We’re all pinching a penny or two these days, so I came up with an inexpensive, but rich meal. The key to great cooking is to have a well stocked pantry, and be wise when shopping. Price items out, don’t be afraid to shop at “alternative” discount stores, but reserve a few bucks for gourmet items to add a rich twist to your meals. In this recipe pairing, I took simple ingredients and upgraded them w/a few POW items.
- Table Setting of the Month: - My “use what you own “philosophy extends to table settings. For our table setting, I employed a sarong as a runner for the table for its color and sea theme. Fish themed plates, napkin rings a Batik table cloth with fish motif completes the setting (-all already in my entertaining arsenal.) The big prize was flowers purchased for $3.99 a bouquet at a discount food store. Bought in threes, for a total of 10 bucks a knockout rich floral for my table setting.
Hint: Consider purchasing an array of Gourmet Sea salts and serve them on scallop shells (which you can buy at a gourmet food store,) as a great option to a typical salt shaker To see all of my great serving ideas watch the ‘Easy Gourmet” show, Channel 4 on http://www.palosheights.org/.
Herbs de Provence Rice - Take simple white rice to a new taste level.
1 cup white rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence (can be purchased at local gourmet food shop or store such as HomeGoods or TJMaxx.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter to finish
Instructions: In a large, microwave safe bowl, mix all ingredients except butter. Microwave on time cook for 21 minutes at power level 6. Let sit for 5 minutes, stir in butter to finish.
Chili Shrimp Salad -The Chinese chili sauce adds just the right zip to this totally tasty, be easy to make salad.
12 oz. bag of frozen jumbo shrimp thawed, drained and chilled.
1 bag Butter lettuce salad mix
1 Yellow Pepper - Chopped
1 Cucumber - Chopped
1 Tomato - Chopped
½ Lemon juiced
¼ cup Italian bottle dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Chinese Chili Sauce (Found in ethnic food isle.)
Instructions: Whisk together dressing ingredients, add shrimp to marinate. In large bowl combine lettuce mix, chopped vegetables and marinated shrimp and dressing – Toss.
Blue Cheese Butter Filets - Taking a petite steak to a whole new level.
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 stick unsalted butter room temperture
2 packaged bacon wrapped Fillet Mignons
Instructions: Bring fillets to room temperature. Heat grill. Mix together with fork, butter and blue cheese. Reserve for serving. Grill steaks to desired doneness. As soon as steaks are off grill, add tablespoon of blue cheese butter to top. Serve immediately.