We all know that a well-stocked pantry can be the difference between a successful dinner and a complete disaster. There is a multitude of essential kitchen staples out there, ranging from corn starch to salt and pepper. And if there is anything I have learned being a home-chef, it’s that we cannot take the simplest of ingredients for granted. Imagine how frustrating it would be to be dreaming of that delicious pasta after a long day at work and realize when you get home that you have nothing to improvise a sauce with?
Even in the “take-away era” that we are living, having our pantry well stocked is paramount. With the right ingredients you can make any meal your own. There are lists of must-haves in every kitchen, but I am going to introduce you to the ultimate pantry staple in my opinion.
Balsamic vinegar will allow you to reach the next level of home cooking. You can drizzle it over your salad leaves, bread and toast, soft or hard cheeses, spice up your pizza and even add to your dessert! One would never think of it as such a versatile ingredient, but balsamic vinegar can add that extra flavour to basically anything and everything!
During our daily food tastings in Raheny we paired the La Collina Balsamic Vinegar with various products. Simply dipping a slice of Guinness Bread into it turned out to be a hit! The sweetness of the bread met the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and they paired like a match made in heaven!
Cooking can sometime seem like a battle we are bound to lose, especially considering the busy lives that we are all living. Chop, season, roast, bake – they are all challenges when you have guests knocking on your door on a Friday evening. When you have no time, throw some nice cheese and antipasti on a board, dress them up with your favourite balsamic vinegar and enjoy. Your guests will think you went to a lot of trouble, but you know that you can always count on that lifesaver in your cupboard.
The Butler’s Pantry Raheny