Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Do the Mashed Potato!

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes with Asparagus and Cheese
I keep a box of Idahoan potatoes on hand for quick fixes. Of course I like using real baked potatoes when I have the time, but these are 100% real Idaho potato flakes, and they work just fine when you are in a hurry. I like to add some extra goodies in to my potatoes and that can be just about anything. They have different flavors, but I've only tried the traditional ones. I like to do my own flavoring. Another reason I have them in my pantry is because they make an excellent add to soups and sauces when you want a creamier consistency. They thicken your base quickly. Don't over do it, sprinkle in a little at a time and wait and see how it blends.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What's in a Garnish?

Grilled Pork Chop with Red Bell Peppers
Using a simple garnish makes your plate presentation more beautiful. This plain grilled pork chop topped with a few slices of fresh red bell pepper and two tiny sprigs of broccolini greets you with a nice pop of color. Letting the au jus rim the plate and adding some fresh cracked pepper completes the visual appeal. You don't have to go overboard with a garnish. Use what you have. Even if it's just some wild salad greens. Slice it up chiffonade style and place a small amount on top of your serving or even around the plate for added color. It only takes a few seconds to add a garnish, but it's a feast for your eyes that lingers way past the meal.

Chiffonade (French pronunciation: ​[ʃi.fɔ.nad]) is a chopping technique in which herbs or leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and basil) are cut into long, thin strips. This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hot & Saucy Grilled Chicken on Crispy Cold Veg Bed

Grilled chicken with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese is delicious but all that gooey goodness is even better stacked on a fresh cut veggie salad. Cut up some cucumber, carrots and celery and chill them in the fridge. The chicken is served hot over the cold bed of veggie salad and is a nice contrast. Add a few more veggies on top for a perfect serving. This small plate keeps portions under control but the full stack of veggies underneath fills you up with satisfaction. If you want to cut calories, skip the sauce and cheese but this combo is a wonderful blend of flavors. If you don't eat meat, the salad combination is outstanding all by itself. Toss it with a tad of your favorite dressing and you've got some seriously cool crunch as a main dish or side.

chicken with chopped veggie salad bed