Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 Fresh Ingredients to Enhance Any Meal - Do you know what they are?

Personal Update before our blog on 5 Fresh Ingredients...
Sorry it's been a a couple of weeks since my last post but it's been a bit hectic around here. Hope you all had a good Valentine's Day. Terry and I had a delicious Gulf Coast inspired dinner at the house on Valentine's and he showered me with beautiful spring flowers and gave me his heart all over again via a gold and silver heart & key pandora charm for my bracelet. On a different note, I am so proud and excited for my husband, his project - his work, Hadley's (Southern Food Done Right) Restaurant opens tomorrow, Feb. 20th in Jackson, TN. It will be open from 6 am to 10 pm 7 days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fast food (made fresh, never frozer) but upscale atmosphere. It's been a long 7 months of hard work on his part since we moved to Jackson but's the first Hadley's is finally opening. If you are in the Jackson area, stop by and try it out. Ok, back to the topic of today's blog...

Today as I am preparing Turkey Chili I am reminded of a few staples I keep around my kitchen and most of these items will enhance just about every meal you prepare.

I keep the following in the crisper of my refrigerator: fresh sweet onion(s), 4-5 full garlic heads, package of fresh rosemary, a package of fresh basil and sharp cheddar cheese (place your onion and garlic in separate zip lock bags in the crisper of your refrigerator to eliminate any odor issues).

Most all recipes I make call for onion and typically if it calls for onion, I usually add a little fresh garlic as well to enhance the flavor of the dish. Depending on the dish, I will chop fresh onion and garlic and saute together in a cast iron skillet or saute' pan before adding to my recipe.

I use fresh rosemary and basil in so many recipes but will add to plain white or brown rice, to yukon, red, or white whole or cubed potatoes and roast with a little olive oil in the oven for a different side item, you can add fresh rosemary to fresh green beans while steaming then transfer to a hot cast iron skillet or saute' pan and add a fresh roasted pine nuts or pecans and it makes a delicious side item. In addition, you can always add to chicken, pork, beef or even seafood when grilling, baking or roasting.

A little cheese can be added to just about anything you may be preparing. When we make fresh salads to go with our dinner, I will grate a fresh cheese over the top to give us a little boost of added protein.

I keep a cabinet full of dry spices which are easily accessible and enhance any and all recipes but from time to time, fresh just gives the recipe added flavor and try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible. We also use Cavender's Greek Seasoning on everything and they make it in salt-free as well which is what I like to use.

BTW, do you have issues chopping onions and tears rolling down your cheeks? When you refrigerate your onion prior to cutting it, it eliminates the tears. Take your onion from the refrigerator and cut immediately. If you are short on time and forgot to refrigerate your onion, place the onion in the freezer for 5-10 minutes then chop.

Let me know if you would like my Turkey Chili Recipe via blog comment and I will be happy to share it with you.

Think about it the next time you go to the grocery...what did Scarlet mention in her blog that I need for my refrigerator?

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food." Genesis 1:29

Bon Appetit!

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