Recipes, Soups

Lasagna Soup Remix

The ultimate comfort food in a bowl!

Who doesn’t love lasagna and a nice salad for dinner? Well how about that dinner but in soup form… that’s exactly what this soup is! I received my inspiration for this recipe from a Publix Apron’s recipe. It’s a quick and easy recipe with easily-found ingredients.

The broth of this soup consists of chicken broth and a jar of your favorite pasta sauce! I mean it doesn’t get much easier than a jar of pasta sauce. When my grandparents, Papa and Meme were not making their own homemade sauce, my Meme would have my Papa buy a jar of Ragu. I know, can you believe it… Ragu! Now, for me my go-to jar is Barilla. But this is your creation so you pick what your go-to sauce is. No judgement!

After browning the ground sausage, you start with “humble beginnings”. Have you ever heard of that? Maybe you have heard of Sofrito, Mirepoix, or the Holy Trinity of cooking. These are all the foundation of some of the world’s greatest dishes. It’s simply a group of vegetables sauteed together, disappearing into the dish as it cooks. But their flavors linger and would most definitely be missed if left out. In this soup, we make a “humble beginnings” of carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to start the soup. 

Most lasagna soup calls for lasagna noodles, you know the long thick noodles that are for a baked lasagna. Well I just don’t agree that those noodles should be in a soup, they end up taking up the whole bowl. So I used a package of Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini, it usually can be found in the refrigerated section near the cheese. These little tortellinis are stuffed with creamy ricotta, aged Parmesan and Romano. You simply plop them into the soup and you have the noodle and all the delicious cheeses in one bite. 

Do not skip the salad kit’s toppings and dressing, trust me!. I used the Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit, it comes with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, poppyseed dressing. That’s 7 superfoods! The cranberries and the poppyseed dressing give the soup a sweet tangy twist, that cuts through the acid from the tomatoes, it’s a delicious combination!! But you can use any salad mix, a Cesar salad kit would be tasty too. If you buy a kit, it comes with everything which means you don’t have to buy a bunch of different ingredients. 

Lastly you plop a nice size dollop of Ricotta cheese into the bowl and you have yourself the perfect one-bowl meal!

Serve on a cold night with a crusty baguette, a glass of Scout and Cellar Fieldhouse Pinot Noir and you are set!

Ingredients

  • 1lb mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. 
  • 3 cups or  24 ounce of your favorite  jar pasta sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 (9 oz) package cheese ravioli
  • 1 (12 oz) Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit
  • 1 (12 oz.) low fat ricotta cheese

Instructions

Preheat a large stockpot 2–3 minutes on medium-high. 

Brown sausage 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, until no pink remains.

Remove sausage and drain pot. 

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pot.  

Saute the veggies for about 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. 

Stir in pasta sauce, broth, and pesto; simmer 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot.

Stir ravioli into soup; cook 4–5 minutes or until ravioli is tender 

Add sausage back to the pot and simmer for one hour. 

Meanwhile, mix the salad kit together, expect the dressing. I personally like to drizzle the dressing over the soup but again totally up to you. This is your creation!

Divide soup evenly among bowls. 

Top each bowl with even amounts salad greens and salad toppings, 

Drizzle the dressing over the top. 

Place a dollop about a tablespoon of ricotta cheese on top and serve.

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, Pasta, Recipes

Creamy Spinach Orzo

I love orzo! I much rather have orzo than rice any day! 

Since orzo is so quick-cooking, it’s a perfect choice for a one-pot dinner. It cooks up fast in a simmering pot of broth and milk, and the starch from the pasta actually helps to thicken the creamy sauce. 

There’s little work required, besides stirring in a few big handfuls of baby spinach and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese. This orzo is an amazing blank-canvas recipe, it’s easy to tweak, you can add cherry tomatoes, peppers, or even shredded chicken. Seriously the possibilities are endless! Get creative! 

You can serve this creamy orzo as either a light main dish or a side dish. We served it alongside my Lemon Parmesan Chicken but totally could have eaten it as the main dish- it’s that good! 

Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Spinach Orzo

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. 

Add the onion and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. 

Add the garlic and orzo, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth and milk and bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed and has formed a creamy sauce, about 10 minutes. 

(If the orzo isn’t completely, you can add another splash or two of broth to the pot and continue to simmer until it has.)

Stir in the spinach and Parmesan until the spinach has just wilted and the cheese melts, about 1 minute. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with additional cheese.

Recipes

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

This Cauliflower mash recipe is an easy way to cut down on carbs without sacrificing flavor. I mean, what’s the point in eating something at all if it doesn’t taste good, right?

In my opinion, food should be all about balance, so this recipe is a great way to cut out the carbs from regular mashed potatoes, but keep all the amazing flavor. And if you really want to be healthy, the cheese is totally optional. Either way, you’re going to love this tasty Cauliflower Mash recipe!

And Cauliflower mash is actually so easy to make. It’s basically the same process as making mashed potatoes, but with cauliflower instead! Boil the cauliflower, blend it into a creamy consistency, then add in the extras. 

You can use a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. (Or smash by hand!)

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Head Cauliflower leaves removed and broken into large florets
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves finely chopped and divided
  • 2 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups Water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • ¼ cup cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Rosemary 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Place the cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with broth and water.

Add in half of the garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender.

Using a colander, strain the cooked cauliflower and place it into a food processor. 

Add in the remaining garlic, herbs, grated cheese and butter. As the food processor is processing, slowly add in the milk. 

Process until smoothly pureed.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs.

Enjoy!

Tip: The cauliflower is not covered fully by the water and broth, this way it will get steamed. 

Cauliflower Mash is a great side with Steak and a glass of Scout and Cellar The Resident Zinfandel!

www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen

Recipes

PAN-SEARED CHICKEN PAILLARD WITH ARUGULA AND SHAVED PARMESAN

When the weather starts to warm up, I like to make lighter dishes. But I never sacrifice flavor! I love to use citrus in my recipes during the spring and summer.

This Pan-seared Chicken Paillard with Arugula and Shaved Parmesan embodies light and flavorful perfectly.
Paillard is when you take a piece of meat that is pounded out thin and cooked quickly.

This recipe keeps the seasonings simple. You top the lemon marinated chicken with delicious, peppery arugula drizzled with a truffle balsamic vinegar dressing. It’s fresh, and full of flavor. It’s the ideal spring or summer lunch or dinner. Pair it with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite white wine), and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal!

First you want to start by pounding out the chicken. Place the chicken onto a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Now take out all your aggression and pound the chicken with a mallet or you can use a rolling pin, that’s how my Meme used to do it. Pound the chicken until it is about ¼ inch thick.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.

In a mixing bowl combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder. I love using lemon zest in my dishes, especially homemade rubs or salad dressings.
Grab your zester, if you do not have a zester, you can use a box cheese grater on the fine side.
Zest half of a lemon, and juice half of a lemon in the bowl with the spices. Whisk all ingredients until well combined. Rub the mixture all over both sides of the chicken. Let the chicken marinate while you make the salad dressing.

The salad dressing calls for truffle oil which can be a strong flavor. I love truffle oil, but I know it’s not a favorite for all. So if you are not a fan of truffle oil, you can replace it with EVOO.
In a small bowl, add 1 chopped shallot, zest and juice of half a lemon, ½ teaspoon truffle oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper, whisking until combined. Set aside.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of EVOO into the hot skillet. Place each flattened chicken breast into the hot oil. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until fully cooked and golden brown.

Now for the plating!
This turns into a fresh beautiful plate!
Place the cooked chicken breast onto a plate and pile on the arugula. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan cheese over top of the arugula and chicken. Drizzle the Truffle Balsamic Vinegar over the arugula.

Enjoy!!

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Zest of ½ of a lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon

For the Salad:

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon truffle oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 6 cups arugula
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS
Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and top with plastic wrap.
Pound out the chicken breast until it’s about a ¼” thick.
Place the chicken on a platter and brush a little olive oil on each side.
In a small bowl combine salt, pepper and garlic powder. In the same bowl add the zest and juice of half a lemon.
Generously rub the seasoning on each side.
Preheat your skillet with a swirl of EVOO. Turn down heat to medium-high and cook chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.

For the salad dressing
In a small bowl, add chopped shallots, truffle oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in the middle of a plate. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the top of the chicken.
Top the warm chicken with a nice big portion of the dressed arugula.
Take a block of Parmesan and, using a vegetable peeler, shave pieces right on top of the arugula.

Drizzle the truffle balsamic vinegar dressing over top.
Serve immediately.