Will And Steve Spill On The Essentials We All Need In The Kitchen
Chefs and Studio 10 regulars Will and Steve know their way around a pantry, so they're the perfect people to ask what staples all grown-ups should have in their kitchen cupboards, right?
No one expects anyone but a chef to know how to whip up a good three-course meal in minutes from things you can find in your fridge, but as adults, there are certain staples you can store that will mean you're not stranded when Uber Eats can't deliver -- oh, the horror!
For Will and Steve, the "Gourmet Pommies" who now run Sydney restaurant Butcher And The Farmer, there are a few things that everyone should pop in their pantry. And we're not talking caviar and champagne here, either -- we're talking the basics. Shopping lists at the ready.
"Everybody should have olive oil in their kitchen. I think that's an absolute must," Will told 10 daily.
"I think that we all need good quality sea salt flakes as well -- it's less harsh and acrid than some of the table salts that you would normally use. It's great for seasoning, you want to try and get the balance right when you're creating food."
Okay, oil and salt -- got it. Not hard.
"Personally, I love to have minced beef or minced pork," Will said. "They're really versatile ingredients -- you can make burgers out of these things, you can make ragus and bolognaises and that sort of stuff. And then if you want to go down the Asian route, you know, you can start getting a little bit funky making dumplings and things like that if you get your hands on some won ton wrappers as well."
Next on Will's list: Butter.
"We like to use good fats in moderation. They add flavour," he told 10 daily. "You can really start to enhance dishes and things by a little technique like creating a burnt butter just by heating butter in a small frying pan or saucepan and getting it to that point where it's starting to go brown."
'Scuse us while we drool here.
A good cheese is something useful to have too -- just a block of cheese that you can grate over the top of things which allows you to elevate a bolognaise or whatever."
Consider it added. Along with Will's other recommendations of tinned chopped tomatoes for that bolognese, and "eggs, because eggs are so versatile." He also suggested a "bottom of the fridge" selection -- carrots, brown onion and garlic, which you can use as the basis for many sauces. And lemons, lots of lemons.
"I also think a good white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, just a bottle of that. If you've got olive oil, a vinegar, salt, and you get some lemon juice in there -- and you could possibly add in a little bit of sugar to try and get some sweetness to it -- you can make some really simple dressings and vinaigrettes."
We always like to use fresh herbs where at all possible, but, you know, if you can't and you want to have a couple of stock-standard dried herbs in the kitchen, you'd look at oregano, thyme and possibly rosemary," he said.
And stock. "Stock is a way of adding flavour into a dish," said Will, "and some of the liquid ones are really amazing."
A final addition to your list from Will is a selection of nuts and seeds.
"Pepitas, sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds," he suggests, are great to keep in the cupboard. "They allow you to have some healthy snacks, so if you're peeking at the fridge, a little bit hungry, just grab a handful of those," he said. "But more than that they bring texture to dishes."
And, on that, here's a good cheat so people think you're all over this cooking lark, even if you're seriously not. Grab some hummus and do what Will suggests.
Sprinkle some toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds or pepitas over the top of it -- just gives a little bit of crunch to the dish, and that textural change makes your food a bit more interesting."
Consider us now kitchen whizzes.
Feature Image: Will and Steve.