Vinegars and oils are the essential items in the kitchen for everyday cooking and even for cleaning up afterwards. If you have a small kitchen or large one, you should have some of each on hand. As you experiment, you can add to your collection. Here are some of my ideas on how to start and how to expand if you have the space.
The small first kitchen:
– Good old fashion white vinegar – you can use it in cooking, salads, to freshen up ingredients, and to make salad dressing. You can also use it as cleaning agent and if you put some in your microwave for 1-3 minutes, spatters and spills wipe away easily
– Apple cider vinegar – use in salad dressing and with bbq dishes
– Red wine vinegar -use in salad dressing and in sauces
– Olive oil for salads and cooking, but not for frying because it has too low of a smoke point – go extra virgin for the taste and health benefits
– Canola – the best for frying and very versatile with a light to neutral flavor. Also useful in baking cakes and cookies.
Larger kitchen: add these items to your pantry
– Balsamic – great in salads; it has a more powerful taste; also delicious on strawberries (an Italian classic)
– Chocolate balsamic – great in deserts and on ice cream.
– Pomegranate – sweet and tangy, it’s amazing in salads. Plays well with lamb and pork.
– Rice wine vinegar- used in Chinese cooking and is milder than American vinegar but sometimes is loaded with sodium.
– Walnut oil – neutral flavor and a high smoke point
– Sesame seed oil – high smoke point; great in stir fry and Oriental cooking with a strong flavor
– Grape seed oil- mostly used in salad dressing
– Corn oil – great for deep frying; high smoke point (not my favorite, but it is inexpensive)
– Coconut oil – low smoke point; good in baking and as a substitute for crisco oil.
– Olive oil with truffle – amazing on freshly popped pop corn (one of my daughter’s favorite)
– Sunflower oil -one of the healthy oils; ok for salads and good for pan frying
– Peanut oil – this is a great oil for deep frying unless you or your guests have peanut allergies, so be careful if it’s use.
1 part vinegar
3 parts oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Whisk vinegar with Dijon
Slowly whisk in oil
Add salt and pepper to taste