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August 23, 2014

Sriracha sauce: like or dislike?

Sriracha sauce.

Occasionally on our Facebook page, we play a little game called Like or Dislike, with ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. Starting today, Like or Dislike comes to The Perfect Pantry on Saturdays. Do you like, dislike, love, crave, despise, wish for, use in your own kitchen? The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell!

It's no secret that I love hot and spicy food. I've got a stockpile of chili paste with garlic, in case the end of the world arrives and the Asian market is closed. Another favorite is Sriracha sauce, also called "rooster" sauce, which my grocery store sells and which I buy in the largest size bottle available. (If the apocalypse comes, head over to my house. I don't know what we'll have to eat, but whatever it is, we'll make it spicy.) Restaurants discovered this Thai-style hot sauce years ago, and now home cooks have made it their own.

Sriracha sauce: like or dislike?

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August 20, 2014

Favorite eggplant recipes from The Perfect Pantry {vegetarian, gluten-free}

"Poor little eggplants."

My husband Ted doesn't adore eggplant, so it's not often that I manage to incorporate it into dishes we both enjoy. At this time of year, when we're eating as much corn and tomatoes as we can -- and as much zucchini as we can stand -- it's easy to forget about eggplant, which is also at its peak right now. To make sure you don't pass over eggplant at the farm stand, here are a few of my favorite eggplant recipes, perfect for summer.

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August 17, 2014

Seafood stew with tomatoes, peppers, fennel and leeks {gluten-free}

Seafood stew, packed with mussels, clams, scallops and fish.

My friend Beverly, a lifelong Rhode Islander, moved to Denver a couple of weeks ago, leaving behind The Ocean State and its glorious and abundant seafood. For our last dinner on my back porch, I made this seafood stew, filled with all of the good things that come from our coastal waters. The key to the stew is the light broth, which will happily accept almost any type of shellfish or non-oily fish. Best of all, you can make the broth ahead of time, and refrigerate or freeze it. Then, head to the fish market, pick up a selection of seafood, and finish the stew with just a few minutes of cooking. (Remember to ask your fishmonger for some clam "liquor", which most markets will have on hand. The taste is much cleaner than bottled clam juice.) To make the full recipe, the large quantity of seafood will be expensive, so this is a great party or special occasion dish. However, you can freeze the broth in small batches, then make just enough for weeknight dinner with any little bits of fish or shellfish. Serve this dish to people you love, especially if they're moving inland.

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August 16, 2014

The Pantry Quiz #100

Water

Do You Know?

Of all the ingredients in The Perfect Pantry, water is the most versatile. After all, without water, grains wouldn't grow, sauces wouldn't flow, and seeds wouldn't sprout. What are the ingredients in a cup of water?

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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