As a pretty decent cook, if I say so myself, I tend to be a little dismissive of a lot of cooking “kits” and packaged shortcuts, even though I certainly understand their appeal. There’s a place for one-dish skillet dinners in this world, it just isn’t in my kitchen.
On the other hand – it would sure be nice to have some help on those nights we all have, when we want to make a nice healthy home-cooked meal but don’t have the time, the energy or the ingredients to whip something up from scratch.
Which brings me to my new find, Culinary Tonight.
Culinary Tonight is a simple idea: It’s a little, pre-measured kit that gives you the spices and flavors you need to make an entrée and a vegetable or side. You buy the meat and vegetables (and the package tells you exactly what you need), add a couple of items from your pantry, like oil or butter, and follow the easy instructions. Dinner is served, in as little as 15 minutes, and certainly in 30 or less.
So far, I’ve been impressed with the flavors we’ve tried, which should not surprise me, since the idea comes from a company I trust – Adams Extract and Spice, out of Gonzales, Texas.
The balsamic-glazed pork chops, with herb-roasted potatoes? Delicious. Tuscan-style chicken with sautéed mushrooms and a rich marsala sauce? Tasted like I worked on it for hours. Next up will be the sweet and smoky salmon, sided with truffle-salt-dusted asparagus, or maybe the beef tacos, with freshly made guacamole.
Find them in the spice aisle, and be ready the next time you need a little extra help to get dinner on the table.