Some days, we are short on time. And, on others, we could use a little help coming up with a fresh idea for dinner. On those occasions, think “new.” Whether it’s a new food item, or just something new-to-you, eating or cooking with a product you’ve never tried before, is fun. Fun can also save you time, money and it is often, very, very tasty. I’m pleased to share with you a few helpers you may not be aware you had. (For further information, see “Sources,” following the recipes below.)
Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods, Inc. – Having an Italian father and parents who owned an Italian restaurant for more than 30 years, the concept of a “family-owned” business specializing in “small batch from scratch” cooking was one I understood. And, so does Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods, an Austin-based family-owned company, founded by Michael Angelo and his mother, Sara. With “a 30-year heritage of creating the highest quality Italian entrées in the freezer aisle,” the company strives – and succeeds – at delivering preservative-free meals, comprised only of ingredients found in Sara’s kitchen. Offering entrées that look good, even before they are cooked, as exampled by Michael Angelo’s Chicken Piccata, a “meal starter” meant to be served over pasta or rice, you’re going to notice an attractive and highly palatable Michael Angelo difference. Use Michael Angelo’s entrées as is, or pair them with something you make yourself.
Rice Select Italian-Style Arborio Rice – Produced in this country, Rice Select Italian-Style Arborio Rice an excellent alternative to imported Arborio rice from Italy. The high-quality Italian-style rice, with its “creamy” grains and ability to absorb flavors, is good for making risotto dishes and luscious rice pudding. (If you would like my mother’s recipe for rice pudding, the one she once used for her restaurant, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
McCormick Golden Dipt Beer Batter Seafood Batter Mix: Sitting on the counter where I recently purchased some fresh cod fillets, was a box of McCormick’s Golden Dipt Beer Batter Seafood Batter Mix. I’ve seen the product for years, but never tried it. “Is this really good,” said I to the fishmonger. “It’s great,” said he. It was and so was the recipe for pub-style beer battered fish on the back of the box.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.