Spaghetti sauce is a good weeknight meal because you can go from idea to table in 30 minutes. You don’t need to buy the expensive prepared sauces from the grocery and can make a better sauce at home almost as quick. We’ve seasoned our sauce in the recipe below using McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix, but you can feel free to replace the mix with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp basil leaves, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp oregano leaves, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and about 2 tbsp whole wheat or white flour [as a thickener]. We simply find the mix is a little easier to use as all of the ingredients are in the proper proportions already. Note in the pictured recipe we used whole wheat spaghetti noodles for the pasta.
Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup finely diced green pepper
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can water
- 1 can mushroom stems & pieces
- Grated Parmesean Cheese
To make Spaghetti Sauce
- Brown the ground beef in a 3 quart non-stick sauce pan. Drain any grease.
- Add the diced onion, and pepper to the ground beef and simmer about 4 – 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add the tomato sauce and water, mix in McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix, and stir well.
- Simmer to spaghetti sauce, stirring often at least 10 minutes, until desired thickness is reached.
- While the spaghetti sauce is simmering, prepare your favorite pasta noodles according to directions on package.
- Add mushrooms last, stir, and serve with spaghetti noodles, grated Parmesean cheese and garlic bread.
- Any white bread or rolls. We use 2 sub rolls, tops and bottoms.
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- Grated Parmesean Cheese
- Cut butter in small 1/4 – 1/2 slices and place in a pyrex cup.
- Microwave the butter about 10 – 15 seconds at a time until butter is melted.
- Add chopped garlic and stir well.
- Let the butter garlic mix sit about 5 mintues. Stir.
- Meanwhile, preheat broiler and place a layer of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.
- Place bread on sheet, and spoon and try to evenly spread top of bread with the butter garlic mix. Be careful not to add too much garlic to any single slice of bread. If making a large amount of garlic bread you can double the garlic butter quanities as required.
- Spinkle top with grated Parmesean cheese and broil about 1 minute. Watch carefully as this will burn quick.
Since it’s Saint Patrick’s Day today, we thought we re-share a favorite recipe of ours, Old Bay Seasoned Corn Beef and Cabbage. We shared our unique and different recipe here with our original post to the blog back in December. Our staff had been considering making a different recipe for corned beef and cabbage to share today, but in the end we decided our recipe using our favorite seasoning (Old Bay) is so good it was best just to re-visit our original and classic recipe.
The picture to the right shows the recipe for Old Bay Corned Beef and Cabbage in a dutch oven all prepared and ready to cook. Note the tea ball in the center of the pot. It contains the pickling spices is a neat trick to keep the mustard seeds in the pickling spices from spreading throughout the pot, yet lets the pickling spices season the food.
This is a delicious and fairly easy to make recipe for Beef Stew. Since the recipe includes Adolph’s Tenderizer, you can use the tastier (and tougher) cuts of meat to make this beef stew, such as chuck or brisket. The Adolph’s Tenderizer combined with slow cooking will break down the tough fibers in the chuck or brisket, and make for a tender meal.
Beef Stew Recipe Ingredients
- 1 – 1/2 lbs beef for stew
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp Adolphs Tenderizer
- 1 tbsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- Canola oil
- 1 tbsp Worcershire Sauce
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 tsps beef base
- 4 cups water
- 1 can diced tomatoes or whole crushed tomatoes with juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 small cans sliced mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
To make Beef Stew
- Put flour, tenderizer and seasoned salt in plastic bag and mix together.
Place beef in bag and toss to evenly coat beef.
- Heat canola oil in large dutch oven. Place beef in oil and brown, stirring to cook all sides.
- Add celery and onion to the dutch oven. Cook about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add Worcershire sauce, tomatoes, beef base, and water; mix thoroughly.
- Bring to a boil and then add bay leaves, mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes.
- Simmer the beef Stew for 2-3 hours.
- You adjust consistency and make a little thicker with a little water and cornstarch mixed together and then adding to Beef Stew. Stir, and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring a few more times.
- Serve Beef Stew with hot biscuits or corn muffins.
Okay, it’s a week night. You just spent an hour in rush hour traffic. You want a simple, easy meal, that’s ready in a jiffy. Our recommendation would be a French Dip Sandwich made with McCormick Au Jus mix. Of course, you’d need to have 3 items on hand: Au Jus gravy mix, sandwich rolls, and sliced beef.
The French Dip Sandwich was created in the 1920’s in Los Angeles, California when a roll was accidently dropped in to the Au Jus gravy. The customer said it didn’t matter, and took the sandwich anyway. The next day they came back and asked for the same sandwich and thus was born an American classic sandwich.
Don’t let the French name lead you on to the idea that this is a gourmet meal. It’s really just a roast beef sandwich served with a side bowl of Au Jus to dip the sandwich in. But it’s still a great sandwich and is loaded with flavor. Usually the French Dip Sandwich is served with a side of French Fries or French Fried Onion Rings.
This is a recipe for French Dip Sandwiches that we’ve been making for ages. As we said in the lead paragraph, it’s really a great recipe for a busy week night. That’s because it’s easy to make, and tastes great.
Recipe for French Dip Sandwiches
- 3 cups prepared McCormick Au Jus Gravy Mix, make according to directions on package
- 1/4 pound sliced roast beef lunch meat per sandwich
- Submarine sandwich rolls
- Make Au Jus gravy mix according to package directions.
- Add sliced beef to Au Jus gravy to heat the beef.
- Remove beef, and make sandwiches.
- Ladle 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Au Jus gravy into bowls to dip sandwiches in.
On weekends, we try to take advantage of having the time around the house to make a slow cooking recipe. Often those are recipes for soups, stews, Yankee Pot Roast, or standing rib roasts. Yesterday we decided to make a light Chicken Jumbalaya recipe.
Many Jumbalaya recipes are loaded with fat from bacon and sausage. Often the recipes use large quantities of these fats, such as 1/2 cup bacon fat, or 1/2 cup sausage drippings. We try to avoid fats in meals, and especially the saturated fats found in bacon and sausages. So our Chicken Jumbalaya Recipe uses minimal oils, and a light chicken andouille sausage. The meats in our jumbalaya are only chicken and chicken sausage. The resulting meal was excellent, but you can add shrimp to the recipe to increase the flavor.
One of the reasons our jumbalaya was tasty without seafood was our choice of chicken meat. We used chicken thighs, pre-cooked them in a little garlic, and allowed them to cool so we could remove the chicken meat from the bones. That all takes a little time, so you need to cook the chicken thighs at least 2 hours before starting the recipe for Chicken Jumbalaya.
This is a made from scratch jumbalaya recipe, and the only short cut we may have taken is the use of Nina Chopped Garlic instead of chopping garlic cloves ourselves. We use Nina chopped garlic all of the time because you simply measure the right amount, and you’re done. A half teaspoon of chopped garlic is the equivalent to a clove of garlic. Nina Chopped Garlic is chopped finer then the way we usually chop garlic, so the garlic flavor is more pronounced then what we get from our chopping of fresh garlic cloves. If you try it, you’ll see what we’re talking about.
Chicken Jumbalaya Recipe
- 5 chicken thighs
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chopped garlic (about 1 -2 cloves fresh garlic)
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 cubanelle pepper, finely chopped
- 4 or 5 Amy’s Chicken Andouille sausages
- 1 can whole tomatoes
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 2 tsp McCormick Cajun Seasoning
- 1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (or white rice)
- A few hours before planning to start cooking the Jumbalaya, cook the chicken thighs in 1 tbsp canola oil, along with 1/2 to 1 tsp chopped garlic. Turn frequently, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until thighs are cooked through.
- Remove chicken thighs from pan to a plate covered with a couple layers of paper towels. Let drain, and cool 10 minutes, then place thighs in a reclosable plastic bag, and place in refrigerator.
- After chicken thighs have cooled to refrigerator temperature, about 1 1/2 hours, remove the meat from the thighs and discard bones. Cut the chicken meat up into 3/8 to 1/2 pieces.
- Add 1 tbsp canola oil to a large saucepan. Cook 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic, diced onion, green pepper, cubanelle pepper, and celery over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until transparent. Don’t allow the garlic to burn.
- Cut the chicken andouille sausage into 1/4 inch slices, and add to the pan. Cook for 3 -4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the cajun seasoning, Tabasco Sauce, can of tomatoes, and 3 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in basmati rice, and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Check after 8 minutes and add additional water if needed. If using regular white rice, cook for 20-24 minutes checking water at 15 and 20 minutes.
We started out today planning to prepare Cajun Dirty Rice but didn’t have many of the ingredients on hand so we decided to improvise and make something similar. This recipe for Cajun Ground Beef and Rice is probably more healthy since it uses lean ground beef instead of chicken livers and gizzards that’s in Dirty Rice. In the end we came up with a great meal, so we’re sharing it here. The principle seasonings in this dish are Cajun Seasoning and Tabasco Sauce but the celery, onion, and green pepper certainly contibute to the great taste.
Cajun Ground Beef and Rice Recipe
Precook the basmati rice
This recipe requires precooked basmati rice. We cook this first and refrigerate it so that the basmati rice stays together when combined with the Cajun Beef during the final steps of the recipe.
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 1 can chicken broth
- A standard can of prepared chicken broth contains about 2 cups of broth. Pour into a sauce pan, and bring to a boil.
- Add 1 cup basmati rice, and return to boil.
- Cover and cook about 12-14 minutes until all broth has been absorbed by the basmati rice.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool, and refrigerate.
Make the Cajun Beef Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tsp chopped garlic or about 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, chopped fine
- 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 tsp McCormick Cajun Seasoning
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 scallion, chopped fine
- Place 1 tbsp canola or olive oil in a large non-stick skillet, along with 1 pound lean ground beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until beef is cooked through.
- Add diced onion, diced pepper, chopped garlic, and chopped celery. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 – 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to turn translucent.
- Add Cajun Seasoning, chicken broth, and Tabasco Sauce. Stir well, then cook 30 – 45 minutes, stirring often, until broth thickens.
- Add fresh ground pepper, chopped scallion, along with basmati rice. Mix carefully until rice separates into individual grains, and then cook until rice warms.
- Enjoy. Add more Cajun Seasoning at the table as desired. This isn not a hot seasoned recipe as prepared.
Cajun seasoned foods are among the most tastiest foods we eat. The strong blend of spices, and rich color in Cajun Seasonings mix well with many foods, most notable of which are seafood (including shrimp, catfish, crawfish) and chicken. Last night we decided to make Cajun Seasoned catfish, a standard Louisana entree.
We carry two different Cajun Seasonings in our store, one from McCormick Spices, and the other from Tones Brothers. The McCormick Cajun Seasoning is a little more coarse then the Tones Louisana Style Cajun Seasoning, and both provide delicious authentic Cajun flavor. We made our Cajun Catfish Recipe using the McCormick Cajun Seasoning Blend, and you could just as well substitute the Tones Louisana Cajun Seasoning.
Cajun Seasoned Catfish must be one of the simplest main dishes you can make. All you need to do is season the catfish and then cook. We sprinkle a little bit of Cajun Seasoning on a paper plate, then dip a catfish fillet in the Cajun Seasoning, flip the catfish fillet over, and repeat. Cajun Seasoning is a seasoning with a bit of heat, so if you feel you’ve seasoned too much on a single catfish fillet, run a second catfish on the overseasoned first catfish to pick up the seasoning. Or if you really overseasoned, wash the Cajun Seasoning completely off with fresh water, pat the catfish fillet dry, and start over. Speaking of the proper amount of seasoning, we feel 1/2 – 3/4 tsp of Cajun Seasoning per fillet is the right amount and has a little zing. Serve with Red Beans and Rice, or Cheesy Grits.
Cajun Seasoned Catfish Recipe
- Cleaned Catfish Fillets
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning (per catfish fillet)
- Sprinkle Cajun Seasoning evenly over both sides of Catfish Fillet
- Cook in a lightly oiled non-stick skillet about 3 – 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of catfish fillet. Don’t over cook.
It was just Mardi Gras in New Orleans and we were thinking about what we could make for a meal to celebrate the season and revival of New Orleans. One of our favorite Cajun meals is Red Beans and Rice. Outside New Orleans, Red Beans and Rice is often served as a side dish. But, it’s really a well rounded main dish that’s high in fiber and suitable as a single dish meal.
Our recipe for Red Beans and Rice will feed about four people. Now, this is a homemade Red Beans and Rice recipe, so it takes a bit of time for the beans to cook. So you need to start cooking this meal early. And since it’s homemade, there’s not artificial preservative or extra salt added.
Recipe for Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dried kidney beans
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp chopped garlic)
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1/2 pound Andouille Sausage
- 1/2 tsp marjoram leaf
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 can of good beer such as Guiness
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Cook white (or Basmati) rice
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- Clean the beans and remove any foreign ingredients such as pebbles.
- Heat the canola oil in a large dutch oven, add chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
- Add ham hock, red kidney beans, marjoram, bay leaves, sugar, and beer.
- Top with water to cover beans by about 2 inches.
- Cover, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 3 hours. Add additional water if needed.
- When beans are tender, take out the ham hock, and chop up the meat from the ham hock into pieces about 1/2 inch in size. Place the meat back into the pot, and discard the bones.
- Cook the sausage in a separate pan for about 10 minutes, turning to cook through. Then remove the sausage, chop the sausage into 3/8″ slices, and add to the pot.
- Cook the beans another 30 minutes so the sausage flavor blends into the beans.
- Remove from heat, and let cool about 10 minutes.
Serve with white rice and chopped green onions as a garnish.