3 Time-Saving Ingredients Every Kitchen Should Have On Hand
There’s nothing wrong with putting your laziness to work. Especially if it saves you time in the kitchen. In a time where workdays and your Netflix queue get longer, the temptation to pop a frozen pizza in the oven is strong. So, over the years, we have found a few ways to make good food, fast.
Here are three top time-saving ingredients everyone should have on hand.
1. Frozen Sofrito Mix
Yes. It’s frozen. Get over it and let’s move on.
This colorful bag of red and green peppers with onions can be found in the frozen vegetable section of your grocer. It’s just as nutritious and tasty as spending time chopping it up yourself, with the added bonus of 100% less tears. It can be used in any recipe that asks for this specific combo of veggies or added to dishes to give them some color and Latin flavor.
You can use it in picadillo (sorry, not sorry Abuela), add to arroz con pollo, toss it in with steamed green beans and corn, and even mix some into ground beef for burgers.
2. Corn Starch
You will find corn starch in pies, creams, fried chicken, and that spray that makes your feet not sweat. It’s some really versatile stuff. Just Google uses for it and you’ll get about 15,300,000 results. For all its uses, one of the best is to quickly thicken any sauce. If you have ever made gravy or Alfredo you know the pain of waiting for the sauce to thicken. If you’re like us you’re patience runs out, you turn up the heat, burn the sauce, and spaghetti night is ruined.
Corn starch is really simple to use, just take equal parts cold water and corn starch, stir until it’s smooth and thick, mix it into whatever sauce you’re making, bring it to a simmer while you keep stirring, and watch as your watery, sad soup, becomes a beautiful thick sauce.
You want to make gravy in less that 10 minutes? Corn starch.
That chowder not so chow? Corn starch.
When will this watery mess become the sauce of your dreams? When you add corn starch.
3. Fresh Frozen Garlic and Parsley Cubes
Chopping garlic is such a miserable experience. It’s sticky. It stays on your hands forever. Chopping parsley isn’t any better. You have to pick the leaves off the stem. And unless you use it all, you get to watch as it becomes dark-green-slime in your veggie drawer.
One day, while picking up frozen sofrito mix, we found these packs of frozen garlic cubes. They were made of garlic (90%), lemon juice (for freshness), and salt (for salt). You can also find a similar parsley version. We're sure both versions will become part of your kitchen essentials.
These little marvels come in twenty 1-teaspoon servings packaged in a freezer-safe resealable tub that keeps the freezer burn out and the freshness in. Each serving of garlic is equivalent to about 1 clove and the parsley can be used teaspoon per teaspoon. You can add these little nuggets of joy just like the regular stuff. It quickly melts and mixes right into your dish.