Ingredient Index

Index; a few notes on ingredients below (just explaining my choices and philosophies when it comes to particular ingredients):


Fruits and Vegetables:

Condiments and other Refrigerator Staples

1. Each recipe on this blog is tagged with every ingredient used (excluding salt, pepper and sometimes cooking fat because salt is in virtually every dish here, pepper in every savory dish and cooking fat is often a personal decision - more on that below). Rather than using an overwhelming bubble of labels as a sidebar, I have decided to organize links to those tags here by the type of ingredient. Each link leads to a comprehensive list of all posts using that ingredient. Use ctrl+F to find a particular ingredient if you aren't sure what category it would fall under.

2. Cooking fat is an important factor to consider in terms of taste, calories and cooking process. For example, butter is generally my fat of choice because I love the flavor and it is a much more local ingredient than oil, but I do not use butter in high-acid dishes to avoid any curdling. I also really enjoy bacon grease, but that is something I use rarely when I have it available. I use organic (to avoid GMOs) canola oil in just about any any other high heat cooking. Pure olive oil is used for marinades, low heat cooking and in very particular instances, such as roasting garlic (because I then reserve that oil to use in things like white bean dip where the flavor can come through) or in small amounts for bread or pizza doughs. And I basically only used extra-virgin olive for dressings. I also have coconut oil, but I only use that to season my cast-iron and occasionally to grease baking dishes. I support cooking with lard, but it is not something I do. I also support using a variety of nut oils for different health benefits, but most are very expensive and easily go rancid, so I don't use such products very often.

3. In some of my earlier posts, you may see me breaking this rule, but AS a rule, I try to use only fresh herbs with a few exceptions. I use oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and sage in their dried state for their ability to stand up to long cooking processes and consider most other dried herbs to be garbage. Delicate herbs like parsley and basil lose all flavor and nuance when dried and quickly gain a rancid flavor. I buy dried herbs in their whole leaf state so that I can crumble them right into what I am cooking.

4. I list stock under Refrigerator Staples because I prefer to have homemade chicken stock in my freezer at all times. I collect vegetable scraps when peeling carrots, celery, onions, parsley and other mild produce.After roasting a chicken, I reserve the carcass, place it in a large stock pot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil and reduce for several hours, cool in 4 cup portions and freeze until needed. When I am out of homemade stock (which is becoming less and less frequent!), I like Better than Bouillon bases and choose which base would best suit the dish (beef, chicken or vegetable). I go with organic to avoid MSG by another name and GMOs in general. I also usually don't use the instructed amount of base per quart of water; taste your stock before adding it to the pot and adjust.