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Blogs, Recipes

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

A really simple recipe that comes together in a snap. Pork tenderloin stuffed with bacon, jalapeno peppers, cream cheese and cheddar cheese, this recipe is  bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin, the package usually comes with 2- freeze the other one or double the recipe if cooking for a large crowd
  • 2 jalapeno peppers , cored and minced
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese , grated
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 6-8 bacon slices, crumbled

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Cook the bacon in a large skillet. The skillet will be used for searing the pork, so don’t clean it out after the bacon has been cooked. Once the bacon is cooled crumble it. 

Trim the pork tenderloins of any fat and membrane. 

To butterfly the pork tenderloin, use a sharp knife to make a horizontal cut about one-third of the way up from the bottom of the tenderloin. Flip open the thicker, top flap (like opening a book). Then, take the knife and cut another horizontal line through the thicker part of the tenderloin to open it up even more (like a trifold). You should now have a flat surface of meat. 

Put a piece of plastic wrap over the laid out pork and pound it out to about a 1/3 inch thickness, be careful not to tear it. 

Once the pork has been butterflied, rub both sides with the Barbeque seasoning of your choice.

You can make your own Barbeque rub or take the easy road and purchase one. My favorite is Good Shit, yes you read that right! LOL! You can find it on Amazon. There’s a whole line of seasonings from Big Cock Ranch. Not only do they bring your meat to the next level, they make for a hilarious conversation starter or gift!

In a small bowl, mix together the diced jalapeño pepper with the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles and chili powder.

Spread the jalapeño pepper mixture on one side of the pork. Now it’s ready to roll!

Roll up the pork tenderloin, making sure you wrap up all that goodness inside! Then, using cooking twine, tie the rolled pork tenderloin up to hold in all the ingredients.

Remember the oven safe skillet you cooked the bacon in? Bring that back over medium heat, and sear the pork tenderloin on all sides. I know it’s rolled up, so what do I mean by sides? Simply rotate it about four times to get as much of the tenderloin seared as possible (about 5 minutes on each side).

Place the pork tenderloin in the preheated oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, making sure the internal temperature is at 165°F. Take the tenderloin out of the oven.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and Enjoy!

Tip: While cutting the jalapeños, whatever you do, please please please don’t don’t touch your face. The oils in the peppers will BURN, I speak from experience, it’s VERY painful. The spice in jalapeños is found in the seeds and inner membranes.  To reduce the heat in this recipe, clean out all of the (light colored) inner membrane and seeds. If you like lots of heat, leave a little bit of membrane.

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Recipes

Stuffed Chorizo Chicken over Yellow Rice

The smells of Spanish cooking never fails to set my tastebuds alight.

Spanish food looks good and tastes great. But the smell of Spanish food cooking adds to the anticipation of dinner, and to the experience of eating it!

I loving making recipes that remind me of being a little girl at my grandparents’ houses.

I love using Chorizo in my cooking, whether it’s for my mom’s Spanish Bean Soup, a breakfast hash or tacos! It adds little richness and spice to a dish. The two most common types of chorizo here in the United States are Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo.

Here’s a some quick tips on the difference.

Spanish Chorizo

Spanish chorizo is usually cured or smoked and wrapped in a casing. It does not need any further cooking or preparation to enjoy. I like to eat Spanish chorizo as-is on a charcuterie board with cheeses and a glass of red wine.

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican chorizo is most commonly sold raw and must be cooked before consuming. It should be pan-fried or browned like any ground sausage. I love Mexican chorizo, it’s a highly versatile ingredient for adding huge flavor to any dish. It works seamlessly with soups, chilis, sauces, or as a topping for potatoes, pasta dishes, and breakfast hashes.

For this recipe, I used Mexican chorizo since I will stuffing it into chicken.

I always like to marinade my chicken, especially if I’m using breast. I find chicken breast to not have much flavor on it’s own.

I usually make my own marinade but I had a bottle of Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade in the frig and it’s pretty good so I figured let’s save some time!

The first step of this recipe is to dump your chicken breast into a ziplock bag and pour enough of the marinade in to cover the chicken.

If you have the time, marinate it over night, if not at least 1 hour.

Now it’s time to get to slicing and dicing! This is where my boyfriend, Brian comes in handy!

Before you start, make sure you have a trash bowl next to your cutting board. I learned this tip from one of my favorite chefs, Rachael Ray! I use my Meme’s old metal colander, it makes me feel like she’s in the kitchen with me!

Evenly, dice the onion, garlic and red bell peppers.

Here’s another tip! When you cut your red bell pepper or any pepper make sure to cut it skin down. This will make it so much easier for your knife and you!

While you are slicing and dicing, heat your skillet. Place the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat and break it up into tiny pieces with a wooden spoon while cooking. Transfer the chorizo to a large bowl lined with a paper towel and let the oils drain from the chorizo.

Next, using that same pan, wipe out most of the oil with a paper towel, but leave some of the chorizo oil, and sauté your onion. Sprinkling the Saxon Con Azafran (I use the Baida brand). Continue to sauté for about 4-5 minutes until tender, then add the red bell pepper and sauté until tender. I add the garlic last because garlic can burn if cooked too long and that is not good for any dish. Sauté all together, for 4-5 minutes until fragrant.

Transfer the veggies and chorizo to a large bowl and stir together. This is the filing a.k.a Chorizo stuffing for your chicken!

By now, the aroma from your kitchen should be calling to your family and neighbors to come over for dinner!

PreHeat your oven to 325F

Next up, prepare the yellow rice! I personally love VIGO yellow rice! It’s made right here in Tampa! If you have never visited the VIGO store in Tampa, you must! They also offer field trips for students!

First melt the butter and EVOO in a saucepan. Then add the rice. A great tip I learned from Gordan Ramsay is to first toast your rice!

The secret to a better pan of rice lies in seasoning and flavoring the grains before they even hit that pot of boiling water.

Once the grains are coated and start to toast (you should smell a deep nutty aroma), take it a step further by tossing in some aromatics — like chopped shallots, garlic, ginger, and/or spices — into the pan. For this recipe, toss in the garlic! Toast for just a few minutes, until the rice starts to look slightly brown on the tips and smells fragrant and nutty. Then add in the 2 cups of chicken broth. Stirring occasionally, bring the broth to a boil. Cover saucepan tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Now it’s time to take out all the stress from the day! Grab your mallet or rolling pin; chicken, and cutting board.

Place the chicken on the cutting board and cover it with wax paper or plastic wrap (keep it covered, you don’t want chicken juice on your rolling pin or mallet). After giving the chicken breast a good pounding on both sides, use your rolling pin to roll it out like pie dough to approcimately 1/4 thick (but keep it in the covered since you don’t want chicken juice on your rolling pin.)

Sprinkle Badia Sazon With Saffron over the chicken. Take a scoop of Chorizo stuffing about 1-2 tablespoons and place it at one end of the chicken breast. Do not let your scoop touch the chicken, you are going to want to save the leftover stuffing for future meals, I used mine in quesadillas the next day! It’s also good in a breakfast hash or even as a salsa!

Unravel the cheese… yup I said unravel! It’s like a ball of yarn but cheese! Super fun!

Cut 2-3 inch strips and place on top of the Chorizo stuffing.

Now roll the chicken, making sure to tuck in the cheese and stuffing. You’re basically rolling the chicken like you would a tortilla for a burrito.

You can use tooth picks or kitchen twine to tie the chicken, so it does not come undone. I used twine but tooth picks are much easier. 😉

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and drizzle with EVOO. You don’t have to use cast iron – a large skillet will do but I much prefer cooking with cast iron!

Sear the stuffed chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side until browned. (They will not be fully cooked. You will finish them off in the oven.)

Some of the cheese will ooze out, but don’t worry it will taste amazing like fried cheese!

Take the skillet off of the heat, and pour in 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F.

Now it’s time to plate the dish! I love creating the presentation of the meal!

Take a ladle and press the rice to form a dome, then place the chicken next to it with the cheese oozing onto the plate. YUM!

Get creative and post your plated presentation below in the comments, I’d love to see it!!!

Ingredients:

Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade

4 Chicken Breasts

1 large Onion – diced

5 garlic cloves- minced or diced

2 red bell peppers – diced

1 pound Mexican Chorizo

1 ball of Oaxaca Cheese

2 teaspoons Badia Sazon With Saffron

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

Yellow Rice Ingredients:

10 oz. Vigo Yellow Rice packet

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Olive Oil – EVOO

1 clove garlic – minced or diced

2 cups Chicken Broth

Instructions:

1. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over the chicken. Leave in refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 325F.

3. In a large skillet, sauté Chorizo until cooked through. Place the chorizo in a large bowl lined with a paper towel.

4. In the same skillet, sauté the diced onion, sprinkle with Badia Sazon With Saffron seasoning. Add the diced red bell peppers, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

5. Pour onion, red bell pepper & garlic mixture into a large bowl. Add the chorizo into the bowl and stir together.

6. Lay down 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Use the smooth side of a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken. Start in the center of your chicken and work your way out, until chicken is 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.

7. Scoop the Chorizo stuffing onto one side of the flatten chicken breast.

8. Lay a 2-3 inch slice of cheese on top of the chorizo stuffing.

9. Roll up the chicken, tucking in the stuffing and cheese.

10. Stick a couple of toothpicks in near the opening to keep it all together.

11. Heat up a pan to medium-high heat (I used a cast iron skillet) and sear the meat on both sides about 4 minutes for each side.

12. Pour in 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth.

13. Lower the heat and continue cooking the meat on the stove until it’s done or, if you’re using a cast iron skillet, you can put the skillet in the oven. Just make sure you cook it until the center reaches 165ºF on a thermometer

14. Serve immediately over yellow rice. Enjoy!

Yellow Rice Instructions

1. Melt butter and EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan.

2. Pour packet of yellow rice into the saucepan. Toast the rice until the edges are slightly brown.

3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

4. Pour 2 cups of chicken broth into the saucepan and bring to boil, stirring for about one minute.

5. Cover saucepan tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

CREAMSICLE CHEESECAKE

This dessert combines a childhood favorite with creamy cheesecake.

With Summer peeking around the corner, I’ve been working on creating refreshing recipes that will be perfect to soothe the hot weather. For this recipe, I thought of my mom and my favorite childhood summer treat: creamsicles. I used to love those colorful popsicles with a creamy center. Creamsicles are refreshing fruit juice popsicles stuffed with a creamy, vanilla filling. Yes, they came in different flavors but the orange was the most delicious, in my opinion! 

So for this recipe, I combined one of our childhood favorites- creamsicles and creamy cheesecake. It’s a perfect pairing. Bonus- this is a no-bake treat which means there’s no need to heat up the house by turning on the oven. 

This will be your new go to summer dessert for a picnic, pool party or BBQ!

Trust me…. everyone will LOVE it!

My family on Mother’s Day!

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRUST

  • 24 whole Golden Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
  • Pinch of kosher salt

FOR THE FILING

  • 3 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 box (3 oz.) orange jello
  • 1 cup boiling water

FOR GARNISH

  • 1 c. whipped topping
  • 1 clementine, peeled and separated into segments

INSTRUCTIONS

Make crust: In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, butter, and salt. Press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan or a loaf pan and up the sides.

Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Beat in the Jell-O mixture, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 4 hours or overnight before serving.

To serve: When firm, pipe dollops of whipped topping around the outside of the cheesecake. Top each dollop with a clementine segment, garnish with orange zest, and serve.

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole

This Keto Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole recipe is super easy to throw together. It’s rich, cheesy, and a quick dinner or make ahead weeknight meal!

I love making casserole at the beginning of the week so I can have them all week long for lunches. This keto friendly casserole is comforting and simple to make. It’s creamy, topped with cheese and filled with perfectly seasoned chicken and broccoli. You can have this casserole on your dinner table in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup Half and Half  or Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of Pepper, ground
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese plus 1/2 cup more
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Preheat oil in an oven safe skillet. Add diced chicken and cook it until golden brown.

Add broccoli florets, onion and garlic to the skillet and sauté.

In a medium sized bowl, combine cream, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, mustard, and garlic and salt & pepper. Pour into the skillet, stir to combine. 

Top with the shredded parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for ten minutes, pull out of oven, sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and continue cooking for ten more minutes, until warmed through and the cheese has browned.

Serve immediately.

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Strawberry & Lemon Bundt Cake

Filled with fresh strawberries!

Who doesn’t love a cold glass of strawberry lemonade on a hot day. Now think about that as a delicious slice of cake. All of the same refreshing flavors, but in cake form. Count me in!

This cake is perfect for brunch, a picnic or patio party! It is made with fresh strawberries and fresh lemon zest and a sour cream cake batter, this moist and tender strawberry cake will make your day. Guaranteed! 

I love fresh strawberries with this recipe but you can use frozen ones.  Just make sure to thaw them before using, then dry off and toss with the flour.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  1 zest of one lemon
  •  1 teaspoon salted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Add the strawberries and 1 tablespoon of flour to a mixing bowl and toss together until all of the strawberries are coated with the flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Mix in the eggs one at a time until well combined, then mix in the vanilla. Slowly mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients on low speed. 

Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. 

Then add the strawberries and gently fold them into the batter until just combined.

Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan or cake pan and evenly spread it around.

Bake at 350°F for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Cover loosely with foil if needed for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then invert the cake onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

The Lemon Glaze

While the cake cools, make the glaze.

In a large microwavable measuring cup, the 4 cup capacity ones are the best, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add in the butter then microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.

Let it sit for a few minutes. 

Top with the lemon glaze. 

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Taco Skillet

Perfect for Taco Tuesday!

This KETO Taco Skillet is everything you love about tacos but KETO friendly and cooked in one skillet!

I love creating recipes like this because there’s so many ways you can customize it to what you love. I used lean ground beef but you can use ground chicken or even turkey. For the veggies, you can easily switch any of them out like mushrooms instead of zucchini. The options are endless!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2 large zucchini, chopped
  • taco seasoning packet
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar and jack cheese
  • Cilantro, to garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large pan, crumble and brown ground beef.

Drain excess fat, wipe skillet clean and set meat aside.

Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add onions, garlic and peppers, and cook until through.

Add the taco seasoning, and stir in one tablespoon water to evenly coat mixture (the liquid from the tomatoes will help). 

Add the canned tomatoes with the juices and stir. 

Mix well.

Cover with shredded cheese and place in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling. 

Sprinkle with cilantro. 

Serve alone, over a bed of lettuce, rice, or in a taco or burrito.

Healthy, Recipes

KETO-Friendly Cajun Parmesan Salmon

This Keto Cajun Parmesan Salmon Recipe is perfectly seasoned pan seared filets smothered in an unbelievably delicious honey lemon garlic sauce.

This Keto friendly meal takes only a few minutes of prep time and comes together in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. It’s the perfect low carb dinner for those hectic weeknights or even a gourmet weekend! Bonus points that it’s an one pan meal, so clean up is a snap.

I recommend getting a good piece of fresh wild caught salmon if you can. Frozen filets are fine too but they do tend to release that funny white liquid when they are cooked. It won’t affect the taste of your dinner, it just doesn’t look as pretty. I also recommend getting filets that are at least an inch in thickness, so that they cook more evenly and stay juicy and tender. 

I served my salmon over sauteed zucchini noodles to keep it low carb but you can always serve it over the pasta or rice. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (4-oz.) fillets salmon (preferably wild)
  • 2 tsp. Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
  • Lemon slices, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
Season salmon with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and pepper, then add to the skillet skin-side up. 

Cook salmon until deeply golden, about 6 minutes, then flip and cook 2 minutes more. 

Transfer to a plate.

Add butter and garlic to the skillet. 

When butter has melted, stir in broth, lemon juice, honey, remaining teaspoon Cajun seasoning, parsley, and Parmesan. Bring mixture to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium and add salmon back to skillet. 

Simmer until sauce has reduced and salmon is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add lemon slices to the skillet and serve.

Recipes

Mango & Chicken Kabobs

These grilled mango and chicken kabobs are made with marinated chicken, mango, onions, red peppers, all threaded onto skewers and cooked to perfection. 

Chicken kabobs are a classic grilling option. This version includes a sweet and savory honey chile lime marinade and plenty of fresh mango. Serve your mango and chicken kabobs over ice or eat them straight off the kabob.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Kabobs

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chile Lime Seasoning 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO

Mango Kabobs 

  • 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 sweet red peppers
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Juice of two limes
  • ½ tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • Cilantro, chopped for topping
  • Lime Slices 

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk the honey, chile lime seasoning, chile lime seasoning, red pepper flakes, zest and juice of lime, rice vinegar and EVOO in a large bowl until combined. 

Add the chicken to the bowl. Toss to coat in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

In a large bowl, whisk honey lime juice, zest, garlic and EVOO until combined. Add the mango, red onion and peppers to the bowel and toss. 

Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat.

Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.

Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice.

Healthy, Recipes

Spring Salad

I love using fresh produce when they are in season. This weekend, I went to the local market and couldn’t believe how gorgeous all the green vegetables looked! I grabbed a bundle of green beans, snap peas and asparagus and headed home to create this recipe! Simple, bright, and delicious, it’s the perfect way to showcase the season’s best produce.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound green beans trimmed and halved crosswise
  • ½ pound sugar snap peas trimmed and de-stringed
  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Pinch of salt

Dressing

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Scout and Cellar Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 fennel bulb quartered, cored and very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup shelled roasted sunflower seeds
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the green beans, sugar snap peas, and asparagus to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, then immediately plunge the vegetables into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain and shake off as much excess water as possible.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.  

Add the drained vegetables and the fennel and toss to coat well with the dressing. 

Sprinkle the sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese over the top and serve.

Recipes

Root beer Braised Short Ribs

This is slow-cooked in a root beer broth and is great with mashed sweet potatoes.

When it comes to short ribs, the secret is all in the sauce! We love beef short ribs so I am always trying to think of a new way to cook them. 

Each month, Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa features a new beef short rib recipe on their seasonal menu. I’m very lucky that I get to visit Bern’s often and I always have to try their seasonal beef short ribs. One month, they had Coca-Cola short ribs and they were delicious! So I thought why not recreate this recipe but use Root beer instead! This creative twist really enhances the meatiness of the ribs with a concentrated sweet and savory combination full of flavor. Of course the meat falls off the bone and goes perfectly with mashed sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 pounds short ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch wedges 
  • 3 large celery stalks, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half crosswise
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups good-quality root beer

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper. In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil on high. In batches, brown ribs on all sides, about 20 minutes total. If oil gets too dark during browning, pour off and add more oil (do not wipe pot clean). Transfer ribs to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot.


Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, and star anise. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until onions soften, 5 minutes. Return ribs to pot and add broth and root beer. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover, and place the pot in the oven.


Cook until meat can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 3 hours. 

With a slotted spoon, transfer ribs to a large straight-sided skillet. 

Skim off and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into skillet; discard solids. Boil over medium-high until liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Continue to cook, spooning liquid over meat occasionally, until ribs are glazed and sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes

Chicken in White Wine Fennel Sauce

The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in a chicken wine broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.

Want to cook with wine? Always! Adding wine to a sauce makes it taste like it’s from a fancy restaurant…but it’s easy to make at home! The flavor is tangy from the wine and savory from the fennel rosemary, and garlic. It’s a perfect combination! 

Why cook with wine? Italian and French style recipes often call for white wine in the ingredient list. It’s used to deglaze the pan or add a complex, acidic flavor to dishes. It adds incredible complexity to risotto or pan sauces like this dish!

What wine to use for cooking? You can use any dry white wine for this recipe. You’ll want a crisp white wine that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness. A few types of white wine that are great for cooking are:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Gris

Making a white wine sauce is easier than you think! It might sound fancy. But it takes just 15 minutes to whip up with a short list of ingredients. 

So grab a bottle of your favorite dry white wine, pour yourself a glass and let’s get cooking!

The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine such as Scout & Cellar’s ETNICO PINOT NOIR. Elegant and bright with black cherry, pomegranate, herbs, and a hint of turned earth on a light-bodied frame with a lingering finish.

I served this dish with my creamy parmesan orzo.  

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • ½ cup canned low-sodium chicken broth  
  • ½ cup white wine, such as Scout & Cellar Gallivant Chardonnay
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh-ground black pepper and Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Remove chicken and set aside. We will finish cooking the chicken in the broth in the oven. 

Deglaze the pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine in the pan, scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula vigorously as the liquid comes to a boil. Do not let it boil for more than a few seconds and you make sure you’ve released all the particles from the pan. 

Add butter and melt. Add fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes, add the shallot and garlic, stir and cook for additional 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes.  

Add the wine and broth bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the pan and bake for 10 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185 . 

Stir in the parsley.

Recipes, Small Bites

Short Ribs Egg Rolls

Raise your hand if you love egg rolls! I sure do! Here’s a twist on your traditional egg rolls. These homemade egg rolls are filled with beef short ribs and vegetables, all wrapped up and fried to crispy perfection. The perfect make-ahead appetizer for any event!

HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE EGG ROLLS?

The filling for these egg rolls is shredded beef short ribs, shredded cabbage, carrots and some seasonings like garlic, honey and paprika. I used  a pre-shredded coleslaw mix to make life easier and cut down on prep time.

After your filling is ready, it’s time to stuff your egg roll wrappers! Egg roll wrappers are most commonly found in the refrigerated section of the produce area at most grocery stores. Most egg roll wrappers have a helpful chart on the back to show you exactly how to fold egg rolls.

I served these short rib egg rolls with a side of Spicy Mustard Barbeque sauce and Barbeque sauce. They are the perfect complements to these savory smoky eggrolls.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound beef short ribs, cooked and shredded
  • 1 bag coleslaw
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • Egg roll wrappers

Spicy Mustard Barbeque Dipping Sauce

  • ¾ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch or more of cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of hot sauce

Instructions

Heat the 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and red onion then cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in the coleslaw mix and green onions. Cook until cabbage is wilted, about 3-4 minutes. 

Stir in the seasonings, worchestire sauce and honey. 

Stir your shredded short rib meat,  then remove from heat.

Spoon approximately 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto each egg roll wrapper and fold according to package directions, using water to seal the edges of the wrappers as you go. 

Pour 2-3 inches of oil into a deep pot. While oil heats up, make the spicy mustard dipping sauce. 

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry 3-4 egg rolls at a time, turning occasionally, until browned all over, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Drain on paper towels, then serve with spicy mustard sauce and barbecue sauce.

Spicy Mustard Barbecue sauce:

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add to a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool.