If you've never tried McCormick's new Recipe Inspriations packets, as Sir Mix-a-lot would say, you should really jump on it (I realize a lot of you won't get that reference but I love me some Sir Mix-a-lot and that song got stuck in my head immediately when I typed that phrase, haha). I have tried the apple sage pork chops, the quesadilla casserole, the rosemary roasted chicken with potatoes, the chicken marsala, the tuscan chicken stew, last night the chicken cacciatore, and tonight the asian sesame salmon....and not one complaint about any of them, they always turn out amazing! I wish they would pay me for this plug but looking at the list above I should probably just buy stock in the company since I purchase their products so much.
They're only about $2 a piece, they include all the spices that you will need for the recipe (premeasured), as well as a list of the extra ingredients you will need and detailed instructions. None of them take much time, or weird ingredients (I usually have everything I need at home anyway). My strategy is actually to try each of them and then keep the recipe card on the back to use for the future instead of continually buying them. I thought about just taking a picture of the recipe in the store with my phone instead of buying all of them but figured I should throw them a bone for the wonderful idea. This is perfect for people who don't like to cook, don't think they know how to cook, don't have a cupboard full of spices and don't want to buy them for a single recipe...great for guys actually. Not to be sexist there, but most guys dont want to spend that much time in the kitchen but do enjoy a good meal. I wanted a very simple meal with minimal ingredients to bring along with me as I was headed to the Mohr house for dinner, Aubrey time, and a planning meeting for the Indy 500 next weekend (SO excited). I also wanted to make something light as Michelle and Amanda are into healthy eating/cooking just like me...
So, here is the one I used last night:
I did make some adjustments to healthify it up, however. The recipe calls for 3 T olive oil and I omitted that and substituted fat free cooking spray for the skillet. I also omitted the 1 tsp of salt and the 1/4 cup of flour for breading the chicken as frying is a big no-no for me. I also added the wheat angel hair as I didn't think the cacciatore would be substantial enough on it's own. Anyway, here are the rest of the ingredients I used:
The packet came with:
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp marjoram leaves
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp crushed rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
...all of which I have in my $25 spice rack at home.
What I had to add:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can mushrooms
1 medium onion
1 medium bell pepper (I used an anaheim pepper as I had one on hand)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
...all of this I had in my pantry as I use most of these ingredients on a regular basis.
Now to get started! Spray your large skillet with cooking spray, and throw the chicken breasts in to cook. I let them cook on both sides for about 7-8 minutes, until they are almost done but still raw in the middle. While I was doing this, my sous chef, Miss Michelle (how sweet would it be to have one of those around all the time), was dicing the onion and pepper on the side and I was opening my cans of mushrooms and tomatoes. We also got a pot boiling with water for the angel hair at this time. Take the chicken breasts out and hand them to your helping hand to dice into bite size pieces like so:
While she is doing that, add the onion, pepper, and mushroom to the skillet to saute for about 5 minutes (remember, no oil). Add your wheat angel hair pasta right away when your pot of water is boiling.
Add the chicken back to the skillet once its diced and cook for a few more minutes with the veggies. When the chicken pieces are cooked through, add the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes as well as all your spices listed above. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat while stirring. Should look a little something like this:
At this point, you can spoon it onto your pasta, or do like we did and drop all the noodles into the pan to stir it all together and serve. Forewarning: I used Rotel diced tomatoes with habaneros and this dish was perfect for me! Cleared Ashley's sinuses right up it was so hot, but had such good flavor I couldn't get enough. We all know I would eat something that lit my tongue on fire if it tasted good enough though. So if you are a heat-seeker, then use the tomatoes with the habbies....if not, I would reccomend using the Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles instead (they have some flavor from the chiles but are a lot more mild), or if you are a total pansy use plain tomatoes or even a can of fire roasted tomatoes. I think the heat took this dish up a notch, but you can do whatever floats your boat!
This was a very light pasta, which I loved. I don't like the bogged down feeling after a big plate of fettucine or spagetti...so I loved the healthy feel of this. Just add some parm and you're good to go...
For some reason this pic doesn't want to turn the right way but I suppose pasta is viewable at any angle, haha! I'm new at this blogging stuff and don't have time to figure out why this one pic is being difficult so just tilt your head, if you could! Thanks for letting me dirty up your kitchen, Mrs. Mohr...and Happy Friday everyone! :)