HOW TO STOCK YOUR KITCHEN PANTRY PART 3
The fried shrimp and calamari in this picture, captured by Nancy Kochan during one of our cooking vacations in Umbria is a great example of how stocking your kitchen pantry efficiently can reflect your personal favorites and increase the fun factor.
Since this is one of my personal summer favorites taken right out of my classic Italian food repertoire, I am going to use this as another example.
Okay, so how is this making my life easier?
As I mentioned, fried shrimp & calamari are my summer favorites. As summer approaches I’m going to stock up on vegetable oil for frying, semolina and Italian white wines for sipping. I always have lemons in my fridge because many of my personal favorites contain lemon juice and lemons are fruits with a long shelf life. My once a week shopping trip will include the fish and I’ll plan that trip within 24 hours of the day I want to cook them – Yes, I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to fresh fish!
I just happen to have access to some of the tastiest fish coming from the mediterranean sea during our Culinary Vacations in Umbria & Tuscany. Strategizing this way will give you more time enjoying those crisp fish while sipping an equally crisp, chilled glass of white wine. I bet that without this strategy I would be making the frantic last minute trips for the vegetable oil and the semolina. Why? Oils and flours are apt to go rancid within 6 months. If I haven't used these items, they either won't be on my shelf or they won't be fresh.
Let’s put this whole thing together to make our lives easier.
Once a week look at your seasonal favorites list. Look at what you may want to eat. Maybe you want leftovers. Maybe you have business or social engagements and you won’t be eating in. You’ll factor all of that into your shopping list. To use a chef's vocabulary, you will scale up,scale down or eighty-six it (get rid of it).
As seasons change you’ll want to grow your personal favorite list.
The point is, you will probably be spending less time shopping because you will always have those basics in your flavor profile available in your pantry. You are trying to reduce trips, keep stocked with the items you will use frequently because those are your personal flavor favorites. Get it?
I’ll end this with offering you another free download list of fruits. In the meantime, if you are finding any of this helpful or, you have a tip of your own, please write a comment. Coming up next we'll focus on both fresh & dried herbs. Eventually, we'll talk about how you can figure out what your personal flavor profile really is.