Recipes, Small Bites

Festive Italian Dip

Creamy, spicy, addictive sausage dip that takes just minutes to throw together.

This dip is so good, it will be the hit of the party! Honestly you can even serve this dip mixed with pasta and have a hearty pasta dinner! There is so much packed into this dip, from the spicy Italian sausage to the gooey cream cheese!

The base for this dip is Hot Italian sausage. Don’t worry if spicy food isn’t your thing, this sausage honestly isn’t very spicy, it adds a nice flavor punch. Plus, paired with the cream cheese, it all balances out perfectly. I started by cooking the sausage in a large skillet. Once the sausage was cooked, I transferred it to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up some of the grease. Cutting out some extra fat. 

Next, I wiped the same skillet clean, getting rid of some of the sausage grease but not all of it. Sauté up some onions, red peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Oh and add in a little Italian seasoning for good measure. And don’t forget the… WINE! I used Scout and Cellar Field House Chardonnay. It adds a zesty flavor!

Roughly chop up some baby spinach, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Honestly I just grab a handful from the bag, throw it on the cutting board and run my knife over it a few times, making sure there are no huge pieces. I used the whole 6 ounce bag of baby spinach. 

Then grab the cream cheese. I cut mine into four squares so it melts quickly. Make sure to grab the shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese too. Add all that cheese right into the skillet and stir. 

At this point I strongly encourage you to grab a spoon and taste! Mmmmmm!

Now, pour the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more cheese on top, cover the whole top!

Bake it to perfection until the cheese is golden brown and the sides are bubbly. Your kitchen will smell like heaven! Serve with a baguette or crackers.

So let’s get cooking! 

Ingredients 

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound hot Italian ground sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 6-oz package fresh spinach, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. 

In a bowl, mix together the two cheeses and set aside. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage. Once cooked, remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. 

Using a paper towel, wipe the skillet clean and saute the onions and red pepper in the same skillet, for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. 

Stir in tomatoes, and Italian seasoning; cook for 1 minute. 

Add the cooked sausage back to the skillet and stir to combine, cook together for 2 minutes. 

Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Stir in spinach and salt, and cook for 2 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted. 

Reduce heat to medium; add cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheese mixture. 

Cook and stir mixture until cheese is melted.

Pour mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with the rest of the cheeses.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 

Serve with crostini or crackers.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen.
Blogs, Recipes, Small Bites

Smoke Spicy Meatballs

These smoked meatballs are slowly smoked on the grill, and then finished with a homemade spicy & sweet BBQ sauce glaze. The ultimate game day food or appetizer for your next party.

I start with the meat. In this case I combined ground Italian turkey and pork for added flavor. You can  also use chicken or ground beef. Then added flavor and binding with Panko bread crumbs, garlic and egg. For the cheese, I used blue cheese but there are plenty of options (cheddar, mozzarella, fontina, provolone, anything that melts well). 

Here’s my little secret to help the meatballs stay moist, I use butter. I know Paula Deen would be proud! 

Just form your ball and make a little well in it, and place a small square of butter in the well, then cover it up and reshape the ball.

I made this recipe on my Green Mountain smoker, but you can make it on your grill or in the oven.

Once the meatballs are cooked, add the homemade BBQ sauce. Gently toss the meatballs around (or use a large spoon) to get the balls fully covered in the sauce.

Make sure to dig in while they’re still warm!.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ lb Italian ground chicken or turkey sausage
  • ½ lb ground Pork 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoon of Frank’s Red Hot Ranch Dip seasoning packet 
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Blue Cheese crumbles 
  • ½ stick of butter, cut into tiny pieces- about the size of your pinky finger nail. 

The Sauce:

  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes – you can add more or less depending on your spice preference
  • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Makes about 28 medium sized meatballs

Prepare the meatballs: 

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. 

Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. Shape the meat mixture into balls, about 3 tablespoons per ball. I like to use my medium size cookie scooper. 

Now here’s my little secret to help your meatballs stay moist, once your meatball is formed poke one piece of butter into the center and roll back into the meatball shape. 

The Smoker Method:

Preheat the smoker to 225ºF

Place the meatballs on your smoker at 225ºF. After 20 minutes of cooking, brush each meatball with the sauce. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 155ºF (one hour).

Turn the smoker up to 350 for 15 minutes to finish them off! You will know they are done when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

The Oven Method:

Preheat the oven to 475ºF. 

Place shaped meatballs on a baking sheet.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked- internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

Brush each meatball with the sauce. 

Place back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes. 

Place on a serving tray and drizzle with additional sauce.

The Sauce:

In a saucepan, combine the ingredients of the sauce over medium high heat, allow it to come to a boil, reduce the heat so it simmers. 

Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. 

Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. 

The sauce will thicken as it cools so don’t worry if it looks thin.

Gently toss the meatballs around (or use a large spoon) to get the balls fully covered in the sauce.

Serve and eat them while they warm!

Blogs, Recipes, Small Bites

Buffalo Chicken Rolls with Blue Cheese Frosting

It’s my best friend, Jason’s Birthday and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first home game of the season! I wanted to make something special for our tailgate to celebrate Jason’s birthday. 

Jason doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth so I wanted to create something that looked like a cupcake but was savory! He loves Buffalo chicken dip, so I created these Buffalo Chicken Dip Rolls with Blue Cheese frosting! 

Think Cinnamon Rolls but with Buffalo Chicken Dip flavor! You basically are making cinnamon rolls but instead of cinnamon and sugar you are using chicken, onions, cream cheese, mozzarella and hot sauce.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 8 ounce Whipped Cream cheese
  • 1 packet Ranch Dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano 
  • 1 cup favorite Buffalo Sauce (I used Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce)
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella
  • 1 Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza dough 

BLUE CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS 

  • 10 ounce cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 tablespoon butter room temperature, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon Ranch Dressing mix
  • ½ teaspoon Powdered Sugar

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat a pan over medium heat. 

Melt the butter.

Saute chopped onions in butter over medium heat. Once onions are cooked, add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. 

Add the chopped chicken to the same pan. 

Sprinkle half of the Ranch dressing mix and oregano over the chicken and stir. 

When chicken is done, add ½ cup of the Buffalo Sauce and heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, mix the cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, the other ½ cup Buffalo sauce, rest of the Ranching dressing mix and the one tablespoon of the Ranch dressing in a medium sized bowl. 

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Roll the pizza dough out. 

Spread cheese mixture evenly across rolled out dough. Then spread the chicken mixture over the top of the cheese mixture.

Starting from the long side of the dough, begin rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll. 

Pinch ends when done. Wrap in the parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Slice into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls. 

Place in a muffin pan each 1 1/2 roll into a muffin pan, using a muffin pan will keep the roll together.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is lightly browned. 

Carefully pop the rolls out of the muffin pan and cool on a cooling rack while you make the frosting. 

BLUE CHEESE FROSTING INSTRUCTIONS 

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix together until there are no lumps left.

Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes or pipe it out using an icing nozzle and pastry bag.

Serve!

Recipes, Small Bites

Three Fresh Salsa Recipes

There’s nothing better than a Taco party! Not only does everyone love tacos, but you can make it all ahead of time and be able to sit down with your guests and eat. You can’t have a Taco party without SALSA! And your chips, tacos and meats deserve the best! 

These fresh salsa recipes are super simple and crowd favorites! 

Let’s get the Fiesta preparation started!

Pico De Gallo is a classic Mexican recipe made from fresh tomato, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice..

Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa

  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • I clove garlic, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt & Pepper to taste 

Stir all together in a bowl.

Serve. 

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde is really easy to make from scratch, all you need are tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, lime, and cilantro. This salsa Verde is fresh, bright, and not too salty like store-bought versions.

  • 4-6 tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the broiler with a rack about 4 inches below the heat source. Place the tomatillos and jalapeño on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until they’re blackened in spots, about 5 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, carefully flip over the tomatillos and  jalapeño with tongs and broil for 4 to 6 more minutes, until the tomatillos are splotchy-black and blistered.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the chopped onion, cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt. 

Once the tomatillos are out of the oven, carefully transfer the hot tomatillos, jalapeño and all of their juices into the food processor or blender.

Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth and no big chunks of tomatillo remain, scraping down the sides as necessary. Season to taste with additional lime juice and salt. 

The salsa will be thinner at first, but will thicken up after a few hours in the refrigerator. 

Cilantro Lime Sauce

This Cilantro Lime sauce has incredible flavor and only requires a handful of ingredients. It’s a fresh, creamy!

  • 1 small bunch cilantro 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1  medium avocado 
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. 

Refrigerate and Serve.