Ever since college I’ve been making good meals from random things. I would take whatever I had in the cabinets + plus the techniques I learned from books, magazines, & T.V. and made some masterful creations (at least for someone in college). My friends always asked me “How were you able to make that?” The answer to that is combination of things (accrued knowledge from multiple sources) but the most important piece is how I shop. And the way I shop helps me cook like Chopped.
Here are some quick tips on how to prep your cabinets to cook random creations:
- Keep it simple– When shopping to stock your cabinets for the first time never buy a bunch of complicated things. Your stashes will grow over time. As well, your tastes and style will too. So, don’t rush. Keep it simple. Start with the items that you know you like and/or the items that go well with anything.
- Get aromatics– The key to any good dish is aromatics. You have to keep those things in stock in order to give your dishes good flavoring. No matter what I project I may make in the future, I always buy a yellow or red onion, at least one garlic clove, some type of bell pepper, and fresh herbs (mostly Thyme or Basil. I love Basil). Some other options are celery and carrots.
- Fresh Veggies– Each time you go to the store just grab some veggie that look good, green and fresh. Doesn’t matter what it is you’ll figure it out later. But you always want to have at least one type of fresh veggie in the house.
- Don’t buy all the spices– Spices can get expensive. Especially if your shopping organic. So take your time just buy one or two per grocery stop. If you see one that’s interesting, look it up and buy it the next time. Now you have a recipe and a new flavor.
- Tomato Sauce– Tomato sauce is one of those things that’s you can get a lot of dishes out of. It’s super versatile.
- Noodles– Doesn’t really matter what type. I prefer the traditional pasta noodles. But if that’s not your style, switch it up. Noodles are a great base for dishes and it doesn’t take much to execute a good noodle dish. Also rice (I personally don’t really like rice).
- Eggs – Eggs are in everything. As well, they can stand on their own as a quick snack.
- Potatoes- Like Noodles and rice, potatoes are one of those things that you can do anything with and it’ll taste good. Even just loading it with cheese, chicken, broccoli, and your favorite BBQ sauce.
- This is another one of my unofficial rules. Always buy Chicken breast. Only if you’re not Vegan or against chicken. I’ve haven’t found a dish that I couldn’t substitute chicken breast for. It’s like the most versatile meat in the world to me. When in doubt buy chicken.
These shopping tips should set you up for success in your kitchen. Check out the VLog of me #cookinglikechopped and you try it at home! Take some pics of your shopping or your creations and share them with the hashtags #HuskyBoysIntl #CookingLikeChopped #StayHusky