Nothing beats an organised, well-stocked pantry. There’s no feeling like coming home from work, deciding what to make for dinner and opening the pantry doors, knowing that everything you need to whip up your meal is already there.
In reality, not everyone has the luxury of having a pantry the size of a walk-in closet so chances are that you have to be selective when deciding what goes into your pantry. Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you and handpicked five sauces and chutneys that you absolutely must have in your pantry due to their tastiness as well as their versatility:
1. Jamaican jerk sauce
Every Aussie household loves a barbeque so it makes sense to have a bottle of jerk sauce in the pantry. The key to a good jerk seasoning is having the right mix of spices and heat. The sauce is then used as a marinade for chicken and pork; simply rub the meat generously with the sauce and let it marinate for several hours – the longer, the better.
This sauce can be used to give the traditional roast chicken a Jamaican-inspired twist or rubbed on pork to create tasty pork jerk sliders for your next gathering. Serving suggestion: with a large bowl of potato salad and grilled corn.
2. Chipotle sauce
If you want a sauce with a great depth of flavour and heat, then ensure you have a bottle of this Mexican-inspired staple in your pantry. True to its namesake, this sauce is smoky and creamy with a moderate amount of heat.
It can be used as a dipping sauce for freshly shucked oysters, cooked prawns or piping hot fries or spicing up your favourite protein. We recommend using it liberally the next time you whip up chicken enchiladas for dinner or, if you feel like something a little bit different, this delightful chipotle coffee chicken.
3. Habanero sauce
Some like it hot but this sauce is really not for the faint hearted. If you love chilli in your belly, however, this is a sauce that you must have in your pantry. Perfect for marinating meat, a bottle of habanero sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce for finger foods.
If you’re catering for a large party, we highly recommend using this sauce to make a batch of spicy buffalo wings – don’t forget to cut up some fresh cucumber sticks to extinguish the fire.
4. Fruit chutney
No pantry is complete with a jar of sweet chutney made with your favourite fruit. You can keep things simple by paring your fruit chutney with slices of leg ham in a sandwich or spread it on a side of salmon fillet before putting it in the oven to bake.
Chutney may be traditionally used as a condiment but don’t be shy to incorporate it in your cooking as it can elevate a simple dinner to something special. Easy meal suggestions include using mango chutney to create an Asian-inspired peach and mango chicken rice or a comforting chicken chutney curry. Did you know that you could also add a dollop of chutney or relish to make savoury muffins?
5. Tomato relish
There’s not much difference between chutney and a relish. As a result, we are including the humble tomato relish on this list.
Ditch the bottle of tomato sauce (it’s too one-dimensional) and replace it with a more versatile relish. Tomato relish can be used as a dip for chucky fried potatoes or spread on a grilled cheese toastie. For a no fuss dinner, you can use it to make a pot of chilli and tomato mussels.
And if you want to bake something moreish for your next work morning tea, we recommend giving these cheese and tomato savoury scrolls a go.