In an effort to boost weekend traffic over at GourmetNews.com, I am taking a leaf from the food bloggers and posting some casual pieces about interesting food that are based on my own experiences with some of the products I enjoy using. I'm not one of those cooks who has endless hours to spend in my own kitchen, but I'm also not one of those cooks who's willing to put bad food on my table. My solution to this dilemma is to use quality products that help speed along the process of making and serving a delicious meal.
Up until now, I've been keeping my time-saving secrets mostly to myself, although I've never shied away from admitting my reliance on a lovely sauce or a ready-made product if someone asks for my recipe. Now I'm going more public.
You can read about a lovely Sunday brunch, which was actually a Friday night dinner when I served it, here and a menu for a weekend supper here. The Sunday brunch relies on heat-and-serve quiche from La Terra Fina for a meal that just couldn't be easier to put on the table, and the weekend supper leans on oven-roasted pork chops served with Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce from Fischer & Wieser. The pork chop meal story doesn't mention that the sauce totally rescued me on those pork chops, which I overbrined a bit. They weren't wrecked; just a little too salty, but that sauce is a combination of sweet raspberry flavor and a nicely balanced heat from chipotle peppers, and it was just glorious on those pork chops. For the menu, I paired the pork and the sauce with Barley Couscous from Roland, which is pre-cooked in the box, so that all you have to do to prepare it is to pour some boiling water over it, let it sit for a few minutes and then fluff it with a pork when you're ready to plate. I had my doubts about how well that was going to work before I tried it, but I followed the directions anyway, and it turned out terrific. I had some left over after dinner, so I reheated it in the microwave the next morning with some cherry jam on top. Very nice breakfast.