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Gourmet Cooking Out Of Your Own Pantry

You probably havenít realized it, but youíve probably got some ingredients in your own pantry that can help create gourmet cooking options for your next meal. These low-cost staples are the primary components of winning meals you can make at home, even on a shoestring budget.

Gourmet Cooking At Home, Right Out Of Your Own Pantry

When people think of gourmet cooking, they think of expensive ingredients bought in specialty shops in the most remote areas of town. Truth is, cooking like a gourmet is possible without spending a fortune, and quite often the ingredients you need may be sitting in your own pantry already. Hereís five simple ingredients you can use to create your own gourmet meals at home.


Who doesnít have some cinnamon in their pantry for sprinkling over toast or hot cereals? Itís one of the most accessible spices in your pantry, and it can be used to enhance lots of other foods and beverages you serve daily. Many fine restaurants use it regularly to spice up their most pungent specialties, from bread pudding to French toast to coffee to acorn squash soup and braised short ribs.

Cinnamon gives a unique flavor to foods you use it in, inspiring some ďwhat's that wonderful flavor?Ē moments for your family and guests. It also has been suggested to have significant health benefits, such as boosting metabolism and regulating blood sugar, and is a great source of manganese, iron, and calcium. Adding this simple seasoning to your list of gourmet ingredients can have more than just tasteful possibilities.


Crepes are a gourmet dish that can be made with some typical ingredients you already have on hand. You can fill crepes with cream cheese and strawberries or sprinkle them with raisins or dried cranberries. In fact, there are endless supplies of ingredients that go well with these gourmet pancakes. You can dress them up with anything from a chocolate hazelnut spread to spinach, goat cheese, caramelized plantains, or toasted pine nuts. From breakfast to dessert, crepes span the gap between any meal you can imagine during the day.

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is a delicacy among food lovers, but most people only experience the delicacy on gourmet dishes at fancy restaurants. They donít realize how easy it is to roast your own garlic to add a gourmet finishing touch to lots of different meals you enjoy.

All you do is cut an entire head of garlic in half, place it in aluminum foil, add a little oil and cook in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. This becomes an incredible garnish for things like pita chips and artichoke dip on game day, and the gourmet impression it makes on friends will have them asking for it again and again.

Citrus Zest

Believe it or not, orange zest is a gourmet solution for your everyday dishes as well. Add a zesty flavor boost to salads or rice by sprinkling some on these types of basic foods. Orange can also be candied in simple syrups to put on top of your favorite ice cream. The zest of an orange is filled with the same amount of nutrients and vitamins as the flesh of the orange itself. Orange zest is taken from the bright orange colored skin, where the most concentrated orange flavor is, not the bitter white flesh-like peel underneath.

Toasted Nuts

Toasting nuts brings out their natural oils and enhances their flavor even more. They can be used as a substitute or additional ingredient in common dishes like chicken and fish to turn mundane meals into gourmet feasts.

Consider the special flavor of a toasted almond crusted chicken, for instance. This is fried or baked chicken with toasted almonds used as a substitute breading for bread crumbs. Toasted pine nuts are a great addition to goat cheese or asparagus with pasta to create an entirely different flavor profile thatís delicious and nutritious.

As you can see, gourmet cooking doesn't have to be difficult, expensive, or filled with exotic ingredients you canít find anywhere in town. Sometimes, the best gourmet cooking comes from your own pantry, and a fresh outlook on these everyday ingredients makes a huge difference in the taste and quality of your favorite foods. Try cooking gourmet with these ingredients to see how easy gourmet cooking at home can be.

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