April 7, 2011

Shortcut To Flavor

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It’s officially Spring (even if the temps don’t reflect it) and perhaps you’re looking ahead to bathing suit season and intend to shed a few pounds.

The experts recommend staying away from fatty and caloric dressings and sauces to season your food, and instead add flavor with fresh or dried herbs.  Generally, that also means no shortcuts.  Fresh herbs are the most flavorful, but you have to grow or buy them, then wash and prep them.  Dried herbs are usually a fine substitute, but if your spice cabinet looks anything like mine, you spend ten minutes digging for what you need, only to find it all the way at the back.  When you’re time crunched and dinner needs to be ready NOW, those extra ten or fifteen minutes really count.

So that’s why I was so excited to receive a bottle of ShopRite Basting Oil in my latest package of goodies!  The oil is a mixture of rapeseed and grapeseed oils and is already infused with herbs.  Ten minutes, saved!

I stuck it on my counter next to my bottle of olive oil, and for several days, used it in place of olive oil for many dishes. 

For example, I used it to roast chickpeas for a shrimp dish.  I browned chicken in it on the stovetop.  I used it to make homemade croutons too.  The mixture of herbs is just right, and it lent exactly the right amount of flavor to my food.  AND it saved me time in a healthful manner, which is always a hit with me.  This is one shortcut product that will make it’s way into my pantry again.

If you’d like to try making your own croutons, here’s my easy recipe:

Garlic and Herb Croutons

leftover bread (it’s best to use a substantial type bread, such as sourdough or french, instead of sandwich bread)

ShopRite Imported Basting Oil

Cut the bread into one inch cubes and add in batches to a frying pan.  Drizzle with basting oil and stir until well coated, adding more oil as needed.  Transfer bread to a cookie sheet and repeat with remaining bread.  Bake uncovered at 350 for ten minutes or until crisp.  Let cool completely before storing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As a POTLUCKTM blogger, I received the ShopRite Imported Basting Oil from ShopRite for free.