Tag Archives: Soy Sauce

My 10 Essential Ingredients

30 Oct

Whether you are an accomplished chef or a novice cook, everyone has a list of their must-have staples for the kitchen.   These are my 10 essential items that I cannot live without in my kitchen.

1. Fresh HerbsThese can add woodsy flavors in the background, or serve as a light, bright touch on the top of a dish.  I use a lot of rosemary, sage and thyme in the kitchen, so I generally purchase the poultry blend as it’s a cost-effective way to get all three.

2.  OnionsI love them sautéed in pasta sauce, caramelized on a pizza (or on anything), and fried on top of burgers.  I buy a these in bulk and store then in a dark, dry place.  Make sure you wash them carefully as they grow in the ground!

3.  Chicken, Veg or Beef StockThese stocks provide a depth of background flavor to any dish and all you need is a few cups.  Making your own stock is a long process, why not take a short cut?

4.  Red or White WineWine is perfect for de-glazing pans aka getting the browned yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.  It’s essential in risottos and excellent in sauces.  Plus a bonus sip or glass for the chef!

5.  ButterPaula Dean is no fool, and there’s a reason why she’s the butter queen.  Butter is an essential fat and I need it for both my savory and sweet creations.

6.  Garlic. Garlic is used in almost all cuisines from Italian to French and even Asian meals.  Plus who can resist that smell?  It brings everyone into the kitchen.

7.  Soy Sauce.  Soy sauce is great for marinades, stir fry, and I even use it in my satay sauce.

8.  Olive Oil.  Most if not all of my recipes start with a base of butter or olive oil.  It’s relatively healthy and can be used to cook meats, to finish salads, or in salad dressings.

9.  Lemons.  Again, I use these in a variety of savory and sweet dishes.  I love the citrus flavor with fish or chicken, and I frequently use the zest in my baked goods.

10.  Balsamic Vinegar or Balsamic Salad DressingPerfect with my favorite tomato and burrata salad or drizzled over roasted veggies.

What are your essential ingredients?

Meatball vs. Meatball

5 Oct

Since moving into my own apartment (holy expen$ive rent Batman), I had to cut back on dining out and rethink my grocery list. The good news is that I’m cooking and experimenting every night. The bad news is that I have to eat leftovers…GASP!  The only way I can handle leftovers is to trick myself by converting them into something new with different flavors.

This week’s grocery trip included ground turkey so I decided to split the package in half to make meatballs two ways!  Don’t they look delish?  They were, and easy too! 

Asian Meatballs (yield 12-14 meatballs)

  • 1 tbs garlic,minced
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped (use half a medium-sized onion for each recipe)
  • 3 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbs fresh ginger, minced
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs veg oil

Using your hands combine all ingredients (except veg oil) in a large bowl, and roll into little balls.  Pour veg oil in skillet over medium heat for about 3 mins per side.  Using tongs, touch top of each meatball to make sure it’s firm and cooked through.  Afterwards, I suggest throwing them over a bowl of noodles with a quick peanut, soy and ginger sauce.

Tuscan Meatballs (yield 12-14 meatballs)

    • 2 tbs garlic, minced
    • 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped finely
    • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped finely
    • 1/3 cup shredded pecorino romano
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • sprinkle of salt
    • 1 tbs olive oil

Once again, use your hands combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in a large bowl, and roll into little balls. Pour olive oil in skillet over medium heat for about 3 mins per side. Using tongs touch top of each meatball to make sure it’s firm and cooked through.  Afterwards, I suggest making yourself an openfaces meatball sandwich.

So, what’s your favorite meatball?