Jul 1, 2011

Back to the basics {Cooking)

I've been wanting to add cooking to the blog for quite some time but wasn't sure if anyone would be interested. Well, several people have mentioned putting recipes and cooking posts on here so I thought I'd try it out. I figured I'd just start with my basics and go from there. 

I'll start with my 3 favorite (basic) cooking ingredients. These are my go-to, must have, can't live without items in my kitchen. Salt. Pepper. Olive oil.

First up, salt! What's so special about salt you ask? Well, it's one of those ingredients that if you use a good quality salt you'll find you don't need as much and the food doesn't taste overly salty, it tastes properly seasoned. It is by far my most highly recommended ingredient for improving your cooking.

These are my everyday salts. I also have a few flavored salts that I've picked up while traveling or got as gifts but these are the two most used in our home.

Kosher Flake Salt from Sur La Table (currently in my kitchen, but I think I may like Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt even more.)
I use this salt in my everyday cooking and seasoning. I love the flaky texture and it's light, not overly hard and crunchy.

I tried to get a close up so you can see the texture of the salt. Even though the salt flakes are larger than traditional table salt, the taste isn't as strong. I was recently reading a cooking article that said most recipes you find are created using more mild salts such as this, and one cup of fine table salt can weigh almost twice as much as one cup of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, meaning it would be twice as salty. You can read more on that over at Smitten Kitchen. 

My other favorite is gray salt. I always get my gray salt from Napa Style. I like the one pound tin, it lasts quite a long time and is definitely worth the $20. My favorite uses for this kind of salt are to sprinkle it on veggies, salad, or grilled chicken. It's also the best for finishing a meal with a light sprinkling of this coarse salt.

As Michael Chiarello said "If you change just one thing about your cooking, make it the salt.". Well said.

Next up is pepper, not just any pepper, the freshly ground pepper is always the best. I don't have much to say about this, but the fresh stuff does have a bit more flavor and punch. That's my stainless pepper mill in the picture below.

And last, but not least, olive oil. Oh sweet olive oil. When I cook or have to add olive oil to a recipe I usually go for whatever Trader Joe's olive oil I have on hand. But, if I'm making salad dressing or finishing a meal with a drizzle of olive oil then I love using Petrou Foods Unfiltered Olive Oil. The taste is so smooth and it's absolutely perfect when preparing uncooked food. I buy it local at the farmers market in Laguna Beach but you may be able to buy it on their website if interested.

That pretty much sums up my top 3 favorite cooking ingredients. I have a few favorite recipes I'll be putting up here soon like the most amazing Poppyseed Salad with Strawberries, seriously the best salad I've ever had!!


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog & would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the recipe to your fancy chicken pot pie!! lol... I make a mean chicken pot pie, but yours sounded wonderful and a bit more "uppity" than mine!! (It's nice to find new favorites!) I'm posting some recipes this week too, so feel free to stop by my bloggity at http://www.nobus4us.blogspot.com. :)

  2. @Heather MolinaThanks Heather! I'll put the recipe for the kinda fancy chicken pot pie on here soon, probably next week! I need to make it so I know the exact measurements to tell everyone. :)

  3. ooo gray salt is new for me! Thanks for that!
    New follower to your blog :)

  4. just came across your blog and I love it! Trying to find another food blogs :)