Category: Tips & Guides

Fridge Guy

Chef’s can brag all they want about their favorite dishes, their resumes and the “quality ingredients” they use.   At the end of the day, the REAL test is what’s in their own refrigerator…the one at home.

I mean, if you could take a peek, what would you find lurking about behind the bologna?  The “Chef’s” secret ingredients or…. Chef Boyardee?

As for me, quite honestly, my refrigerator is usually pretty empty. Maybe better put, well “edited”. I keep what I need to make a number of things that I like and the ingredients I need to have on hand for “impromptu” entertaining but to be quite honest, I have more condiments than…well??  anything…

My pantry and my freezer is a whole other story. There IS where you’d find most all my proteins and stuff to make meals. Then again, my dry pantry and freezer is well stocked because it’s a whole lot less perishable.

That’s a topic for another time….

So, what’s in my refrigerator right now?…or for that matter, most anytime you’d stop by.

I keep a number of ingredients for making sauces. Sauces pretty much make the meal. Chicken is chicken, beef is beef and pasta is pasta. But, with the right sauce, they become magical meals….The magic begins with More Than Gourmet Sauce Bases…more specifically, Demi Glace Gold. I also usually keep on hand Minor’s brand Lobster Base and Minor’s Brand Natural Chicken Base. Both of these are rather expensive but worth it. And a little goes a long way. Now, I know that I could make a better scratch product but it’s really not worth the time and expense unless I’m planning a Super Special dinner party. Then, I go all out.

Butter??? Usually have 2 kinds. Any cheap, salted butter for general cooking and Plugra, Unsalted Butter for my bread.  Wine? Chardonnay for sippin and sauces, Sweet Marsala & Sherry for sauces and marinates. Other key items include:

  • Nino’s Santa Fe Style Black Bean & Corn Salsa by Garden Fresh  (I think Salsa should be a food group?)
  • Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce & Marinates…(The BEST Teriyaki for MY money…)
  • Rice Wine Vinegar (Sweeter and less acidic than Apple Cider vinegar…but I DO keep both on hand)
  • Academia Barilla Balsamic Vinegar (For the money, and in my opinion, the BEST out there…)
  • Maille (French) Dijon Mustard (Caesar salad dressing and anything requiring mustard at MY house.)
  • Coglin Brand Liquid Smoke (Hickory)….a drop here and there can add interest to a lot of dishes
  • Flying Horse Brand Sweet Chili Sauce (A GREAT condiment that you can use in SO many ways!)
  • Michigan PURE Maple Syrup ( We’ve got some of the best in the world right in our own backyard!)
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce (Original)….just works for me…love the stuff.

And, all right, I’ve got milk and eggs too and maybe a  few cans of soda and oh yeah, some bottled water. You might be surprised at the small Ocean Spray Pink Grapefruit juice bottles. Especially because I’m not a huge fan of grapefruit juice. But one my BEST kept regrigerator secrets is a splash of Pink Grapefruit juice mixed in with fresh mint, lime, sugar and a spritz of club soda….and what’s that other ingredient??? Oh??…RUM…lots of Rum!!!….and you’ve got the BEST Hemmingway Mojito on the planet.

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