Thursday, January 27, 2011

Double Duty Ingredients make Cooking Easier!

Double Duty ingredients can be a key to Quick Fix Meals. The easiest way to make sure you are going to have quick and flavorful dinners is to pack your pantry with Quality, Double Duty Ingredients.
This means when you are running down the grocery aisles, with half a shopping list and no idea of what to make...You have in your pantry (and in the back of your mind) some things that you can add one or two ingredients to that will make dinner in a snap! We all have those go to ingredients in our pantry or our freezer, that we can pull out in case of  "I forgot to take something out this morning". Whether it be a Sausage with Fennel, or a Meatloaf mix, or maybe just a bunch of seasoning packets we keep set aside "just in case".
Great examples of this would be: 
Chourico. I am of Portuguese heritage.  My house is never without a stick of Gaspar's Chourico. Chourico is a Portuguese Sausage, that yields a wonderful "pork fat" rendering full of garlic, paprika flavor. Some say Chourico is a "Flavor" not a food. This is a staple in my home
Another example may be your choice of Pastas to keep at home. A Rice Product that I keep at home is Mahatma Yellow Rice. It is a Rice that contains not only saffron, but small diced pepper, onion and cilantro there are plenty of Rices that come already flavored. My other favorites are Zatarains. They have a nice variety of different flavored rices you can always use to enhance a quick meal! The yellow rice can be added along side Shrimp, Chicken or Pork, for a quick easy meal. I just Saute the Pork chops in Olive Oil, chopped onion and red pepper flake til brown. Then add the rice (uncooked), a diced tomato and the water required and cover. The rice cooks within the flavor of the pork. The pork cooks through and is tender because of the steam from the rice. A one pot wonder that's a 30 min meal!
For smaller example of how to boost your pantry, We can go to Frozen Vegetables, Spice Packets, Ready made Sauces. Just please be mindful of Quality. As I have said before. The fewer the ingredients, the better the quality needed. This isn't hard. When life throws you a "Chopped Challenge" you can be ready if you take a moment in one of your planned grocery trips to Stock a good pantry.

The following recipe was a "Let's clean out the Fridge Special". 
It was Delish! Enjoy!

Chicken Chourico Burrito

One Stick Chourico
1 Chicken Breast (or 2 chicken thighs) (cooked & chopped) (May use fresh chicken, adjust cooking time)
Fire Roasted Tomatoes (1 can Hunts 15oz chopped)
Laughing Cow Cheese (Sun Dried Tomato & Basil, 1 triangle per burrito)
Tortilla or Flatbread (I used Flatout Italian )

In a saute pan sprayed with "Pam" add chopped chourico.
Saute until renderings are evident.
With the Chourico & renderings Add chicken.
Saute until Cooked Chicken is warmed through. (If using raw, saute until cooked through)
Add tomatoes (juice and all) Cover and Saute on Med Heat , 10 mins.
Place Tortilla on serving plate, spread cheese down the middle.

Place One Serving Spoonful of Chicken Mixture over Cheese.

Fold Tortilla over mixture.
Fold in sides, and continue to roll until closed.

Serve warm

The cheese will melt under the heat of the chicken mixture and become an impromptu sauce for the burrito.

Additions can be made to the meal.
If you'd like jalapenos for a "spicy bite" or maybe a chopped cheddar jack atop before folding.

Final Note:
I made this dish twice. First time was for the 10w5 Challenge the 2nd for final pic. Forgot to take a pic of the first one when it was cut open. The 2nd time I used a few different ingredients.
They still stayed within the 5 ingredient restriction.
I substituted Provolone for the Laughing Cow Cheese and used the "Italian Flatbread" instead of a Tortilla!

It was Great Both ways.
It just goes to show a basic recipe when done well can be a versatile staple in your repertoire!
Have Fun with it!