Written by adam on Oct 20, 2007
What My Kitchen Cannot Live Without
Filed Under: Editorial
I was asked by Chew On That to submit my entry for the one ingredient in my pantry that I just can't live without. Now doesn't that spark some brainstorming? Hmm. Butter? Milk? Ground Beef? Brisket? Flour? Cornmeal? Sugar?
If I were Alton Brown, the answer to this question would come quickly: salt. Brown is a natural born salt worshipper, and he has even dedicated an hour long episode of his show Good Eats to the subject of salt. It doesn’t take much brain power to think this one through. Salt, or sodium, is one of the most important minerals we can have in our bodies. Our synapses wouldn't fire without it. We need salt everyday, despite what the hypertension experts say.
But that’s just too easy of an answer and it’s too boring.
For my pantry, I cannot live without onions. I came to this realization a few months ago, when I noticed that we were buying bags of every variety of onion on every trip to the store. It may be just us, but onions go into probably 80 percent of the dishes we make at home, excluding desserts.
My primary cooking onion is the white onion. This may sound strange, but I feel like it has a more robust onion flavor than yellow or red onions. TheWife says she can’t tell the difference in the whites or yellows, but my tastebuds are pretty tuned in to the power of the almighty onion.
The onion is such a versatile and powerful vegetable to put in any dish. It is used as the based of the French Mirepoix and the Cajun Trinity. Onions and hamburgers go hand in hand, and we wouldn’t have French Onion soup without them. The onion is powerful enough to make us cry when we cut them, but forgiving enough to turn sweet when we cook them over low heat.
It can be cut in so many different ways, each of which can affect the flavor and texture of the dishes they are going into. Mince the onions fine for an overall flavor, slice them into rings for a nice crunch as well as a balance of onion flavor, or you can Just slice them in half and bake them whole which brings out the sweet flavors of caramelization.
So many foods have onions as an ingredients, It's hard to image life without them.