Cilantro With Nut Butter and Mustard With Vermouth

>> Saturday, April 02, 2011

McCormick launched its 2011 Flavor Forecast, which lists the top ten food pairings for the year. Earlier, I recapped those ten pairings.

Thanks to McCormick, I had the opportunity to test out some of these pairings. First up was the pairing of cilantro and nut butter. McCormick has a recipe for Chicken and Cilantro Pesto Pasta, which sounded easy to put together. The nut butter used was peanut.

First, you make the pesto in the blender. While the pasta is boiling, you make the chicken peanut butter mixture. Drain the pasta, toss with pesto, and put chicken on top. I never used fresh cilantro before. I wasn't even sure if I ever had cilantro before, but after one bite, I recognized the flavor. Very delicious if you enjoy cilantro. You can find the recipe on McCormick's site.

Next up was mustard and vermouth. At first, I ruled out the recipe for Dirty Martini Steak Kabobs because I had to buy vermouth, which I thought was expensive. However, I decided stop by the liquor store and see how much it was. Since vermouth is a type of wine, I'm looking up and down the wine aisle, hoping the find the word vermouth printed on the bottle. No luck so as I was walking out the door, the guy asked what I was looking for. I told him I needed vermouth for a recipe. Turns out vermouth had its own section next to the gin. Um ok? Plus side a small bottle was around $4, so I went for it.

This recipe is also easy to put together if you prepare ahead of time. First you need to marinade the meat at least two hours, longer for a stronger flavor. I decided to do it the night before work so I could fix it for dinner the next day. To save even more time, you could cube it, but I was tired and left the steak whole. When you're ready to cook, you boil pearl onions for 5 minutes and then remove the paper. However, when it came time to thread the skewers and alternate with olives, I didn't realize my olives needed to be pitted. Luckily, I bought a pitter for $3 on clearance when I worked at Target, thinking I was going to do something with cherries that summer (never happened). After they were assembled, I broiled them for 5 minutes. Very delicious and definitely a meal I'm going to make again soon. You can find the recipe on McCormick's site.

Want to try these flavor combinations (and more) yourself? Stay tuned for another McCormick giveaway.


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