The Macheesmo Pantry

About a month or so ago I asked readers what they would like to see on Macheesmo and I’m working to integrate all the answers into future posts and into the general design. One reader (Hi Bill!) asked me to do an inventory of the sorts of the things in my pantry. And so I present to you:


Taking Bill’s advice, I literally went through my pantry and fridge and came up with a list of all the things that you would most likely find in my kitchen if you were to look on any given day. I actually have a lot more crap in my pantry that I care to list, but the below is about 60 ingredients that I use fairly regularly.

I figure a list by itself won’t do you much good though, so I for each ingredient (pretty much) I link to a previous Macheesmo recipe where I’ve used that ingredients. NO REPEATS EITHER!

One more note, as this list swelled to 60 items, I decided to leave spices for another day. It would just be too much to handle!

THE LIST (in alphabetical order):

All-purpose Flour – Like, a bunch of posts, but try some Grissini for starters.
Almonds – Just a personal preference. One of my favorite nuts. Pasta with Almond Sauce.
Baking Powder – Lots of baking items like Lemon Poppy Muffins.
Baking SodaCaramel Popcorn.
Balsamic Vinegar Warmed Greens with Poached Egg. You’ll note that there isn’t any salad dressings on this list. That’s because oil and vinegar is my fave.
Beer – I needed lots of it to make it through this post.
Black Beans – I like the dried, but keep the canned on hand also for dinner in a pinch. Veggie Sliders.
Bourbon – For drinking and losing Food Battles.
Bread Crumbs – I prefer the Panko kind. Rice and Bean Arancini.
Bread Flour No Knead Bread.
Brown SugarCaramelized French Toast.
Butter – I’m not even linking to a post. I use it every day.
Cake Flour Psychedelic Cupcakes.
Canola Oil – This or peanut oil is what I keep on hand for frying stuff like a stir fry.
Chili Sauce Benedict Brunch. And I eat it on tons of stuff that isn’t on Macheesmo.
Cocoa Powder Red Velvet Cake
Coconut (shredded) – Wow. Nothing. You could add it to a Parfait.
Confectioners Sugar Dark and Tan Cookie. Old school Macheesmo.
Corn MealPolenta Pizza.
Corn OilKind of Cool Ranch Doritos.
Corn Starch Mango Cobbler.
Cranberries (dried)Macheesmo Muscle Bars.
CurrantsBread Salad.
Eggs – Let’s go with Breakfast Burritos.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Cannot compute. How about Technicolor Bean Salad.
Flax Seeds – I top my bread with this or make granola.
Garlic – Note that there isn’t a lot of produce on this. My produce list changes based on season and what I’m making that week. Garlic is always around though. It really shines in Texas Caviar.
Honey – How about some really good meatloaf.
HorseradishCompound Butter.
Hot SauceChicken Wings Three Ways.
Ice Cream – Ok. I keep vanilla ice cream on hand because I’m addicted to it. Lay off!
Ketchup – The only reason you will find this in my fridge is because I don’t like it. I’ve had the same bottle forever. In a pinch, use it for BBQ Sauce. Ironically, I’ve also defended the stuff.
Lemons – These guys barely made the list. But I usually have some around. Try making some Lemon Curd.
Maple Syrup – How about my recently posted Cherry Chocolate Pancakes?
Mayonnaise – Don’t like it on sandwiches. Love it in dips.
Milks – This is kind of broad, but I use whole milk, cream, and even dry milk in stuff like sandwich bread.
MustardOrange Glazed Chicken.
Onions – Again. Something I always have on hand so I can make things like the best sandwich ever.
Parmesan Cheese – Gotta have it for homemade pasta.
Parsley (fresh) – This is the only herb I listed because it is the one I probably use the most. One of my favorite dinner parties: Pork Rib Roast.
Pastas (assorted) – Not very exciting but at least one day a week I have pasta. And then I make this with leftovers.
Peanut Butter – I usually just eat it but sometimes I make Intestines!
Peas (frozen) – No post that I haven’t already listed, but I toss them in pasta frequently. They are my frozen veggie of choice.
PecansOrange Coffee Cake.
Pepper – Borderline spice. But essential! I use it in tons of dishes, but really essential for a good stock.
Pine Nuts – Good for pesto like in these Savory Breakfast Rolls.
PotatoesMashed Potato Pizza.
Red Wine VinegarSesame Noodles.
Rice (long grain and short) – Usually just eat it, but sometimes I make a risotto or stuffed pepper.
SalsaNear Perfect Nachos.
Salts – I always keep Kosher salt and table salt on hand. I use table salt for baking and Kosher for everything else.
Spray Oil – Good for stuff like English Muffins.
Soy SauceSticky Rice.
Sunflower Seeds – Just used them in the granola, but I also just snack on them.
Tomatoes (canned) – I use these all of the time to make a quick pasta sauce. One of the most essential things in my pantry. Also, Eggplant Parm Empanadas.
WalnutsBaked Breakfast Apples.
White Sugar – Use a lot obviously, but I like Chocolate Lava Cakes.
White VinegarCottage Cheese.
Whole Wheat Flour – I use it for my No Knead Bread already linked.
Wine – Drink it! Cook with it! Pasta with Cream Sauce.
Worcestershire SauceDelicious Crab Dip!

PHEW! That was intense. So that is a snapshot of my pantry right now and also at most days. This is obviously also a great resource if you have any of this stuff laying around and your not sure what to do with it.

I’m sure I missed a bunch of stuff, but leave a comment. What is essential to you?

6 comments on “The Macheesmo Pantry

  1. That's a lot of crap. I never really think about how much stuff I actually have in there – reading this post I realized it is A LOT.

    Interesting you prefer table salt for baking. The fine grain allows for maximum ease of dissolving/distribution in recipes, yes, but I feel like table salt has a much "saltier" – quasi offensive – taste sometimes. I prefer sea salt, finely ground, of course.

    List of stuff that comes to mind immediately that I have in there that you don't mention: Champagne vinegar, smoked sea salt, non-stick spray (cooking & baking variety), molasses, sesame oil…

  2. My 80 proof Austrian "Stroh Rum" (for baking)…. to which we have now added Jean's Haitian "Rhum Barbancourt" (sacred, I won't be touching it) – amazing what seemingly disparate cultures have in common no?

  3. You do not have half the crap that my Mother-in-law does. I have personally seen 10 year old turmeric in there. Sheesh! Nothing like a fine dusty smell!

    As for table salt, I do not mind it, if there are not additives like silicate and sugar. Seriously, look in the ingredients list. Sketchy! Kosher salt for me, all the way!

    I have Tamaki Gold Japanese rice, sushi seasoning, mirin, and Yuzu juice for mine. Oh ya, I also have some white soy!

  4. I'm always unsure as to what to make sure I always have. I don't even do half the cooking in the house, but I do all the baking. The only things I can ever remember to buy is baking stuff. I have an over abundance of powdered sugar, cake flour, AP flour, and various food colorings, sugars, flavors, ect. So this was very helpful for me. I'm going to have to make that Orange Chicken!

  5. Nick – Wow. I can’t believe my stupid 80-hour work weeks caught up with me just before you posted this. You can bet I’ll be catching up with Macheesmo this weekend. Thank you!

  6. How about adding Fish Sauce, Sambal, Sweet Chili Sauce, I keep a big old jar of Greek anchovies for added flavor in last minute pasta.

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