What is your "always gotta have on hand" food item?

You know, that condiment or ingredient you pray you never run out of. Mine's this Fig Spread (pictured) Originally I bought it for a cheese plate, then realized it was magical! A schmear on one side of the bread makes a killer grilled cheese sandwich, whisk a dollop into a vinaigrette, glaze an apple tart out of the oven...you name it. When in doubt , I go for the fig spread.

  • Posted by: susanm
  • September 13, 2013
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M.McAwesome September 18, 2013
I like to have ingredients to make something like a frittata. This way if I need something quick and impressive, whip up something delicious then eggs, cheese, and assorted veggies.
soojasaurus September 16, 2013
Bread. Cheese. Butter. Grilled cheese is like a food group.
Pegeen September 16, 2013
Demi glace is a great miracle ingredient. I tried to make it once from roasted bones, etc., but it took a very long time and didn't compare to what you can buy. It's expensive but a little bit goes a long way, and it lasts a long time.
aargersi September 16, 2013
Oh man there are millions! Good canned tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, beans, dried chilis and good chili powder and to be honest - a whole ton of spices, broth and dried cranberries and nuts, couple kinds of rice and pasta. OK I am blowing it - basically I need access to an entire grocery store at all times.
Let's not even get started on the fridge / freezer!!!
Pegeen September 15, 2013
susanm, I'm confused! I love reading everyone's answers about what's in their pantry... it makes me feel less alone! But was your question to choose just one thing? Assuming water and salt are freebies (kind of like Lynne Rossetto Kasper's "Splendid Table" call-in segment on her radio show, where callers throw a weird list of ingredients at her, but she's at least allowed to have water, salt, pepper), I'd have to go with eggs, pasta or potatoes. Pasta lasts longest, final answer.

susanm September 16, 2013
i probably asked the question wrong...i wasn't looking for pantry items. more like: your best kept secret item and how you use it.

i guess everyone took it a bit too literally.
drbabs September 14, 2013
Milk and coffee. Worcestershire sauce,
creamtea September 14, 2013
Chocolate. Garlic. Lemons. Oh, and eggs, pasta, wine.

Voted the Best Reply!

Pegeen September 14, 2013
Ambien. (It counts as a carbohydrate.)
bugbitten September 15, 2013
I only keep it around if I'm doing Ambien brownies.
tiffanylee September 14, 2013
Flour, yeast, butter, onions, garlic,stock,potatoes.
Greenstuff September 14, 2013
Dijon mustard. I have many. All from France.
inpatskitchen September 14, 2013
Garlic, olive oil, dried pasta, good canned tomatoes, peanut butter and tuna.
Kristen W. September 14, 2013
Peanut butter, eggs, good canned tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, dried pasta & rice. Interesting how many repeats there are on these lists.
ChefOno September 14, 2013

Rum and limes.

bugbitten September 14, 2013
That's what I wanted to say!
bugbitten September 13, 2013
Chicken stock, but it's a tough question.
Adianne September 13, 2013
Eggs and good bread
cookbookchick September 13, 2013
Mi B. September 13, 2013
GiGi26 September 13, 2013
Peanut Butter, eggs, potatoes, pasta, chicken stock and canned tomatoes
MTMitchell September 13, 2013
Wine, pasta, cheese, dog food (because she's really not supposed to have our "gotta have on hand" stuff and everybody in the house needs supper!). And wine.
ZombieCupcake September 13, 2013
Peanut and/or almond butter, bananas, avocados, and alot of different grains
darksideofthespoon September 13, 2013
Nuts and Seeds. My freezer is stocked with all sorts of nuts, Hazelnuts, Cashews and Walnuts being my favorites.
ChefJune September 13, 2013
Eggs. and Wine.
pierino September 13, 2013
For me it's really good, imported tuna canned in olive oil. That plus about twenty varieties of dried pasta.
GIOVANNI50 September 16, 2013
and anchovies!
Bevi September 13, 2013
Agave nectar, Meyer lemons, boxed low sodium organic chx stock, butter, limes, lemons.
David September 13, 2013
Wine and Chocolate
HalfPint September 13, 2013
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 13, 2013
canned tomatoes and butter, as well!
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 13, 2013
Hummus, peanut butter and stock in a box.
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