One of the things we find is that by having the staples in the cupboard, you can easily throw together some delicious meals and fantastic feasts and so there is always a few things that we ensure we are always stocked up on.
The first item on the list is tinned tomatoes/ passatta. This will be the life saver to any type of sauce; it’s the beginning of your curry, bolognese and pretty much life as far as we’re concerned. From what we’ve come across, many people are too scared to move away from jars but these are not only expensive but also very unhealthy and one of the things that you will notice as we take you on our food journey is just how easy it is to cook good meals from scratch and in terms of the meals listed above, it is as simple as having tomatoes at the ready.
For Valentine’s Day Aaron got me some flours. Plain and self raising (no I’m not joking). But they did come in handy. Flour is the base to a simple white sauce and to thicken anything that is a bit too on the runny side. In terms of a white sauce, this is another place that people will usually grab a jar but once again, if you have the staples at the ready you can easily make an alternative that will be a much tastier addition to your meal. By having flour in the cupboard, you can also throw together a quick toad in the hole or even make pancakes for afters.
Toothpaste at the ready guys! Garlic. For us adding garlic into pretty much everything,it just adds a little something extra. It’s amazing just how much you can change a meal from smashing up a bulb; whether it’s adding it with the hot oil for roast potatoes, or even making your own garlic bread. In terms of garlic bread it really is as simple as having a shop brought baguette, (or even a nice home made loaf; recipe to follow!!) mixing the garlic with butter, spreading it on top, wacking it in the oven et voila. For something so small it can add a big punch of flavor. Spoiler alert! It will be in all of our recipes.
Next up we have Megan’s magical and most trusted cupboard staple: the stock cube. I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone transform a meal the way that Meg can with a stock cube. These will be used in a lot of pasta dishes, a base to a lot of sauces and to generally add flavour to many dishes as well. Bored of the same tasting rice? Well add a stock cube in the water. Something so simple can add such a boost of flavour. Having a back up of chicken, beef and vegetable stocks cubes will ensure there’s the right flavour for the right dish.
And last but not least is having a range of herbs and spices. A few we use religiously are: paprika, mixed herbs, chilli powder and curry powder We usually do have a very high tolerance to spicy food so tend to go for hot chilli or curry powder, but mild options are available. Using these can add something extra to the tinned tomatoes or even if you have got a jar of sauce, live a little and give it a spice to make it your own! (Although we will be encouraging you to step away from the jars!!) You could have different dried herbs e.g parsley and chives but we have found for a quick fix you can’t go wrong with mixed herbs. A top tip of ours is never be afraid with them. Put the teaspoon down and just wing it! As long as you taste as you go along you will soon get used to judging what needs to be added to bring that extra flavour that you are looking for.
So there we have it. Five inexpensive ingredients which will be the base of all of our recipes and hopefully yours too. We just hope that maybe, just maybe, we will inspire you to step away from the jars next time you’re doing the food shop and instead spend the money on stocking up the cupboard instead! Now we’ve given you a peak into our cupboards, we can move onto looking at how we transform these staples into delicious meals and of course fantastic feasts!!