine; amazing and frankly added to gravy it will transform your Sunday roast! Give it a go. Not cheap but you won’t use it everyday.

Puff pastry; in the freezer it will save the day. Tarte tatin whether savoury or sweet. Make a pie? Pizza swirls.. mince pie swirls, sausage rolls……ever had a crazy pie? Imagine all your Sunday roast left overs including gravy plus any random veg/onions etc lurking in the fridge which can be fried up in butter placed in the dish and covered… ta dah! Crazy pie. No 2 pies’ will ever taste the same; ask my kids. Oh and the Marsala can be added into this too… if you didn’t add it to the gravy earlier with a dash of cream.

Fresh ginger. Peel it with a tea spoon then freeze it. You can use it whenever you want! Simples.

Chillies; freeze them. Always. When you need them chop and use straight away.. you will get a little more allowance on your hands this way. Clearly they still need washing and I wouldn’t touch your you know what for a while… but you get the idea. I have a Tupperware in the freezer full of varying ones.

Maggi liquid seasoning. Just go and buy some. Think soy… but better. Add it to plain boiled basmati rice with a fried egg? Amazing! Sold in all ALL supermarkets before you ask. Thailand may come to a grinding halt without it. Everyone who has tried it at my house and then bought some.

This brings me to eggs. Do they need an introduction?! Even the left over pasta can be made into a frittata! But always season your eggs. Which should you buy? Here is my rule. When I want to eat eggs for eggs sake ie. poached with some ham and chips then I buy the good ones.. the expensive ones. Need to glaze a pie? Don’t fanny about use a cheap ones and only glaze with the yolk! Then you won’t mind giving the egg white to the dogs later today or throwing it down the sink… or making meringues if you had the time?! And the egg rule? The opposite of poo! Yes that’s right. If your poo floats you have enough fibre… so I don’t ever read egg dates and I don’t store them in the fridge … cue the food police. Simply get a jug filled 3/4 with water and place the egg in. Floats? Chuck it! Sinks? Good to go… just remember eggs are the opposite of poo. You won’t forget this!

Red wine and white wine. Both can be used for cooking but white solves many situations from the deglaze of pancetta to the start of that risotto.

Tinned tomatoes. Again my life saver and they can transform a midweek emergency meal with some fried pancetta or maybe some simple chilli garlic and and onions….

Onions; always essential and keep well in a dark place… fry them sliced with butter a little sugar and a splodge of soy sauce add some water if they catch and cover with foil and them them sweat like a mofo… top those bbq burgers or hotdogs… I know you can thank me later.

Pancetta. Imagine bacon but better and I am lazy and pressed for time so I always buy diced and freeze.

Frozen I hear you say. Here is the rule. Animals with 4 legs can be cooked from frozen. Those with 2 NO!! So pancetta is a go go go straight from the freezer.

Coconut milk. Don’t scrimp buy a good one. They keep for ages. With a dash of stock and some Thai curry paste we have another mid week life saver.. you can also add frozen veg to this baby if you’re desperate.

Butter. Fry with it mixed up with a little olive oil to stop it catching and please eat butter. You may get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Cheese. Who doesn’t have cheese hanging about? Cheese on toast blah blah but when it goes past the stage of wanting to share it? Why cheese risotto!!! This can take as many cheeses as you wish…. swap you onions for leeks and add some chopped dill if you’re up for a crazy cheese risotto!

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