Twisted team share store cupboard ingredient hacks

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Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Sponsored article in association with Premier Foods

Let’s face it, as life gets more expensive in the UK, it can be easy to put your food shop to the back of your budget.

You may well have shelved some of your favourite dinner options, or even resigned yourself to cutting down on some of your favourite ingredients – and we get it, really, we do…but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to.

Like everybody, team Twisted has had to make some adjustments to our larders as a result of the cost of living crisis, but as for the taste of our dinners? There’s no need to compromise.

You see, we’re firm believers that good food doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s all about shopping smarter and making sure you stock up on versatile essentials that you can use to make loads of your favourite mid-week meals taste better.

Unsure where to start? Well, we’ve asked our in-house experts to share their hero store cupboard ingredients and a tip for how to make the most out of them…

Co-founder, Tom – Chicken gravy granules

“Gravy granules are definitely not just for Christmas. As soon as the cold weather hits I want comfort – which usually points towards meat and gravy in all its glorious forms. 

What most people don’t know about chicken gravy granules is that they’re perfect for sidestepping easily into many different cuisines. 

Equally at home poured over roast sausages and mash as they are stirred through a butter chicken or a wok full of mapo tofu, there are countless uses if you’re looking for a boost of poultry umami in your dinner. 

Look past you roast dinner, folks, and discover your new favourite pantry item. A real winner.”

Tom recommends: Bisto Chicken Gravy Granules

Food producer, Spencer – A jar of curry sauce

“One of my favourite cupboard essentials is a really good curry sauce.

Obviously, making your own curry base is always rewarding, but a pre-made sauce gives you everything you need in one jar, so there’s no denying it’s great to fall back on when you’re time stretched or don’t have all the ingredients you need in the fridge. 

The fun doesn’t stop at curries either. Making a curry for two and have some sauce leftover? Why not use some of the sauce in other dishes – add a dollop to your mayo for a curried chicken sandwich, stir into your scrambled eggs, amp up your vegetable soup…the list goes on.

Reaching for your trusty jar of curry sauce is a quick, great value and most importantly delicious way to spice up your weeknight dinner!”

Spencer recommends: Sharwood’s Tikka Masala Sauce 

Twisted Green brand lead, Mia – A good tomato sauce

“The beauty of a tomato sauce is that it can act as the perfect base for many fresh and/or comforting dishes, but simultaneously serves as the luscious, simple cloak over a warm bowl of steamy pasta.

We’ve all got a tin of chopped tomatoes at the back of a cupboard for lazy days in the kitchen, but sometimes we can use an extra helping hand and I always find that a jar of tomato sauce does the trick perfectly.

I know that I can reliably add in almost any veg that I have in my fridge and even find a way to incorporate some protein that I might have stashed away in the freezer.

Perhaps some frozen veggie meatballs with an on-the-way-out aubergine chopped into cubes and roasted, tumbled together with some ready to use chilli garlic tomato sauce?

That is a winning dinner in just a few easy steps. We’ve all been there – we buy a handful of ingredients with the intention of making something, which quickly wilt and shrivel as we find other recipes we’d rather make.

With a jar of good tomato sauce in the cupboard, I know I can use up those items I’ve already bought in a few minutes, and half the job is done for me.” 

Mia recommends: Loyd Grossman Tomato and Chilli Sauce

lloyd grossman

Make sure you’re hacking your store cupboard (Credit: Premier Foods)

Creative culinary lead, Hugh – Beef stock cubes

“For me, an absolute essential is having some Oxo stock cubes kicking around in my cupboard. Armed with these little flavour bombs all sorts of delicious yet affordable recipes become possible. 

I’ve been known to crumble them into hot water to make an instant base for French onion soup or to make gravy for a French dip sandwich. 

They go way further than this though – I’ve crumbled them into curries, ragus and even rubs to give a subtle umami hit. Oxo cubes are an absolute godsend in the kitchen.”

Hugh recommends: Oxo Beef Stock Cubes.

Senior writer, Joanna – A tin of custard

“Having a tin of custard in your kitchen is an absolute life-saver if you want to knock together a quick, surprisingly affordable dessert. It does half the work for you.

You might not have much in that baking cupboard but fear not. If you’ve got some custard, you can make the likes of a trifle or even a crème brulee from scratch. It’s my dinner party hack.

For the brulee, simply combine a tin of warmed custard with an egg yolk, chill, sprinkle with sugar and caramelise the top. And… well, we all know how to make a trifle (an instant winner, right?) Custard also makes a delicious dessert in its own right, whether you like it hot or cold.

The best thing about custard is that it’s also a reliable pudding side, should you want to throw it on top of a crumble or even a bowl of fruit. Don’t worry about whether you have cream or ice cream in the fridge-freezer… custard is your guy.”

Joanna recommends: Ambrosia Custard