The Most Important Ingredient in Your Kitchen Is...
With one basic item (or any one of the four runners-up), a ridiculously easy but still impressive dinner is doable any night of the week.
By Lynn Andriani
5 of 5
The Indispensable Dish Finisher: Cream Cheese
Soft and spreadable cream cheese is essential to any bagel buffet, but this grocery store steal can also be an important component to many pasta dishes, balancing the acidity in tomato sauce, adding a creamy element to casseroles like baked ziti and lasagna, or thickening sauces made with white wine or chicken stock. You can also throw a dollop into scrambled eggs, whisk some into mashed potatoes or use it instead of mayo on a BLT.