Use Kosher or Sea salt
Grind it to order
Good for about a year before they lose intensity. Dry toast spices in a sauté pan to intensify their flavor
Use good extra virgin olive oil for finishing dishes. High heat destroys the fruitiness that you paid for. You can sauté with grape seed oil, peanut oil, canola oil or less expensive olive oil. Keep your oil out of sunlight in a cool spot or refrigerate. Its shelf life is no more than a year.
We pour 100 % California Mission olive oil with our bread service. The flavor changes throughout the year. When it is first bottled in January it has a grassy nose and peppery finish. As the months pass it mellows a bit and takes on more of a nut like flavor. We also use a variety of organic Tuscan EVOO for finishing our grilled meats and pastas.
will keep for a long time. Different vinegars work with some foods better than others so keep a variety on hand. Balsamic vinegar sold in the U.S. is generally a rip-off and is produced in an industrial fashion.
goes rancid after a year. You can prolong its life by keeping in the fridge, but you then have to deal with condensation as it come to room temperature. Flour is the cheapest thing in the pantry, so it’s better to keep it fresh. I also keep Semolina on hand for my homemade fresh pasta recipe.\
Many chefs praise San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy. In the restaurant, we use Alta Cucina tomatoes that are grown and packed in Modesto. At home, I keep some boutique tomato sauces on hand. If you’re so inclined, growing your own tomatoes is even better.
In brine, capers will keep in the fridge for a long time. They can add a another layer of flavor to pastas, salads and sauces for meat and fish
are a matter of personal preference. I use both brined and salt cured. Brined olives like Kalamatas will keep longer in the fridge. Giant, green Castelvetrano make great table olives. If you have a source for raw olives, it is fairly easy to cure your own. More on that to come in December.