Growing up, my parents kitchen was all condiments, and in my case the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Here are my favorite pantry items that I cannot live without!
Tuscan Herb Olive Oil: I love about everything at the Filling Station in Chelsea Market, but their Tuscan Herb Olive Oil is my favorite. When you want to do a quick week night dinner and don’t have any fresh herbs, this Flavored Olive Oil is PERFECT! Plus it will make your kitchen smell like heaven!
Truffle Salt : The Filling Station (see above) also has an amazing collection of salts. While I have fun with Bacon & Thai Ginger Salts – Truffle Salt is a pantry-must.
Sriracha: Best hot sauce. You can buy it at any NYC supermarket. I also love Cholula as my 2nd favorite.
McClure’s Pickles: Sold at specialty markets and online.
Rao’s Marinara Sauce: Sold at most NYC markets. It’s expensive yes, but I almost always find it on sale for $5.99 or you can buy in bulk online.
Ring Molds: Ever wonder how restaurants serve your rice or tartar in a perfect shape? No trick here, just simple molds that you can get at Sur la Table.
Agave Nectar: This is my preferred sweetener, which comes from the Agave Plant, which also happens to be the same plant that Tequila is made from.
Cooking Wine: All chefs say, you should only cook with wine you would drink. I totally agree. However, I don’t usually drink during the week and I hate to buy or open a bottle of wine for just a splash in a recipe. So I use cooking wine only for the purpose of a quick dinner. For big meals, refined cooking, or anything requiring more than a few tablespoons of cooking wine, I use the real deal!