What are my 5 fridge essentials you ask me? Well that depends a bit on the time of the year, on my mood and for my motivation to cook that week or month. But generally, I believe you should always have some base things in the fridge that elevate a dish, make it more fun, more flavourful.
It’s needless to say that you should always, always have butter. But you know that, I’m sure. Some kind of milk, whether cow or plant based is also not wrong, especially now for the occasional iced coffee. I also keep pickles, mustard and mayonnaise as a regular in my fridge. The ones below are the most versatile I believe that bring some fun into many dishes.
Anchovies preserved in either olive oil or vinegar are umami flavour bombs. The ones in vinegar are amazing as a snack, or on some toasted bread. Anchovies in oil are very versatile and when chopped thinly add some deep saltiness to pasta sauces, to salad dressings or to dipps. When fried in some butter they first begin to break up, and then finally they just melt into the pan, adding a wonderful base for a pasta sauce.
2. Greek Yoghurt
Greek, or Turkish yoghurt are something I always have in my fridge. Not only for delicious morning bases for berries, nut butter, and honey, but also for savoury dishes. It’s perfect for dipps, like Tzatziki, Baba Ghanoush or just mixed with some olive oil, lemon and chili flakes. Greek yoghurt is great in cakes, to make them richer and add some acidity. It’s also useful in marinades, to tenderize meat and add some juiciness.
Do I have to explain? Whip up a simple Mayonnaise, or an Aioli. Make Shakshuka with plump, juicy tomatoes, and Greek yoghurt. Make an emergency omelette, or pancakes or just a hard boiled egg as an addition to your hummus or Nicoise salad. Ever tried homemade Ramen eggs in your instant Ramen bowl? It’s a world of difference.
4. Miso Paste
Japanese light Miso paste is this super flavourful condiment that not only is great dissolved in water and served with silken tofu and wakame as Miso soup. It’s amazing for marinades, both for meat or veggies, in soups of all kinds and stews. It just lifts all your cooking a level up when it comes to taste. Miso is also amazing in caramel, in cakes and cookies, in ice cream, in chocolate, you name it.
5. Tahini Paste
Tahini paste is lovely on yoghurt and muesli, but also in yoghurt. Mix it with some cold water, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper and here is a nice addition to your hummus or simply a dip to pour over baked veggies. Mixed with cream cheese it also makes a great frosting on carrot cake, or any cake really. Mix into cakes, into cookies, ice cream, again, there are no limits whatsoever.