My work keeps me very busy from the time I open my eyes ....and sometimes until I close them! Sure, I take breaks to grab a bite, but many times I'm making a sandwich while talking to a client, and eating while doing data input. I do love when I have the time to make something new and adventurous for dinner, but the time to do that doesn't always exist. Often I find myself looking at the clock only to realize that I haven't planned anything, haven't taken anything out of the freezer, or haven't gone to the grocery store for dinner!
This happened just last night.....I had a Monday/Friday and it was 6 o'clock when I felt the rumble in my stomach....uh oh! But this time I was ready! I had gone to Harris Teeter the night before, and had a little time to browse the aisles, which is rare (I'm usually a get in, get what I need, get out kinda girl). I happened to notice something I hadn't seen/thought of in many, many years.....
Shake 'N Bake!!! I remember when this stuff first came on the market....I guess I was around 10 or 11....and my Mom thought it was the greatest invention ever! I think it was originally produced for pork chops.....they were delicious. That's about all I really remember, other than that commercial with the little girl helping her Mommy make dinner, exclaiming, "It's Shake 'N Bake, and I helped (pronounced hay-ulped)". Of course, I looked everywhere for that commerical on the internet....no luck. There were a few in YouTube, but this was my favorite:
Anyway, let's get back to dinner last night....I made Chicken Parmigiana....with Shake 'N Bake! It was quick, easy and delicious!
I used some chicken cutlets that are pre-sliced and cleaned....put them in the bag with the SNB mix, then put them on a parchment lined baking dish and let them sit for about 20 minutes.
This helps the coating to adhere well. (TIP - it's a pain to get parchment paper to lay flat on the baking sheet - just wet it first and it will stay flat)
While they were setting up, I started my sauce. Yep....premade sauce! My favorite is Harris Teeter's brand - Traditional. But I add a few things that the shelf sauces just don't have.....more garlic (I love Gourmet Garden's tube herbs-the garlic is delish!), more oregano and basil and red wine. I let this simmer while I prepared everything else.
I baked the chicken at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then topped them with mozzarella cheese and broiled that for about a minute or so...just long enough for the cheese to melt. Then I put the chicken over pasta, topped with my sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
It was delicious...and much more so than ordering take out pizza or Chinese food...and it was quick and easy! Seeeeee......I'm not a fancy cook, really I'm not. I just love to spend time in my kitchen and I love trying new recipes.....and I love ingredients, whether they are quick and easy or dishes made from scratch!