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DROP DEAD CULINARY

You won't find chicken nuggets in Laura's freezer

But you might find Oreos or a brownie mix in her pantry

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 12:01 am

Many articles have been written about what is in a chef's pantry. But what about the things you would never find in a chef's kitchen? Here is a short list of things I never have. OK, never say never, but usually I would never consider:

*Splenda or any artificial sweeteners (I keep some for my sister when she comes, but we don't consume it.)

*White bread

*Miracle Whip

*Cool Whip or Reddi-wip

*Iceberg lettuce

*Bagged lettuce (I do use the kind in boxes, especially the baby lettuces and the hydroponic lettuce with the roots still on.)

*Frozen french fries

*Frozen chicken nuggets

*Frozen chicken pot pies

*Frozen dinners of any kind

*Canned vegetables except for all the various canned tomatoes and canned pumpkin

*Minute Rice (I grew up on this, though, so I have fond memories of that red box.)

*Pre-made pies

*Pre-made pie crust (Puhleeeeease.)

*Cookies from a store's bakery

*Packaged lunchmeat

*Artificial eggs

*Hanger steak (See note at bottom)

*Offal (See note at bottom)

*Veal

*Chicken thighs

Here is what I always have:

*Skim milk

*Greek yogurt

*Unsalted domestic butter

*Salted domestic butter

*Salted European butter

*Hellmann's

*Various mustards (Right now I have four kinds in the fridge.)

*Lots of condiments

*Various cheeses

*Fresh veggies

*Lots of apples (We love apples!)

*Raw almonds

*Various pepperonis, salami, etc

*Oreos (My husband loves them. Double Stuffed.)

*Brownie mix (See above.)

*Frozen uber cookie balls

*Lots of kinds of canned tomatoes

*Canned soups

*Chicken stock

*Beef broth

*Bullions

*Pastas

*Risotto

*Orzo

*Quinoa

*Panko crumbs

Note: I have very strong opinions about the trend of charging a small fortune for meats, such as hanger steak and offal, which used to be what the butcher threw away. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose.

Laura Wilson, owner of La Dolce Vita in Roanoke, is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. Her column appears every other Tuesday in The News-Sentinel. Have a question for Laura? Submit it to clarson@news-sentinel .com or call 461-8284. We'll pass on questions to Laura. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.