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I can't do without.... What are things you use in almost every dish?

In my kitchen I consider it a crisis if I don't have lemons or lemon juice, garlic bulbs and at least two kinds of vinegar. I always am cooking with these three things. Other spices, oils, herbs, extracts, have there place but lemon, garlic and vinegar are essential. I also cook with a lot of rice. If I have rice, then I can make something, hence why I bought the biggest bag of rice they sell at the supermarket. I also (shock! Horror!) use canned beans and tomatoes. And when I can I buy a dried chorizo from a local butcher shop to make my rice and beans more tasty. So what's indispensable in your kitchen?

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    1. salt. (i joke now that most restaurants are not salting enough. then there is the rogue place that has way oversalted dishes).

      additionally, for so many entrees that i make, i'll use: butter, canned tomatoes, garlic, half & half, garlic, evoo, pepper, fresh italian parsley, lemons in some combination of two or more of these. mr. alka loves pasta dishes of all sorts, so this list can take you in many directions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: alkapal

        alka - did you ever make the tuna one?

      2. garlic for sure. and freshly ground black pepper. those two go into pretty much everything i make (except desserts!)

        1. Fresh cilantro. I am in a slow transition moving to Europe. I didn't find any fresh cilantro at local supermarket there (quite a small town. No mexican or Indian restaurants). I used a jar but it tasted totally different. I am now thinking bringing seeds and plant it in a conatiner. Maybe different in Summer? I strongly hope so.

          1. Olive oil, garlic, onions, lemon, those 4 without a doubt are probably the most used items for me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Val

              With the addition of butter and good vinegars, I'm with Val on this one.