Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Experimenting with Philly Cooking Creme

Last week, I decided to experiment with some Philadelphia Cooking Creme. Kraft First Taste sent me 2 coupons for the stuff, one for a free container and one for $1.50 off another container. I found them on sale for $2.50 each at a local grocery store, so I basically paid 50 cents for each one.

I decided I wanted to do a chicken, veggie and pasta dish, so I started off by roasting up some fresh broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and celery. The veggies were tossed in EVOO and seasoned lightly with some Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic seasoning. I roasted everything at 425F for about 10 minutes.

For the chicken, I pounded out 2 boneless, skinless breasts and cut them into slices. I put 2 spoonfuls of flour into a plastic bag, seasoned it with garlic salt, black pepper and dried basil and added the chicken . . . then I shook it all around. I did the Hokey-Pokey . . . Oh wait, back to the chicken. I poured a tablespoon of canola oil (give or take) into a skillet and heated it on medium-high. I cooked the chicken in 2 batches (adding more oil as necessary) and removed to a plate (with a paper towel on it to absorb any excess oil).

I cooked up about 3/4 of a box of penne rigate per the instructions on the box, then combined the chicken, roasted veggies and pasta in a large skillet. I added 3/4 of the container of Italian Herb cooking creme, stirred it all together and heated through over medium heat until everything was warmed. Note: the pasta was cooked extra al dente because I knew it would continue to cook while I heated the mixture in the skillet. I added a little stock to the pan with the cooking creme, just because I wanted to thin the mixture out a little.

Overall, this was a tasty meal. I don't think I'll purchase any more of the cooking creme though. The convenience was nice, but the calorie count isn't great. Plus, I'm confident I can make similar sauces from scratch ingredients. I might change my mind when I taste the Savory Garlic one we still have unopened in the fridge, or when I go back to work and learn to again appreciate ingredients that make speedy dinners an option.

Thanks again to Kraft First Taste for allowing me to give it a try for free!

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