So much of cooking is doing some that is innovative for your very own family. I am a firm believer that when we put our best foot forward, that it should be to our family first, and then to everyone else, out from there. That is where I prepared this meal for dinner for my little bunch. It was literally a regular week night where the chicken was up, and I did want to serve something that we had, had before.
One of the easiest ways that I find to take your meat (or any veggie) to another level is to #1- change it's shape. So here we go. We're just starting off with your standard chicken breast. I find that I like the breast meat of the chicken served best on skewers. As you'll notice, the standard skewers that you find in your local grocery store may not fit on the inside of all of your pans. In my case, it didn't but on an outdoor or stove-top grill, you have a safe bet. For indoors, and pans with a rim, you will have to break a portion of the skewer off to measure down to the size of your pan.
*Note: You might be wondering why I did not choose to cut the skewer down before starting with the meat? The reason is because, I still wanted to use the pointy part to pierce through before they were ready to go into my pan.
I took my chicken kabobs to the next level by implementing one very simple trick:
Changing the flavor.
If you always use salt and pepper, or salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic that switch things up a bit. For this particular meal, I went with powder garlic and dried oregano. If you have fresh, that is great too, but it is not always the most convenient that have handy. No fresh herbs on hand, have no fear. You're just going to hit your "creativity" button into play and come up with something awesome. Sound good?
They tasted as good as they looked and everyone was surprised to see that we were having this fun dish literally in the middle of the week, and...just because. :-)
Now, I added another fun element to our dinner: zucchini. And not just any zucchini. Again, like I said, switch it up! Cooking for your family is supposed to be fun and invigorating. What greater joy in the kitchen should one have then to know that the meal that you have placed before your family was nourishing and that the time and energy that you have put forth was a sincere expression of your love? (Okay, maybe I am just super-passionate about food but there is a science to it, I tell ya!)
My zucchini has a similar creative flair to it. Again, something different. We eat zucchini from time to time, but never like this. (I think that I may be on to something). This night, I peeled all of the skin off of it, and then for the part that remained, I just ran my peeler down each side in vertical strokes leaving me with medium-thickness zucchini ribbons. It was AWESOME! (Alright, there I go again, getting too happy about food but I can't help it!)
The moment of truth: my family LOVED it! My girls loved most that the chicken was on a stick and the my husband was just please that we were having a meal like this, again, in the middle of the week and for no special occasion. He LOVED the way the zucchini turned out. It really was something special!
So what are you doing with dinner this week to change things up? Are you going to grab one of those spices that you've never even used? Or how about family pizza night? Rather than making that same old pizza crust, why not through some herbs into it? Or even make a up a compound butter to go with bread at dinner?