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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pantry

I am trying to find inspiration to cook.  I have stared inside my refrigerator, pantry, flour bin, spice collection,.and freezer hoping something would jump out and take me somewhere.   I have alomost any and every ingredient  that I would need to create something interesting.

I have the standard refrigerator condiments, mayonaise, yellow/dijon/grainy mustard, ketchup, tarter/cocktail. I also have  Thai & Vietnemese fish sauces, African palm oil,  red curry paste, black bean paste, fiery szecuan stir-fry sauce, toasted sesame oil, Sriracha sauce, garlic chili sauce, French green-peppercorn mustard, salsa verde, Moraccan preserved lemons, eight kinds of jams and jellies, Thomas Keller's Cole Slaw & Potato Salad sauce mixes, and anchovie paste.

The cheese drawer has Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, aged  Wisconsin white cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, fresh mozzarella, and American.  Tucked underneath all the cheese is a fat brown paper- wrapped  thick-sliced bacon slab from Fresh Market.

The ready-to-explode freezer is full of Mallord duck breasts, veal scallapini, shrimp shells, chicken parts, eight ounce filet Mignons, catfish, mahi, Banquet fried chiken, stocks, and five kinds of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

I have beautiful olive oils; Nicolas Alziaril, Colonna Granoverde, Olivia Bella numbered Oilo Rustico, and Tartufolia, a preciously used white truffle oil. Next to the oils, smoked hickory salt, pink Himalayan salt, kosher salt, fleur de sel finishing salt, and grey salt.

It seems at times I am a hoarder of grains and flours.  Fast cooking polenta from Valsugava, slow cooking  medium grain polenta from Rolland, Masa, stone ground  white Weisenberger grits, wheat flour, rye flour, bread flour, and  semolina flour. Jammed into the upper cabinets; arborio rice, Valencian rice, Ethiopian Teff, West Afican Attieke, Isreali Couscous, Imported Ciprihani pasta, and elbow macaroni.

I would love to use these wonderful ingredients.  I want to use them.  I want them to inspire me.

Maybe I'm tired.

Maybe pizza will do.

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