My NYC girlfriends always tell me that they just don't shop for or have room for ingredients & don't know what to buy, so they just don't cook. Well I've got my ingredient guide down to the only six items that you'll ever need to make a successful dish (whether it's chicken, a simple salad or a pasta dish). If you keep these six ingredients on hand you can't go wrong & you'll always have something fresh & tasty to enjoy.
My six survivor ingredients & why:
- lemon - you can use the zest to add real flavor to any dish. The zest is even more flavorful than its juice but use it's juice too to squeeze over fish or seafood for a little extra (well) juice!
- sea salt - try looking for unbleached salt - you wouldn't drink a bottle of bleach so why would you want to cook with/eat bleach. Not me anyway. The sea salt in the photo above is pink because it's unbleached, oh & from Hawaii!
- black pepper - if you do nothing else to a piece of chicken or even a fried egg, please season with salt & pepper, it'll make all the difference from a bland-please-pass-the-salt dish & mmmmmm this is really good.
- fresh herbs - always make it look like you tried. Buy what's in season but also buy what you like. Fresh herbs add freshness & look pretty too.
- fresh garlic - shy away from the jarred stuff & spend the extra time to chop up some fresh, sticky garlic the taste is much stronger (read: better).
- extra virgin olive oil - you can cook it into tomato sauce, use in in a marinade or do about a million other things with it. It's the light kind of fat that will add flavor to you dish & doubles as a skin moisturizer!