We've been talking for a while about adding a cooking-focused page to the website and are still mulling ideas as well as a title; "Bites" and "Last Bite" were rejected, the latter conjuring images of death for one of us. So, Another Bite it is for now. Among the dozens of ideas for this page are topics like "My Essential Pantry," "Three Things I Want to Learn to Cook this Year," and "What Cookbooks I'm Reading Right Now." Our hope is that we can pass along our thoughts and inspire you, but we also hope you'll talk back to us.
To get things started, here is my response to the question, "Name five non-essential things that are always in your fridge."
Lemons REAL lemons, never the bottled stuff. It's amazing how many times a recipe calls for the zest or juice and while it's probably best not to refrigerate them, they keep a pretty long time if you do.
Capers I put these in tuna and egg salad and add them to pasta sauces. They're also good in creamy salad dressings or in a simple butter-lemon sauce for fish or chicken.
Homemade Hot Sauce I have two in there right now, one that's brilliant red and a Habanero one that's bright orange. I'm from Louisiana, so I have to have them for eggs, grits, rice dishes, soups...
Anchovies Heat a few of these in a pan with olive oil, chopped garlic and crushed red pepper and then add broccolini or cauliflower. The anchovies sort of melt into the oil and add a special saltiness, not "fishiness."
Wine I'm not sure this counts as non-essential. For cooking, a Sauvignon Blanc always works when a recipe calls for "dry white wine." You don't want something with a big personality like an oaky Chardonnay.