Today I have started a new column called "Creating Home" on a website called "At the Well." This column will run once a month and is aimed at helping a woman set up her own home - whether it be a rented room, small apartment or first house.
My post today was about using seasonings to dress up simple cuts of meat. By buying one new condiment a month, you will soon find your creative cooking library expanding. I promised to provide some simple recipes using seasonings you can easily find your grocery store, so here are a few of my favorites.
Pesto & Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo over Chicken
This recipe can be made for one or more.
Use one small chicken breast per person.
Sprinkle with Cavender's Greek Seasoning.
Pan fry in a small amount of oil until cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat a jar of Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo (Classico's is great)
Add a tablespoon of pesto and chopped sun dried tomatoes if you like.
Cook appropriate portions of spaghetti.
To serve, simply put spaghetti down first, topped by grilled chicken breast and sauce.
Serve with a green vegetable.
Thanks to my friend Cheri Jimenez for this idea.
Paul Prudhomme makes a really great "Magic Salmon Seasoning." Simply sprinkle seasoning mix on salmon and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily. Buy more salmon than you need, and refrigerate leftovers.
To make a great sandwich filling the next day, add mayonnaise and extra magic salmon seasoning to the salmon.
Sprinkle Mrs. Dash's Southwest Chipotle seasoning on boneless skinless chicken breasts. Grill until cooked through. Slice thinly. Saute sliced red and green peppers and onions.
Warm a flour tortilla and fill with chicken, peppers and onion.
Everyone likes their fajitas their own way. I like salsa, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole on mine. Lettuce and tomatoes are yummy additions too.
Old Bay Shrimp Scampi (from www.mccormick.com)
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. (Do not brown.)
Add shrimp and Old Bay; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve over cooked pasta or rice, if desired.
If you are feeling stuck in a cooking rut, I suggest you invest in a new seasoning that sounds good, and then do an online search for recipe ideas. Most seasoning companies offer recipes on their websites.
I also love buying unique condiments to dress up simply-cooked meats like pork chops, fish or broiled chicken. Consider interesting chutneys or seasoned oils.
My final tip for creating delicious meals is to plan them ahead of time, when you are hungry. I know you aren't supposed to go to the store hungry, but creating a meal plan is easier when you are hungry. Things sound better.
It's so easy to get worn out with cooking. Spices, seasoning and condiments can brighten things and make cooking more interesting.
In His Love,