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Checking Out a New Food Fad: McCormick's "Recipe Inspirations"

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Checking Out a New Food Fad: McCormick's "Recipe Inspirations"

Tonight I'm making chicken tikka masala for dinner.  I never thought in a million years I'd be cooking homemade Indian food, but here I am!

I don't keep a ton of fancy spices on hand, they tend to expire before I use it all up.  But for the past few months I'd been seeing these McCormick's Recipe Inspirations at our local grocery stores and I got to thinking....

"Yes, I can smell the smoke!"

GROAN.  Anyway, in my often-difficult attempt to cook as much as I can from scratch, I pondered this product and decided this can't be too bad.  I picked up a card this week at our local commissary.  Chicken Tikka Masala.  At only $1.08 (that's the commissary price, it's probably at least double that at your local grocery stores) it already presented more appeal than a jarred simmer sauce or one of those frozen all-in-one meal kits.**

So here's what we's a card filled with little bubbles of spices.  Just enough for the recipe you're making, pre-measured for your convenience.

Flip the card over, and you have a listing of ingredients on the card, and the recipe.  So while you're on the same shopping trip you can pick up the rest of the ingredients you need.

Truth be told, I had everything in this card except for the "garam masala"...if we like this, I can pick up some garam masala at our local Asian grocery store, hold onto the card and make this in the future...
Here's my assembly of ingredients ready to go.  (Except for the salt and cornstarch, which I always have on hand).

Don't freak from the heavy cream -- you don't need a lot of it...
So when you peel the back of the card, I'm greeted with 6 individually wrapped packets of spice, marked with the type of spice and amount.  I ordinarily would whine about the amount of packaging here, but there's some utility to have the packaging this way just in case you choose not to use all the spices and you want to store it for later.

I prepared the dish exactly as the recipe recommended.  I didn't include the red pepper (which was optional anyway), but instead gave that particular packet to Jacob.  He loves red pepper flake!

The verdict?  This dish is very tasty, but didn't seem like the tikka masala I'd had in restaurants.  It was more like a chicken cacciatore with a hint of cumin.  The kids liked it, but probably didn't love it.

I probably will be trying the Asian Sesame Salmon next time.

**Please don't think I'm being all elitist or anything about processed foods.  I make meals like that once in a while.  Lately with some of our family's diet and stomach sensitivity issues, those easy-to-prepare meals are too high in sodium or other chemicals that make it tough to digest.

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At Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:19:00 AM CDT , Blogger Maryann Goldman said...

I've bought two of these packets because they looked 'useful' but have not tried them yet. Sigh... One of these days. Thanks for the run down.

At Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:20:00 AM CDT , Blogger Maryann Goldman said...

I have purchased two of these kit cards at the store but have not used them yet. They seemed convenient. Thanks for the rundown on how it went.

At Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 5:25:00 PM CDT , Blogger Bengela said...

I'm all for not eating the pre-packaged stuff either...a nutritionist once told me that you should stick to the perimeter of a grocery store and only eat the natural stuff...fruits/meats/veggies...and i'll have to try one of the packets some time...can't even begin to tell u how many expired spices I've got in my cupboards :/

At Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:56:00 PM CDT , Blogger Major Mom said...

@Bengela (I know this is ANG!), I try to stick around the perimeter too. Dave and I used to be REALLY good about that, until we had to hit the baby food aisle, then the cereal aisle, then the baking aisle for sugar and flour...and now we get all kinds of lunch box stuff and it's gone downhill from there.

We suck. :-)

At Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 12:50:00 PM CDT , Blogger Don Miller said...

One of the things I really enjoyed about going to the UK was the Indian food. Bob would just order all the stuff and I'd shovel it down! YUMM! Only draw back was I have no idea what I was eating. Bob made sure I stayed away for the fire laced stuff (I'm a whimp). Bob would turn fire engine red and sweat would be rolling off him loving every second. There be four or more of us so I got to sample tons of stuff. I don't cook I stay away from the priemeter :-(


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