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.

On the Side, Recipes, Small Bites

Fresh Herb Ricotta Cheese Bread

A no yeast bread that is super quick to prepare! 

Ready in less than an hour, this Herbed Ricotta Cheese Bread is sure to become a favorite!

This quick bread is loaded with fresh herbs, ricotta cheese, and a dash of smoked paprika. 

Ricotta is a fresh, soft, Italian cheese with a small curd and a light, mild, slightly sweet flavor. In the United States, it is most commonly known as an ingredient in lasagna. I honestly love ricotta even just by itself. For this recipe, I decided to use ricotta instead of heavy cream or milk, the ricotta gives the bread a light texture that practically melts in your mouth!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
  • ½ cup green onions or scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • smoked paprika

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. 

Grate butter into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the consistency of coarse meal.

Stir in scallions and fresh herbs. 

Add ricotta cheese, then add milk and stir until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. 

Knead 2 to 3 times, then pat dough into a 9-inch rectangle. 

Transfer bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops liberally with egg wash. Sprinkle top with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and smoked paprika.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

On the Side, Recipes

Creamy Parmesan & Thyme Polenta

Creamy Polenta!

Looking for a twist on your side dish for Easter? Look no more!

This light and fluffy polenta is perfect for serving with ribs, chicken, pork, lamb, or veal, and is also great with roasted veggies.

What Is Polenta?

Polenta is a porridge type dish popular in Northern Italy. In the United States, it is usually made with coarsely ground cornmeal. Think of polenta as an Italian version of grits! But made with yellow corn instead of the white corn of grits.

How to Make Polenta

Making creamy polenta is so easy that you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before.

It all starts with caramelizing up finely minced garlic cloves in a small amount of olive oil in a large saucepan.  

Once the garlic is brown in a medium-size pot in olive oil, add in the chicken broth and water, and bring it to a boil.

When the stock is boiling pour in the cornmeal while whisking constantly to ensure there are no clumps in the polenta. Turn the heat down to medium-low. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the creamy polenta is finished it should be smooth with no crunch to it.  At this point stir in some whole butter, Parmesan cheese, thyme, onion powder, and salt, and pepper.

I like to serve my polenta as the base of my dish with the meat on top with polenta absorbing the sauce from the main dish.

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

Instructions

In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic. 

Then combine broth and water, onion powder,  salt, and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Whisking constantly, gradually add cornmeal. 

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer polenta, whisking frequently, until thickened and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, butter and thyme and season with salt and pepper. 

Garnish with thyme, and serve. If polenta thickens upon standing, stir in a little hot water.

Note: If preparing polenta in advance, cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat on stovetop or in the microwave (about 5 minutes on high), adding more liquid if necessary. Stir vigorously after reheating to fluff.

On the Side, Recipes

Sautéed Cabbage

This Easy Sautéed Cabbage recipe is perfect for a quick side dish for any meal but especially on St. Patrick’s Day!  It’s a rustic side dish with tender, caramelized cabbage flavored with garlic, and Guinness. If you think you don’t like cabbage you need to try it this way!

Serve with my Slow Cooked Guinness Corned beef and Irish Cheddar & Garlic Soda bread

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcester sauce 
  • ¼ cup Guinness 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

Instructions 

Heat a large 12-inch skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter- about 7 minutes.

Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add half of the cabbage, stir and cook until it begins to wilt and reduce in volume, about 2 minutes. 

Add the remaining cabbage and stir until wilted, 2 minutes. Continue to cook for 8 minutes, stirring every minute to allow lightly even browning.

Add the Guiness, Worcester sauce and vinegar, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add the salt and pepper, stir and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste. 

On the Side, Recipes

Irish Cheddar & Garlic Soda Bread

Irish soda bread flavored with cheese, garlic, and herbs is the perfect, easy bread to serve as the ultimate side dish for St. Patrick’s day!

There’s no yeast & no rising! And you still get a fluffy, flavorful loaf of bread. Just mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and bake!

It’s also very versatile and you can add pretty much anything. Different kinds of cheese, herbs, onions, garlic and even sun-dried tomatoes. The rest of the ingredients are all pantry/fridge staples.

Serve with my Slow Cooked Guinness Corned beef and Sautéed Cabbage.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •  2 tablespoons green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the sheet where you will be placing the bread.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, parmesan cheese and sugar, whisk together until combined.

Add to the dry mixture the cheddar, herbs, garlic and green onions, mix.

Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, mixing until combined.

Knead for 1-2 minutes, until the dough holds together. Add more liquid if dough is not forming.

Form dough into a round loaf and transfer to the floured parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Cut a cross into the top of the dough, about ½ inch deep and 2-inches long. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the cover, pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until the soda bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf. 

Remove from the oven and place two tablespoons of butter on the top and allow it to melt. 

Serve.

Cakes & Pies

Lemon Mascarpone Tart

This tart is made with lemon and mascarpone for a deliciously creamy, citrus-y sweet treat which is the perfect end to any dinner.  It has shallow sides, a crumbly, sweet, cookie-like crust, and creamy lemon filling! 

This tart requires 2 simple steps.

Make the tart crust. This recipe is great for any tart you’re making. It’s crumbly and sweet with a firm cookie-like texture. 

Simply drop the vanilla wafers in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Next pour the melted butter in and pule until the crumbs are moist. 

Press the crumbs into a greased pie pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake the crust until lightly browned and set, 10 to 12 minutes. 

Or To make things easy, you can use a store-bought tart shell, and then you’ll only need to make the lemon filling. 

Make lemon filling. In a clean food processor, blend ricotta, ,mascarpone cheese, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Pour into the hot tart crust; using a spatula smooth out. Bake until filling is set and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving, sprinkle top of tart with crumbled vanilla wafers. 

Ingredients

  • 72 vanilla wafers (from a 12-ounce box)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½  teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Crumbled Vanilla Wafers for topping (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven 375 degrees. In a food processor, pulse vanilla wafers until finely ground (to yield 2 cups). Add butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened.

Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Place pan on a baking sheet; bake crust until lightly browned and set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.

In a clean food processor, blend ricotta, mascarpone cheese, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Pour into a hot crust in the pan; bake until filling is set and browned in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving, sprinkle top of tart with crumbled vanilla wafers , if desired.

Recipes, Small Bites

Portobello Fries with a Lemon Garlic Aioli

The first time I had portobello fries, I was in downtown Tampa at a restaurant called Gin Joint. After my first bite I was in love and knew I had to recreate them! 

Soaked in buttermilk and lightly fried in a beer batter and then dipped in a tangy aioli… They are seriously a dream! 

You can have them as an appetizer or use as a Taco Tuesday filling, either way you will crave these! And yes, you can bake them instead of frying and they will taste just as good!

The Lemon Garlic Aioli is a magical creamy sauce with a bright lemony tang and a savory garlic flavor that you will want to dip everything in from chips to veggies to any meat.

Ingredients

Portobello Fries

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, about 1 pound, stems and gills scraped out, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 can beer (preferably lager or pale ale)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white cornmeal
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (about 2 ½  cups)

Lemon Aioli

  • ½ cup Mayo
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 zest of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

Make the aioli: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended. Set in the refrigerator.

Prepare the mushrooms: In a shallow pan, soak the mushroom strips in the buttermilk, about 1 hour.

Make the batter: In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, beer, flour, parmesan cheese, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne. 

Fill a skillet with the vegetable oil; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F or drop a crumb in and it sizzles.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. 

One at a time, dip the mushroom strips in the batter, then carefully lower into the hot oil. (Do this in batches if necessary-do not crowd the pot.) Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, turning with tongs. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. 

Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with the garlic lemon  aioli.

Cookies, Recipes

Strawberry Lemon Blondies

These Strawberry Lemon Blondies are the perfect mix of sweet richness, real fruit & bursting with real strawberry flavor throughout.

This strawberry lemon blondie recipe is so easy to make from scratch! With  fresh strawberries, and a slightly tart lemon flavor these blondies are the perfect spring or summer dessert! Blondies are essentially vanilla brownies. They’re dense, sweet, chewy bars.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY LEMON BLONDIES

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Now you will beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir well. Gently fold in the fresh strawberries and lemon zest.

Scoop the blondie batter into a 9×9-inch baking dish that has been prepared with parchment paper. Be sure to leave just enough parchment paper sticking up from two of the edges so you can easily lift the blondies out of the pan after baking.

Press the batter down evenly. 

Bake the Strawberry Lemon Blondies at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. Be sure you don’t over-bake them or they will be dry and crumbly. 

While the blondies are baking, chop one cup of strawberries and place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of sugar for the topping and stir together.

Cool the blondies in the pan for at least 5 minutes, then lift out of the pan, cut into bars, and cool completely to room temperature.

Spoon the strawberry topping mixture over each square before serving. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (164 grams) granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) fresh squeezed lemon juice plus ¼ of a lemon for the topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/4 cups (306 grams) all purpose flour (use the fluff/scoop/level method for measuring)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ zest of lemon 
  • 2 cups (127 grams) diced fresh strawberries

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F

Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper with long edges. This will help you lift out the blondies for easy glazing and slicing later.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg.

When the egg is fully incorporated, beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. 

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the wet ingredients, mixing until no more dry flour is present.

Gently fold in 1 cup of the diced strawberries and lemon zest. 

Spread the mixture into your pan and spread out as evenly as possible. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, just until starting to turn golden around the edges and the center is set.

Dice  the remaining cup of strawberries and place in a bowl. Add the ¼  of one lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of sugar and stir together.

Cool the blondies in the pan for at least 5 minutes, then lift out of the pan, cut into bars, and cool completely to room temperature.

Spoon the strawberry topping mixture over each square before serving.

On the Side, Recipes

Creamed Spinach

Most of us have heard of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. But how many of us know the founder’s unique history?

In 1965, single mother Ruth Fertel realized she needed to earn more money to send her sons off to college. She found a restaurant for sale in a New Orleans newspaper called Chris’ Steak House. She quickly learned that Chris’ steak house originally opened on her birthdate, and she took that as a sign of good luck to move forward with the sale. 

Shortly after Fertel purchased the establishment, a fire forced her to change the original location and she renamed the restaurant, “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.”

Though she had no restaurant experience, Ruth’s Chris became a huge success. Fertel opened her first franchise in 1977 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Today, there are more than 80 locations in the U.S. and overseas.

This delicious creamed spinach recipe is inspired by the dish served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. It has just a hint of cayenne pepper to give it that Louisiana zing!

Ingredients

  • 1 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

Cook the spinach as directed on the package. Drain and squeeze all the liquid from the spinach when it is done. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 

Add the flour to the melted butter and stir until smooth. Cook for 2 minutes. 

Add the cream and heat for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Whisk often so that the sauce does not burn.

Add the cheese, spinach, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring often. 

Serve hot.