This soup is the perfect way to enjoy tacos without the added carbs!
I’m all about quick and easy one-bowl meals this time of year and this taco soup is at the top of the list. It’s made with my favorite taco ingredients and loaded with mildly spicy & zesty flavors that will keep you coming back for more.
It comes together quickly, with simple ingredients, and minimal effort. You will have a delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Oh and this meal is totally affordable… you can get everything for under $20.
Looking for a wine pairing?
Scout & Cellar 2019 ETNICO CHARDONNAY will pair beautifully with this spicy and zest soup. ETNICO Chardonnay is bright and refreshing with lemon zest, underripe pear, and a touch of pineapple balanced by white flowers and a hint of herbs with a zesty texture.
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used red but green works good too)
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
8 oz cream cheese (I used low fat and cut into fours, it helps it melt faster)
1 Taco seasoning packet
Zest and juice of one medium sized lime
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups beef broth
sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, freshly minced cilantro, jalapeno, and a drizzle of lime
Add olive oil to a large pot, brown beef, remove meat from pot and discard liquid.
In the same pot, saute onion, and garlic over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes.
Add the bell pepper, diced tomatoes and saute until pepper and tomatoes are soft and tender.
Add the lime zest taco seasoning packet and stir to combine.
Add lime juice and cream cheese, until cream cheese is melted and mixed through.
Perfect for weekend OR weeknight cooking, this is one chicken recipe you will make time and time again. This Chicken Marsala recipe is equally as good as what you’ll get at an Italian restaurant so it’s the perfect thing to make on your own, and of course a great dish to serve to guests. It’s a classic dish that does not disappoint!
It’s no wonder it’s one of the most ordered chicken dishes in restaurants! Made with golden, crispy, pan-fried chicken, crispy prosciutto, a mushroom-filled creamy Marsala wine sauce and a good kick of garlic, this Chicken Marsala recipe is next-level!
So let’s talk about wine pairings. You don’t want to go too big with this dish. A big red like a Cabernet will overwhelm not only the chicken, but the subtle sweetness of the Marsala sauce. You’re better off going with a full bodied white like Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted™ Chardonnay, or Pinot Gris. Not a white wine fan? Go for a light to medium bodied red like Pinot Noir.
So there you have it, my easy and delicious Chicken Marsala recipe, and the wines that I recommend with it. Crack open a bottle of something awesome, and get cooking.
For the chicken:
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly grounded pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Marsala sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, as needed
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced and diced
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
3 small shallots chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
flat leaf parsley
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 200°F.
Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Pound the chicken thin. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, place inside a gallon zip-top bag and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even 1/4-inch thickness.
Set the flattened chicken breast aside and repeat with the remaining breasts.
Return the flattened breasts to the bag and add the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add the butter, followed by 2 of the chicken breasts. Fry until golden-brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Remove the browned chicken to a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts.
Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and place in the oven to keep warm.
Keep the heat on medium-high. If there isn’t grease left from frying the chicken, add up to 2 tablespoons more butter to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat
Add the mushrooms and cook until their juices start to release, about 3 minutes.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the Marsala and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned pieces. Add the broth and simmer until reduced by half and starting to thicken, about 15 minutes.
Add the cream and return the chicken to the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens and the chicken is well-coated, 3 to 5 minutes.
Plate the chicken, then top it with the mushrooms and sauce, and garnish with chopped parsley. Viola, fini!
That was easy huh!? Why go to an Italian restaurant and pay $15-20 when it’s so easy to do at home?
You know it’s funny, I’m a huge seafood fan. But I don’t cook it near enough as I should. Well, today I took one step closer to changing that, in the form of a quick, easy and healthy weeknight dinner.
There are so many different methods to make cod. From baking cod to fried cod.
In this recipe, I pan fried it in a small amount of olive oil. Pan-fried cod pairs wonderfully with so many different side dishes. If you are trying to keep things light, whip up my slaw and Pico de Gallo recipe below. If you’re feeling a little more indulgent, make a batch of angel hair pasta with a creamy sauce. The possibilities are endless.
And, if you want to pair this dish with a Clean-Crafted™ wine, try Scout and Cellar’s 2017 GALLIVANT CHARDONNAY. Opulent and plush with aromas of yellow apple, vanilla and baking spices and flavors of baked pear and brioche on a medium-bodied frame with a bright finish. It’s delish!
What about a light beer? Try 7venth sun Kolsch- Crisp, sparkling, and slightly fruity.
1 lb Cod Fillet
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
⅛ Teaspoon Cayenne
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ Teaspoon Cumin
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Zest and Juice of 2 Limes
Fresh Pico de Gallo Ingredients
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
1 bags ColeSlaw mix
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
Pinch of salt
To make the coleslaw, combine cabbage, carrots, green onions and cilantro in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey and salt and toss together with slaw mixture. Set aside.
To make Pico de Gallo, stir all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
For the cod…
In a small bowl combine all of the spices with lime zest and mix well.
Rub the filets with the spice mixture. You will use the entire rub – so make sure to coat them very well.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan.
Add the seasoned cod to the pan, cooking until lightly golden on one side – about 4/5 minutes.
Carefully turn the cod over and cook until opaque and completely cooked through.
Place the slaw in the middle of a plate, place the cod on top of the slaw, spoon Pico de Gallo over top and sprinkle with Cilantro.
As many of you know, I joined the initiative #EducateYourself. I knew some but I am learning so much more. As a foodie, I wanted to learn more about the Black Culinary community, this is where I learned about James Hemings and his brother.
The story of James Hemings is fascinating, here’s a little taste.
In the 18th century, James Hemings was one of America’s most accomplished chefs. He was also Thomas Jefferson’s slave. Hemings grew up as a household slave in Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia estate. He could read and write and Jefferson trusted him. So when Jefferson sailed to France in 1784 to become America’s trade minister, he brought Hemings with him. While in Paris, Hemings was trained in the art of French cooking. He studied first with the caterer and restaurateur, Monsieur Combeaux, apprenticing with pastry chefs. After three years of study he became the head chef at the Hôtel de Langeac, Jefferson’s residence that functioned also as the American embassy. Here his dishes were served to international guests, statesmen, authors, scientists, and European aristocrats.
In 1796, James Hemings was freed by Jefferson on the condition that James would train his younger brother to replace him as chef in the Jefferson household. In 1802, Jefferson served a “macaroni pie” at a state dinner, more than likely prepared from a recipe by James and cooked by his brother. Since that time, the dish has been associated with the United States. Unfortunately, no written record of the Hemingway’s mac and cheese survives.
Enslaved chefs played a huge role in refining some of America’s current staple foods, like mac and cheese.
If you want to learn more about James Hemings. Check out: Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America written by Thomas J. Craughwell . There’s even a children’s picture book, My Name Is James Madison Hemings written by Jonah Winter.
Here is my Mac & Cheese recipe, inspired by the 1824 cookbook “The Virginia Housewife” written by Mary Randolph. It is believed that Randolph’s recipe may have been one of James Hemings creations.
Butter, to grease the dish
16 ounces large elbow macaroni
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups Milk
2 cups Half and Half
2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups Italian cheese blend. shredded
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup shredded cheese
¼ tsp Smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and butter a 3 qt baking dish (9×13″). Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente.
While pasta is cooking, mix all 3 cheeses in a large bowl. Remove ½ cup of the mixed cheese and set aside, you will use this for the topping.
Drain the pasta and drizzle olive oil over the pasta and combine to keep from sticking.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine. Mixture will look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often.
Slowly pour in the 2 cups of the milk, while whisking constantly, until smooth.
Next, slowly pour in the 2 cups of half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.
Continue to heat over medium heat, whisking often, until thickened.
Lower the heat and stir in seasonings and whisk together.
Stir in 1 ½ cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine.
Stir in the rest of the cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully.
Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.
For the topping, mix the 1/4 remaining cup melted butter, remaining cheese and crushed crackers together in a bowl; scatter the cracker mixture evenly over the macaroni.
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the top is lightly golden brown for about 15 minutes.
Living in Florida has many benefits, sunny days, beautiful beaches, and it also comes with the benefits of AMAZING fresh fish.
I was lucky enough to grab some grouper fillets from my local fish market but you can also score some at your store’s frozen section. If you are unable to find grouper fillets, you can use snapper, cod, catfish or even chicken.
This sauce highlights the fish without taking over. In this recipe, I use a simple piccata sauce with lemon and capers to create an easy meal that everyone will love! Oh, and this is a one pan dish! Hello easy clean up! 🙂
I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan but since I received a bottle of Scout & Cellar Fiddleneck Chardonnay I thought I’d give it a try. I am now a Chardonnay fan! The Fiddleneck Chardonnay is the perfect pairing to this recipe! It’s not oaky like most Chardonnays I have tried in the past. It’s light and refreshing with notes of yellow apple, candied lemon peel, and ripe pineapple. It truly is delicious with the buttery lemon flavor of the grouper piccata!
4 6-ounce grouper fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Sprinkle grouper fillets with salt and pepper.
Dredge fillets on all sides in flour.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil in a large skillet.
Add fillets to skillet; cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove fish from skillet.
Add garlic, lemon juice and wine to the skillet, scraping browned bits from the pan. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine.
Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Tip: if the sauce is too bitter, just add ¼ cup of chicken broth at a time.
Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, capers and parsley.
Serve sauce over fish.
I served mine with a side of angel hair pasta and baby broccoli.
Spaghetti squash is such a fun, underrated vegetable!
Spaghetti squash is so healthy and versatile. You can simply enjoy it with some salt and pepper as a side dish, or drizzle it with melted butter or your favorite sauce.
Squash has little to no taste so it’s amazing the different flavor combinations you can come up with! I wanted to do something a little different than just marinara so I thought it’d be fun to make individual squash boats tossed with a creamy sauce, broccoli and sausage. Chicken sausage that is. Publix Greenwise Italian chicken sausage is DELICIOUS, but really you could use any type of sausage you’d like!
Creating the “noodles” from this squash is so incredibly easy. All you have to do is cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, bake them (cut side down) for about 30-40 minutes in the oven then start scraping with a fork!
The cream sauce is so flavorful and seriously so simple to make. To bring the sauce up a notch, I added a drizzle of truffle oil but you can skip it, if you are not a truffle fan.
Toss the spaghetti squash in with the broccoli and sausage and transfer everything into the squash boats. Top with cheese, broil in the oven and enjoy!
This recipe pairs beautifully with Scout & Cellar Chardonnay!
Spaghetti Squash Ingredients
1 medium Spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
4 Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
Head of Broccoli, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons of White wine
Cream Sauce Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup White Wine
3 ounces truffle oil (black or white), optional
2 cups heavy cream
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Spaghetti Squash Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a little bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of your squash.
Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool enough to the touch, use a fork to scrape out the strands from the sides of the squash. Do not toss the empty squash halves.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing.
In a skillet, brown the sausage crumbles. Once browned transfer to a plate and deglaze the pan.
Pour in 3 tablespoons or so (enough to cover the bottom of the pan 1/4″ or less) of white wine, with the heat still on, and scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spatula vigorously as the liquid comes to a boil.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the same skillet, once the butter has melted saute the broccoli for 3-5 minutes.
Move the broccoli to the sides of the skillet, creating a well to add the garlic and shallot. Saute for one minute and then combine broccoli, garlic and shallots- sauteing for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Once the squash is done, scoop the strands into the skillet with the broccoli mixture.
Add the cooked sausage to the skillet and stir to combine.
Cream Sauce Instructions
Add butter to a sauce pot. Turn the heat on medium.
Once the butter has melted, add 4 tablespoons of flour, whisk until combined.
Pour heavy creamy, wine and truffle oil into the pot, whisk to combine.
Once the mixture is hot, slowly whisk in the cheeses.
Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until it’s thickened, stir occasionally.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low.
Drizzle cream sauce into the bottom of the squash halves.
Divide sausage and broccoli mixture among the halves.
Drizzle Cream sauce over top.
Sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
Broil until cheese is browned and squash warmed through, 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve hot with a glass of Scout & Cellar Chardonnay!
Shop for the perfect Chardonnay on my Scout & Cellar page