Wow, R. keeps a well stocked pantry! I think, living the bachelor lifestyle, you may not be as impressed by my store-cupboard essentials..! I am one of those people who tend to go out and buy stuff when I need to cook, and there is nothing wrong with that, be inspired by what is in season, tastiest looking and affordable - you'll never go wrong. Here is the few things I do keep knocking around: (NOTICE: I HAVE TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE PICTURES WITHIN THIS BLOG POST, MY PHOTOGRAPHY SKILL LEVEL IS 0.)...
I have very little storage in my flat in Brixton, and tend not to cook as much as I like to. There is an amazing pizza chain called Franco Manca about a 2 minute walk away, and yeah I have this rule, it's called the 'why buy one when you can buy two?' rule! In my eyes that means food sorted for two days! I should also point out as R. has done so many times before, chefs have the worst diets - we love to cook for others but are not so bothered about cooking for ourselves. So here is my list - be warned if it is inspiring, you are doing something wrong!
1. Cheese - Any old eating cheese will do (i.e. not parmesan, grana padano, mozzarella, cream cheese, cottage cheese, no pre-cut cheese, no cheese singles or spread), it's the perfect midday snack or morning snack or evening snack. Melt it on a bit of bread and you're good to go! Also for an amazing cheese toastie have a look at our video we made earlier this year.
2. Soy Sauce - Sometimes I worry that I drink this stuff in my sleep, I buy so much of it! Soy Sauce is the universal asian seasoning, some of my favourite dinners are some steamed white rice with vegetables (usually Pak Choi) stir-fried with soy sauce and garlic slivers.
3. Indo-Mie Mi Goreng instant noodles - I am hard pressed to find a better source of ~300 calories than in a packet of these instant noodles. You can buy a box of forty packets in Chinatown for under a tenner! if that isn't enough said, these instant noodles are loaded with chilli, sweet soy, garlic oil and a bit of MSG that keeps you coming back for more. Did I mention chefs aren't healthy eaters?
4. MSG - If you haven't noticed a trend in my diet - its high in Umami and Salt. I first remember watching Chef Jun Tanaka demo MSG use on camera (the T.V. show I cannot for the life of me remember the name of!). I remember he was explaining what MSG does to the flavour of food by warming up a puree and adding just a pinch through it. I, at the time had no idea what was going on, however now me and R. are definitely advocates, especially as the likes of Howard McGee and David Chang have dispelled its Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Myths (people are stupid).
5. Apples - I try and snack on the likes of bananas, apples and yoghurt - I like to think they somehow balance the books. They are also delicious and they can also make for great impromptu puddings for friends. Think apples, cinnamon caramel and plain yoghurt or baked bananas, crushed up digestives and vanilla and honey yoghurt. So simple and yet so effective.
These are my essentials apart from the obvious like Heinz Chicken soup (I re-add the MSG that was so long ago taken out since my childhood), eggs, garlic, Oxo cubes, milk and bread and tea. What can't you do without in the kitchen? A.