Ina Garten's recipes are foolproof. She's so meticulous in her measuring and testing that as long as you follow her instructions, you're basically guaranteed excellent results. The only thing that ever makes me nervous about following an Ina recipe is the way she always says to use "good" ingredients. The phrase "good olive oil" is practically one of her trademarks, but "good" means different things to different people. Is my olive oil good enough?
How good are we talking about here, Ina? I always think. Can I use Kirkland Signature, or do I have to go to a specialty shop and find something with a hand-written label and twine tied around the neck?
Ina is very fancy, so when she says to use "good mustard," I worry I'll have to get on a plane to Paris to finish my dinner. But Delish points out that Ina's blog has a shopping page full of her go-to ingredients. And they aren't all as swanky as one might expect.
Ina likes Nielsen-Massey vanilla and white truffle butter from Urbani, but she also likes totally ordinary things like Libby's canned pumpkin, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Nestlé chocolate chunks. (Her shopping list also includes Lindt chocolate, Callebaut chocolate, and Pernigotti cocoa powder, but Nestlé is in there too. I get the impression that Ina just really likes chocolate.)
Her favorite jarred pasta sauce is Rao's Homemade Marinara, and she likes the same Huy Fong Sriracha with the green cap that we all know and love. And for Dijon mustard she likes both Grey Poupon and Maille, which means I do not have to get on a plane to Paris to finish Ina's panko-crusted Dijon mustard salmon.
Of course, I really had to know about the olive oil. What is Ina's "good" olive oil? She's used different olive oils from time to time on her show, but the olive oil on her blog's shopping list is Olio Santo, a cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil from California, and each bottle is harvest dated so you know how fresh it is. A 16.9-ounce bottle sells for $19.95 on Amazon.
You can check out all of Ina's recommended ingredients on her blog here.