Blog: WHAT’S COOKING? Seasoning is the spice of life (01/21/22)


The St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry provides food for those in need in the area, including dairy products, various proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as canned and canned goods. January and

February is a good time to enjoy hearty home-cooked meals on the dinner table to help “temper” the winter blues and brighten spirits.

seasoning is the key to cooking and life. Seasoning brings out or intensifies the natural flavor of food without significantly altering it.

Mirepoix is a mix of vegetables with two parts onions, one part celery and one part carrots.

The Holy Trinity, often used in Cajun cooking, calls for equal parts onions, celery and peppers.

These two mixtures of diced vegetables – aromatics – are cooked slowly with a little fat (such as butter or oil) to soften and/or deepen the flavors of a dish.

Remember that ginger and garlic can also be added to your seasoning.

You see, using seasoning while cooking adds variety and maybe even zest to a meal.

“THE SPICE OF LIFE” is what makes life interesting, exciting, enjoyable or worthwhile. The saying “variety is the spice of life” means that having many different experiences makes life interesting and memorable. What better way to do that than to enjoy simple yet tasty food at the table with the ones you love?

This month’s recipes focus on dinner suggestions using basics you’ll find in the pantry to supplement your protein on hand.

Beef stroganoff

1 1/2 pounds stewing meat.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a frying pan, add 2 T. of butter, and brown the meat. When the meat is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan and sauté 1/4 cup diced onion and 1 minced garlic clove.

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker.

Add 1 can beef broth (14.5 oz), 1 can mushroom soup (10 3/4 oz) and 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce.

Cook over low heat for 4-5 hours.

For the last 30 minutes, add 1/2 cup sour cream. Mix well.

Serve over noodles prepared according to package directions.


1 to 2 cups chopped leftover cooked meat

2 cups cubed potatoes

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 teaspoon onion and celery mix

3 to 4 tablespoons of butter

Use equal parts meat and potato. Melt the butter in a pan. Saute potato, onion and celery until cooked. Add the meat. Add broth or milk to moisten the ingredients.

Cook slowly for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.

Pork chops and potatoes

Grate or thinly slice the potatoes (enough to spread in a buttered casserole dish) in a casserole dish. Add a can of mushroom soup plus 1/3 can of milk, mix well.

Top with 4 pork chops that have been salted and peppered on both sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Flip the chops and cook for another 1/2 hour.

ranch wings

2 pounds chicken wings, split at joint and tips removed

3 1-ounce packets ranch dressing mix

1 1/4 cup flour

3 large eggs

frying oil

Toss wings with 1 packet of dressing mix in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Whisk flour and 1 packet of dressing mix in a large bowl.

In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, 2 cups water and remaining dressing mix.

Dip wings a few at a time in seasoned flour, then dip in egg mixture and return to flour mixture, turning to coat.

Transfer to a wire rack to rest.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; the thermometer should register 350 degrees. Fry the wings in batches until crispy and golden, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Remove and drain on absorbent paper. Serve with your favorite sauce.

“What’s cooking?” is a question that many families face on a daily basis. Some families don’t even broach the subject because the cupboards are empty.

Food pantries provide items to families in need. However, there are times when the family does not know what to do with the free groceries delivered.

Annunciation’s Saint-Vincent-de-Paul food pantry provides food for those in need of assistance in the area, including dairy products, various proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as produce canned and canned.

If you don’t know what to cook with the groceries provided, what is the assistance for?

That’s why the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul food pantry volunteers want to provide recipes to help people use the groceries they receive.

The non-denominational food program helps “all of God’s children” and helps families stretch their food budget. The Food Pantry ensures families in Clay County don’t starve themselves.

Those needing help — whether it’s with food or checking out available help with bills — call 812-531-3637 or stop by the next pantry event held each Tuesday

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Church of the Annunciation, 19 North Alabama Street, Brazil, 47834.

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