I cook for relaxation, and, to try to have something wholesome to eat. I enjoy following recipes and making things from scratch, but don’t always have the time to measure out several ingredients for some of the dishes I like most. The other thing that tends to give me some trouble is that many recipes tend to call for ingredients that I don’t use all that often. I don’t tend to use a great deal of ground Cumin or Cilantro leaves. My small kitchen, just slightly larger than a typical galley kitchen for a small apartment, doesn’t really afford me the space to keep but the most basic of spices on hand.
The good folks at McCormick have come up with a convenient solution for me. Recently my wife and I had a wonderful dinner of Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas thanks to their trademarked line of pre-measured spices called Recipe Inspirations. I saw some of these in the spice aisle in the grocery, and, well my curiosity got the better of me. I splurged the $1.88 to buy a card of pre-measured spices with a recipe. Things did not go off completely without a hitch, but things did finally come together sumptuously.
Here is how the process went down. I bought the card one day along with some chicken breast in the grocery. Got home and was all set to make the fajitas and realized that I should have read the blasted card before I left the grocery. I don’t keep lime juice on hand. Oy vey! That was the one hitch. That night it was just plain baked chicken and green beans.
Having gone to the market, on the way home from work, and bought some lime juice; It was time to try again. I mixed the spices with the prescribed amounts of lime juice, orange juice, and a little olive oil to make the marinade. I stirred all of that together and let it sit, whilst I began slicing my chicken breast into thin strips. Having reserved a bit of marinade according to directions, I put the chicken strips into a gallon freezer bag along with the remaining marinade. The marinating chicken was allowed to sit in the fridge for about and hour and one half. (McCormick says to marinate at least thirty minutes, or longer for extra flavor. I chose the extra flavor.) Total prep time for this was just over the fifteen minutes McCormick says it will take.
While I was heating my skillet to medium high temp I prepared some thin onion slices per the instructions. The recipe also calls for green or red bell peppers in thin strips, but alas, neither the wife nor I like them. I opted for extra onions instead. Once the skillet was heated, I emptied the freezer bag into it and browned the chicken for a few minutes. I then set the chicken aside and put the onions in the skillet along with the reserved marinade. The onions were cooked and stirred for a few minutes until tender. Finally the chicken was returned to the skillet and the whole thing cooked until thoroughly heated through. Total cook time was just over the predicted ten minutes.
The presentation was simple. The meat was divided onto two plates and the we each added the sour cream, shredded cheese, and taco sauce that we desired. The only utensils that were necessary for the meal were some warmed whole wheat tortillas. (We simply tore strips of tortilla and picked up bites of the mixture from our individual plates, but you may need a serving spoon to fill tortilla shells if that thought makes you squeamish.)
McCormick has a whole other host of Recipe Inspirations. There is a card for Apple and Sage Pork Chops, Asian Sesame Salmon, Caribbean Grilled Steak, and Chicken Marsala to name a few. The whole list can be found online at www.mccormick.com. I have been able to find the whole lineup at my local grocery in the spice aisle, but if your market doesn’t carry the Recipe Inspirations line you can order them directly from McCormick.
I found the whole experience to be quite rewarding. The food was delicious and the time saved was appreciated. More importantly, I don’t have a tin or jar of a spice that I won’t use that often sitting on my already overcrowded spice shelf. I definitely recommend that my readers give this a whirl. I fully intend to try a few more of the recipes in the line.
Sources: Personal Experiece, McCormick Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas recipe card, and www.mccormick.com
Other articles by this author can be found here.