Thursday, July 12, 2007

Box and/or can meals

Since Mustang Bobby and I seem to be having supermarket week, let me try one last question: what is your favorite modified mix meal? For example, last week Badtux the Lazy Cook Penguin gave his recipe for modifying a box of Zatarain's Jamalaya Mix. This just happens to be one of my favorite fast meals (though I add shrimp and broth). One of my best friends from high school was a genius at dressing up a package of ramen. So, what's your best lazy meal? The only rule is: you can't fix it according to the package directions; you have to improve it.

A few months ago I discovered Alessi Risotto mixes. Alessi is imported by the same company that brings us Vigo rice and bean dishes. For my recipe, I take a pound of boneless chicken thighs, a large yellow onion, some broth, olive oil, and a package of Alessi Risotto alla Milanese. The result is a saffron chicken risotto that would pass for a perfectly fine hot dish, stew, or cassarole at any Lutheran pot luck.

The only prep is a few minutes to dice the onion and slice the chicken into strips about the right size for stir frying. Naturally, you will have a preferred size for both the onion and chicken.

First, I heat up a large sauce pan and then add the olive oil. I add the onion and cook till it starts to turn translucent, keeping the heat on High.

Next, I add the chicken and stir while it starts to cook. I don't bother to completely cook or brown the chicken since it is going to be cooked in liquid anyway. If you like the extra flavor from browning the chicken, you might want to start it in the oil before the onion.

Third, I add the liquid. The package asks for two and a half cups of water. I use chicken broth.

Immediately after adding the liquid, I add the contents of the Alessi Risotto alla Milanese package, stir it all together, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to Low, and cover the pot.

I have about eighteen minutes to waste. This means a cold drink and checking out a few blogs.

After eighteen minutes I return to the kitchen, take the pot off the heat, uncover it, and stir all of the ingredients together; they will have settled out during cooking. Now I leave it for another five minutes to thicken.

I serve it in a shallow bowl garnished with coarse ground black pepper. It is a perfect dish for a cold day or a person with a cold.

What's your favorite lazy dish?

1 comment:

Beau said...

Hey I made this tonight trying to get rid of some stuff in the house. Not bad!