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May 14, 2013

Tomato sauce (Recipe: one-one-one spaghetti sauce) {gluten-free}

First published in February 2008, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and an important change to the recipe. I've been making a version of this sauce since my college days. Recently, I began adding one more "one" ingredient to make it even better, and eliminating one ingredient: the olive oil, which really isn't needed at all.

Spaghetti sauce made with one of everything, on The Perfect Pantry.

On the list of things without which my pantry feels incomplete, tomato sauce is somewhere in the middle.

I always have it, I always need it, I always use it. And yet, I'm not entirely sure what it is, and how it differs from the other canned, tubed, bottled, and boxed tomato products I always have, need, and use.

Right about now, you're probably adding up the number of tomato variations in your own pantry. Tomato paste? Chopped or diced tomatoes? Canned whole tomatoes? Maybe a jar or two of "emergency" prepared marinara sauce? Slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer?

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April 18, 2013

How to use sesame oil (and five favorite recipes)

How to use sesame oil (and five favorite recipes).

The phrase "a little goes a long way" describes sesame oil perfectly. Too much in a dish, and you notice it. Not enough, and you notice that, too. Just the right amount, a small amount, adds a heavenly, nutty, musky undertone to Asian stir-fry and sauces, and it's a key ingredient in my favorite all-purpose works-with-any-leftovers seasoning: three parts low-sodium soy sauce; two parts oyster sauce; and one part sesame oil.

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July 12, 2012

Crushed garlic in a jar (Recipe: moqueca a baiana, Brazilian fish stew)

First published in November 2006, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. I learned the original recipe for this Brazilian fish stew from Botucatu Restaurant in Boston, which closed a couple of years ago.

Moqueca-a-baiana

Another scandalous confession: I always have crushed garlic in a jar in my fridge.

Aaaaayyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeee!

I can hear the screams. "What is she doing with that stuff in her pantry???"

Well, right up front, let me say that garlic in a jar is never ever better than fresh minced garlic. Never. Ever.

So why do I always have a jar on hand?

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January 13, 2011

West Bay jonnycake recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Jonnycakes

Thin and lacy, or thick and crusty? If you're not from Rhode Island, you might never understand the fierce allegiance people have to jonnycakes, our indigenous white cornmeal pancakes. Those who live east of Narragansett Bay prefer thin cakes made with milk. On my side of the Bay, we like them thick, made with water, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Both types taste best with a pat of real butter and a splash of pure maple syrup, though you can go in a completely different direction with the addition of some roasted green chiles or sun-dried tomatoes. Jonnycakes are a popular fixture at church breakfasts throughout Rhode Island, and a delicious gluten-free alternative to pancakes. Use yellow cornmeal if you can't find the "real" thing, Kenyon's white cornmeal ground right here in the Ocean State.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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