Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What's in Your Pantry?

I'm going to introduce you to a couple of workhorses in my kitchen. No, not any person, but a product (really, two versions of the same product) that pack a wallop at meal time.


If you ever look in my fridge, you will find a tub of each one, and you may find a seafood base, too. This one little thing can do so much. With it, I don't need to make sure I have chicken broth for homemade soup. I just add a teaspoon to the stock I make with rotisserie chicken, more if I don't have bones to boil into stock.

Onion soup gets done with the beef base, and the other day, I made a homemade Hamburger helper that relied on this to deepen the flavor. See, the only HH boxed stuff I ever liked is the Italian Herb, a flavor that has long been discontinued. Ed and the boys, they would eat most of the flavors Betty Crocker puts out-and that would be reserved for nights I was at work.

But I had almost two pounds of ground beef a box of penne and a desire for something quick. Thus, I went about my own version of the meal, and it turned out pretty good, thanks to that beef base. I think the next time around, I'll add tomato sauce and write down the measurements to share.

Tonight, I had some pork chops to grill, the kids weren't into having rice and I didn't want to deal with making potatoes the way they like. Instead, I boiled a half bag of egg noodles, then made a simple roux with 2 tablespoons of butter, about a teaspoon and a half of chicken base and 2 tablespoons of flour. Then I added about a cup of milk, stirred together and added the drained noodles. It was a huge hit and probably better for us than the Lipton packages.

Do you see a pattern here? I usually grab it when I want to make something quick, and my pantry is lacking in many of those prepackaged dinner items, mainly because I don't like them and they are overloaded with stuff I'm not exactly sure occurs in nature. No, I'm not an organic food person, but if there's a way to cut down the strange stuff in my meal, I'm all for it.

You might want to give it a try, too.

1 People talked back:

Jadzia@Toddlerisms said...

I would also suggest vegetable base/cubes and, if you can get it, bouquet garni base/cubes. We have veal stock base in our cupboard too, but that's probably not a staple for most people!