I wanted to share with everyone my top 20 ingredients that I love to cook with. What are your top ingredients to cook with?
Top Ingredient List for Kouzounas Kitchen:
Olive Oil- I grew up in a Greek household, always cook with olive oil. 🙂
Basil- Basil gives off an amazing flavor in any recipe, especially pasta.
Dill- Same goes for dill. After I started making spanakopita, I loved the combination of dill & spinach.
Spinach- This is not only a great ingredient but it is versatile to cook with, and it is a power food. (It is very good for you.)
Garlic- The one that leaves your breath smelling bad, haha. Yes, I love garlic, and I cannot live without cooking with it.
Avocados- Yumm, Guacamole. Avocados are an amazing fruit. They are good for you as well. They offer a valuable fat content, fiber, and vitamins.
Anise- The flavor of this herb is amazing. I started cooking with this a few years back, and I have made pies with this. Almost tastes like licorice.
Tomatoes- Of course I love tomatoes. You can make many recipes with these. Greek salad, sauces, soups, add them to your favorite sandwiches, and much more.
Kalamata Olives- Are you noticing that my list is starting to look like a bunch of Greek ingredients. Haaa Well, that is why I love Mediterranean cuisine. Kalamata Olives gives off a salty taste. I love them in Bruschetta, or in pasta. Yummy!
Feta- Ohhh feta, I love you too much.. Without feta, what would I do? LOL. Feta is a Greek cheese, and you can find various feta’s in your local grocery store. Of course I use feta in everything. Pizzas, pastas, salads, spanakopita, tiropita, and much more.
Greek Yogurt- Lately I have been using Greek Yogurt to substitute for sour cream. I try to make low calorie recipes, so I always find substitutes. Greek yogurt is very good for you too. The yogurt is high in protein, low in calories, and low in sodium. You can use Greek yogurt in smoothies, cereal, over fruit, frozen yogurt, frostings, in pies, and much more.
Lemon- Okay this should be number one on my list. I was just explaining to my sister the other day that I couldn’t live without lemon. Seriously, I add lemon to everything!!! Great with, Lemonade, fresh lemon over fish or meat, custards and pies, great flavoring, and many more.
Wine- I cook with red wine on many occasions. You will notice that in many of my recipes that involves some red wine. I love it in my pasta sauces, with mushrooms, and in stews.
Oregano- Another one of my favorite herbs! I like to add oregano to some toasted bread with olive oil and a touch of oregano. You can use oregano on pastas, chicken, and much more.
Balsamic Vinegar- I love making a balsamic reduction. Did you know you can make a dessert sauce with balsamic vinegar. Yes, I will be posting a balsamic vinegar sauce today. You can use vinegar on many things such as; salads, soups, sauces, ice creams, and much more.
Bread- This is funny because I was thinking well what am I missing. My sister said um, bread! We eat a lot of bread in this household. Yes, it is fattening, but what Greek wouldn’t eat bread right? You can use bread in many recipes like, one of my favorites, bread pudding, bruschetta, bread crumbs and much more.
Mango- I believe I learned to appreciate mango at a older age. I was in Skiathos, Greece as a sous chef and my head chef and I had to cook for Goldie Hawn. She loves mangos, so we came up with a mango dessert for her. Mangos are the best to cook with. You can come up with many ideas like, mango sauce, chicken and mango, mango chutney, mango salsa, mango ice cream and much more.
Honey- This is a definite on my list. My dad always used honey when we were growing up. Honey is not only something good to taste, but it has many good properties as well. Helps promote better blood sugar, helps boosts immunity, and helps control cholesterol and much more. Now days, I try to use honey instead of sugar. You can use honey in many recipes, my favorite is baklava! :0
Apple- I love apples. Making apple pie is one of my favorites, and apples with cinnamon are great. You can make, apple turn over’s, pies, and many other recipes.
I am sure I have many more ingredients to come up with, but these are in my top 20.