Monday, January 26, 2009

A Litttle Advice From Ina

To be a better cook, start with the right ingredients. Ina Garten recommends a list of 11 must-haves for the pantry or fridge that can help improve a whole range of dishes.
1. Puff pastry. “It’s an incredible time saver.”
2. Instant coffee. Add it to chocolate for a deeper, richer flavor.
3. A good, syrupy, aged balsamic vinegar.
4. California olive oil. She prefers the Olio Santo brand.
5. Homemade chicken stock (Ina's homemade chicken stock recipe). It’s one thing she insists on making herself, but it can be done in a big batch, then frozen in smaller containers.
6. Parmesan cheese. Her favorite: Reggiano. “Anything that doesn’t have a great flavor can be made better with Parmesan cheese.”
7. Sautéed garlic and onions.
8. Good vanilla. She suggests Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract, but she always has on hand her own homemade vanilla extract. She orders the vanilla beans in bulk from Regional Access in Trumansburg, N.Y. (607-387-6959). Pack a big jar with vanilla beans, then fill it with vodka. Each time you use the beans or the extract, add more of each. “I’ve had this jar for 25 years,” she said, opening an aromatic container.
9. Grand Marnier. “It’s great with chocolate, with vanilla, with anything orange. I recently made a raspberry sauce with Grand Marnier.”
10. Kosher salt. Diamond Crystal is her brand of choice.
11. Fleur de sel, “when you need a little salt at the end. It has a brininess that’s not salty.”
I survived a week filled with too much work - and a neck injury that came at a very inconvenient time - but was also filled with lots of wonderful fun!!! Thanks for all the well wishes!!


Content in a Cottage said...

Such a wonderful post today filled with so much great information.

I hope your neck injury is on the mend. I always miss your musings when you take time off.

See you on the internet,

An Accomplished Woman said...

I bought Ina's book. I love it. Sorry about your neck and too much work. Thanks for your post.

belleandboo said...

gosh you have a beautiful blog, I enjoyed seeing inside the white house.

Melissa said...

Oh, Ina, how I love thee...

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Linda Lou said...

Sorry about your neck injury Sabina--Ina is the lady of wisdom on the Food Network, I do love her, and her new barn!! SUrprised she says CA olive oil and not Italian!! Feel better!

Lorri said...

This book is on my wish list. I wanted it for Christmas. I guess, I will just have to go out and get it for myself.Hmmmm...wonder what excuse I could use to justify that...LOL

pve design said...

Odd,Ina, I did not see "wine" anywhere on that list.
Oh, you poor thing, hope you are feeling better !

Sabina said...

That's funny - we are always joking that she uses alcohol of some sort in everything she cooks!

It's amazing to me how Ina is loved by so many women. I heard that she has a strong male following as well.

By the way - the neck thing is almost a thing of the past!!Yea!!

Honeygo Beasley said...

No. 5 is a must around here! In fact, I have my chicken at the bottom of the fridge ready for cooking and turning the carcass into homemade stock. Perfect for these cold days out here on the East coast...

annechovie said...

So sorry to hear abt your injury! Hope you are feeling better soon. I love Ina and thanks for the helpful tips.

Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing this list. I love her recipes, each one is fabulous and not disappointing. I also love her barn house. HEidi

At Home with Kim Vallee said...

Likewise! I love Ina's latest book. Personally, I feel that Reggiano Parmesan is a must. If you do not make your own, buy vanilla pure extract instead of the one with some artificial flavors.

I would add that Grand Marnier enhances any cocktails. I put a hint of Grand Marnier to my chocolate fondue made with Toblerone and 1/4 cup of heavy cream.

I am ashamed to admit that I must make my own Chicken stock. Know it is easy but I never take the time. This is my Resolution 2009 if it is not too late!

I wish Sabina that your neck is getting better.

Sabina said...

Thank you Kim - You always have so much wonderful information to share!!

Marnie said...

doing a little back ready of your blog - this cookbook has great soup recipes - made several this winter

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