Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cook Smarter Not Harder

I am a cooker. I love food--read about it, look at pix, write about it, watch Food Network shows, and create it. My Dear Husband (DH) says he’s always impressed with how fast I can put a meal on the table. Can I share some of my tips and recipes with you?

I write a monthly food column for The Pinewood News in Munds Park, AZ. I am going  to share here some of what I have been writing about for the paper. I call my column, “The Quick Cook”, because I focus on how to spend as little time as possible putting food on the table while making it LOOK as if you spent a lot of time. “Smoke and Mirrors” might have been a better column title, eh?

Alli, in Mission Impastable, is for sure a Quick Cook. If you’ve read the mystery (with recipes) you know what I mean. She doesn’t like to work hard, either

Quick Cook Tip #1
Always keep some basic mixes in the fridge for quick cooking.

Two mixes are always in my fridge, ready to use and to take an ordinary meal to beyond itself. Trust me. Anything made with either will make people think you worked harder than you did.

Savory Butter
1 cup butter
½ bell pepper, diced (one color, or a mix--red and green is nice for Christmas)
2 green onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Pulse the butter, peppers, onion, and garlic in a mini food processor until finely
chopped. After use, cover and refrigerate.

Using Savory Butter:
Use as a spread on grilled bread.

Spread over the gills of a Portobello mushroom and grill. Make a sandwich or cut into pieces for an appetizer.

Put a tablespoon on your cooked pork or steak before serving.

Savory Butter can also be used to sauté veggies or mushrooms to be a side dish or appetizer. Encourage folks to put a schmear on crackers.

Cream Cheese Spread
8 ounces cream cheese (low fat okay)
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish (not creamy)

Soften cream cheese at room temperature. Vigorously stir in horseradish. After use, cover and refrigerate.

Using Cream Cheese Spread:
Make wraps by spreading Cream Cheese Spread on a flour tortilla. Layer on baby spinach and thinly sliced meat. Place a string cheese stick on an edge and roll. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Eat like a wrap sandwich or slice for appetizers.

Cut slivers of veggies and fruits to dip into Cream Cheese Spread. This will surprise people! The sweeter the fruit, the more contrast there is.

Mix with cooked, hot hamburger and serve with crackers for an appetizer.

Mix with mushrooms and sauté in a skillet for a side to meat or as an appetizer.

I hope you enjoy these little spreads that I keep on hand. With them I can make fast appetizers when folks drop by, whip up a dinner side, or perk up the meat.

No comments:

Post a Comment