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.
Have you seen the new trend in baking bread? Bakers are turning focaccia bread into beautiful works of bread art by layering on creative ingredients. Vineyard Baker on Instagram is the pro behind this new trend. Making focaccia bread art is not only fun for the whole family but it is delicious!
So since the world is in quarantine, I have been looking for fun projects to keep the kids and me busy. Abby, Brian’s daughter, loves to cook with her hands so this was the perfect fun project for us to do together.
Start off with my easy focaccia bread recipe. Once the dough has risen, get your raw or pickled vegetables and fresh or dried herbs and get CREATIVE!
Here’s some suggestions:
Red onions – thinly sliced to look like flowers
Mini bell Peppers – sliced vertically to make big sunflowers!
Chives – Make great flower stems
Green Onions – Also make great flower stems or seaweed
Parsley – Perfect for leaves
Basil – Also great for leaves or seaweed
Cherry or regular Tomatoes – Sliced in half makes great flower centers
Olives – Rocks or centers of flowers
Carrots- make the sun or flowers
Capers – Also make great rocks or seed pods
Rosemary – Small plants
Thyme – Small plants
Green Beans- makes great grass
Pepperoni – can be shaped into fish or faces
Shredded Parmesan – Sand or dirt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a cold medium skillet, combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the black pepper. Place the skillet over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/4 cup of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture to the bowl with yeast and honey. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times until smooth.
Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use two tablespoons of the remaining garlic-olive oil mixture to oil a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to create dimples in the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the garlic-olive oil mixture. Tip: Creating dimples with your fingers helps to prevent the dough from bubbling up while baking.
Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly.
Now it is time to get creative! Grab your favorite colorful herbs, vegetables (fresh or pickled), and nuts and seeds. Decorate the dough with your ingredients, gently pressing down so they stay in place. Brush olive oil over the top.
Nutella Swirled Banana Bread is the ultimate banana bread recipe. It is extremely easy and moist with swirls of nutella spread throughout. It’s perfect at breakfast served with your morning coffee or for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The best bananas for this recipe are ones that are over-ripe. The peels should be at least half brown and easy to remove. The insides should be squishy and browning. I find myself buying bananas and never eating all of them so this recipe is a great way to save the bananas and my wallet.
There is no need for a mixer. You can mix everything together in one large bowl. The first step is to mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl! I use the back of the spoon or you can use a potato masher. Then, I just throw everything else into the same bowl and mix it together. I told you it was easy!
Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Grab your Nutella jar and microwave it for 10-20 seconds. Pour half of the banana batter into the loaf pan, and drizzle two spoonfuls of the warm Nutella over the banana batter. Add the rest of banana batter and repeat with the drizzle of warm Nutella. To achieve the marble look, take a knife and swirl it through the loaf pan.Bake in your pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until golden on top and a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the loaf pan and serve in slices. I like to cut mine into thick slices but that is totally up to you!
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 overripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup Nutella
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, butter, egg & vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Gradually add the flour and baking soda, mixing until all combined.
Pour half the batter into your pre-lined loaf pan and smooth into the corners.
Warm your Nutella in the microwave for about 10-20 second to soften it slightly.
Drizzle a couple of spoonfuls over the batter in the loaf pan before adding the remaining batter on top.
Drizzle the remaining Nutella to the top of your loaf before stirring the batter with a knife to create the marbled effect.
Bake in your pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until golden on top.
Leave to cool in the loaf pan and serve in slices.
I totally have a recipe bucket list, I mean, shouldn’t everyone? 🤣
I have always wanted to make popovers. So, I decided to try my hand at making them and I’m so mad I haven’t made them before.
They are easy to make and delicious!
You may be asking yourself, what is a popover?
They are like a muffin but light, airy, and crispy around the edges. In this recipe, they pull apart to a buttery cheesy magical pastry.
The name comes from literally “popping over” the sides of the pan and are baked in a hot oven until they “pop” up. They are a simple side item for a weeknight meal or holiday entertaining.
You may have heard that popovers are usually made in a special pan. Good news – you can use a regular muffin pan and they work just as well.
If you use a muffin pan, you may want to skip every other opening just in case they “pop” over onto each other.
Guess what? No mixer or blender is required. Just one bowl, a whisk and a rubber spatula is all you need.
You can get pretty creative with popovers! In the recipe below, I used Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but you can use any cheese combination you like and then add your favorite seasoning, instead of garlic powder and cayenne in the recipe below. Or, switch it up completely, and make them sweet for a dessert by using sugar and cinnamon. The possibilities are endless! Get creative!
12 cup muffin pan or popover pan
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons minced chives
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter until combined. Whisk in the flour and salt and then fold in the cheeses and chives until even. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Put a muffin pan on the middle rack in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.
4. Remove muffin pan from oven (careful, hot!) and pour the batter into the cups of the hot pan, filling almost to the top – make sure they are almost to the top.
5. Lightly sprinkle with the cayenne or smoked paprika (a very small amount of cayenne). Bake the popovers until crisp and golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
6. Take each out of the pan, place on a wire rack, and pierce with a small paring knife to let steam escape. Serve hot.
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 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 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!!!
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
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.
My first tip is make sure you have a wooden spoon or several!
My Meme, grandmother, use to always say a wooden spoon is a must have in the kitchen!
And yes, just like the episode of Everyone Loves Raymond, we had the large wooden spoon and fork on the kitchen wall in my Meme & Papa’s house. But that was not the wooden spoon, she was speaking of.
Wooden spoons don’t quickly heat to scalding temperatures, melt, or scratch pots and pans. A wooden spoon can be used to stir any dish in any type of pot/pan. It can muddle lime and mint for a Mojito, stop a pot of pasta from boiling over, and fold together the wet and dry ingredients of cookie batter.
While all of these facts already tip the scale in favor of wooden spoons, there is also an emotional reason to use them.
Wood retains memories in a way that metal and plastic cannot. It shows signs of use. It changes color and texture, wears and ages, even changes shape.
I can look at one of my wooden spoons and see a slight bent from cooking my first Christmas meal, or the dark spot from the sangria I made for my friends last summer. And when I use the wooden rolling pin that belonged first to my grandmother, then to my mother, and now to me, I cannot help but feel that I am cooking in the company of all past meals that the rolling pin helped roll and with the help of all the hands that have done the rolling before me.
Now I have taken her advice, and have several wooden kitchen utensils. They are my go to!
I am excited to share with you my favorite recipes as well as tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
For several years I have wanted to start a food blog. Since food sparks creativity in me, I knew that I wanted this blog to be all about having fun in the kitchen, delicious food, creative cocktails and tips & tricks I’ve learned along the way! So with the encouragement of my family and friends, “Whisk Away Kitchen” was born!
I am lucky enough to have the recipes of my Sicilian and Spanish grandparents. I love taking an old family recipe and adding a new spin on it to keep it current and fresh. One of my favorite things to do after a long day is to get lost in the kitchen, creating dinner for family and friends.
This blog is all about being creative in the kitchen & fun. I’m here to show you that it is okay to switch things up, making good homemade food really isn’t all that difficult, it’s actually fun!
I hope I will inspire you to be “whisked” away into your kitchen and cook what you see here, and most importantly have some fun!
Exactly who am I?
My name is Erin. I’m a Tampa native, Elementary school Assistant Principal, cook, blogger and foodie. I love to cook for family and friends any chance I get. From a young age, I watched my Sicilian grandparents, great grandma and Spanish gradma work their magic in the kitchen, and once I picked up my first whisk, I was hooked! I do most of my cooking in Tampa with my boyfriend, Brian, a.k.a Bear, and my pup, Bodie. Cooking has always been a welcome creative and stress release for me. When I’m not working, you can find Bear and I in the kitchen creating something yummy! My hope is to inspire you and bring you closer together!
I’m so thankful you are here to join in my cooking adventure.