Recipes, Small Bites

Asian Ceviche

I love ceviche! This twist on the traditional Ceviche is loaded with seafood, red onions, peppers, cilantro and Thai chili peppers; all marinated in sake and fresh lemon juice. Yup, I said sake! I created this recipe to serve at my family’s Christmas eve dinner! 

It’s such a vibrant dish that’s perfect for weekends or parties. Truly a recipe seafood lovers will instantly fall in love with! 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 bag frozen seafood mix
  • 1 pound medium-sized shrimp, cleaned
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro , chopped
  • 1 medium size red onion, chopped small
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped small
  • 1 red sweet pepper in vinegar, diced
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • ½ tablespoon Sake
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS 

Boil frozen seafood mix (15 minutes), shrimp (3 minutes). Strain and place into a bowl. Refrigerate until chilled.

Chop shrimp in small pieces. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. 

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top before serving. 

Serves 8–12

Recipes, Small Bites

Thai Coconut Mussels

I was so excited how delicious these mussels came out! This may just be  my new favorite mussel recipe. It has hints of spice, tang and sweet flavors.

It comes together very quickly- on the table in under 15 minutes. The broth is delicious, so make sure you have crusty bread available to soak it up. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Red chili paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 Thai green chili, diced
  • 1 cup of whole basil
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, coconut milk, red Thai curry paste, fish sauce, sugar and seasonings.

Summer on medium – high heat and bring to a light boil.

Add in the tomatoes, chopped Thai green chili, basil and chopped cilantro.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Then add the juice from 1 lime and those delicious fresh mussels.

Cover and stir occasionally for 8 minutes.

Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Serve immediately!

Healthy, Recipes

Pan-fried Orange Glaze Grouper

For Christmas Eve this year my sister-n-law and I decided to do something a little different… 

In most Christmas comedy movies, the family ends up getting Chinese after the home cooked dinner goes wrong, so we decided let’s make our own Chinese dinner for Christmas Eve. 

This homemade Asian Orange sauce is so easy! Make a tasty, quick and healthy dinner ready in under an hour, that you can use over fish or chicken! 

This sauce has a delicious umami flavor and it’s full of ginger and garlic plus a little heat from the red chili paste. The best thing about making your own sauces and condiments is you can adjust the recipe to suit yourself. 

Serve this fish with my Garlicky Ginger Green beans and white rice. 

Ingredients

  • 6 -4 oz. portions Grouper or white filets
  • 6 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Red Chili Paste
  • ¼ cup Orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • Zest of one orange, for garnish
  • Green onions, for garnish

Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a saucepan over medium high heat add orange marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and paste.  Stir until thoroughly combined and just beginning to boil. Set aside.

Add olive oil to an ovenproof frypan and turn to medium high heat.  As it warms, pepper both sides of the fish and add to the frypan.  Sauté fish 3-4 minutes until browned.  Flip filets over and spoon about a tablespoon of sauce over each filet. 

Place in the oven for 5-6 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

Spoon remaining sauce over baked portions.

Top with orange zest and cilantro.

Healthy, Recipes

Alfredo Squash & Zucchini No Noodle Lasagna

This delicious twist to a classic lasagna recipe will have your family and friends asking for more! It’s made with white Alfredo sauce, chicken, bacon, squash and zucchini slices. Layer it all together and bake for a creamy, cheesy and delicious low carb dinner.

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s ideal for an easy homemade dinner since it uses simple ingredients (including store-bought Alfredo sauce), makes a lot, and is great for leftovers. This recipe is sure to be a favorite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash (about 3 large)
  • 1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon truffle olive oil, optional
  • ½ cup bacon, crumbles
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 cup shredded chicken

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease a deep 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, Italian seasoning, bacon crumbles, salt/pepper and truffle olive oil until well combined.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the Alfredo  sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Then layer 1/2 the squash &  zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella cheese and ¼ of the chicken. Repeat by layering the remaining Alfredo sauce, squash & zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, chicken and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes, Small Bites

Caponata

I’m excited to add one more tasty eggplant creation from Italy to my go to dishes: Caponata!

And it’s a dish from Sicily! I love learning about dishes from where my family is from. My parents and I first tried this delicious appetizer at Casa Santo Stefano restaurant in Tampa. After my first bite, I knew I had to recreate this dish. 

What is caponata?

Caponata Sicilian is one of Sicily’s essential dishes. Pronounced ka·puh·naa·tuh, it is a vegetarian eggplant salad–more like a relish, really–made of eggplant, onions, bell pepper, celery and tomatoes with briny olives and capers. Some describe caponata as the Sicilian version of ratatouille.

You’ll love the combination of savory, sweet flavors in this creamy eggplant dish with onions, tomato and olives! A great make-ahead appetizer to serve over crusty bread or drizzle over chicken or fish!

It is the perfect make-ahead appetizer as it is better the next day, but if you need to serve it on the same day, let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. 

Ingredients 

1 large eggplant 1 ¼ lb or so, cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt

EVOO

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 small celery stalks thinly sliced

Black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoon capers

¼ cup Kalamata olives roughly chopped

¼ cup raisins

2 teaspoons honey or more to your liking

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the eggplant cubes with salt (if you have the time, set it aside in a colander to sweat out its bitterness for about 20 or 30 minutes, while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Pat dry with paper towel).

Place the seasoned eggplant cubes on a sheet pan, add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (about 3 tablespoons or so) and toss to coat. Roast the eggplant in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned.

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. 

Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, tossing regularly until softened.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are about to burst, 3 minutes. As the tomatoes begin to burst, mash them and stir. 

Add capers, olives, raisins, honey, bay leaf and crushed pepper flakes. Pour in the vinegar and white wine. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir in the roasted eggplant and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes in the sauce. 

Finish with fresh parsley. 

Recipes, Small Bites

MARGARITA GRILLED SHRIMP

These Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers are loaded with flavor and charred to perfection. If you like grilled shrimp, you are going to love this recipe! 

They can be served as an appetizer or turned into a meal, just serve over rice. 

It’s the perfect weeknight meal or poolside dish! This past weekend, I served them with mini taco shells, a spicy mango dipping sauce and a chili lime aioli.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon  cumin
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon tequila, optional
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Wedges of fresh lime, for squeezing over top of grilled shrimp

Chili Lime Aioli

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • 2 2/12 tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 lime zest

Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Small Mango ,peeled and diced, about 3/4 C
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh cilantro ,chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Canned coconut milk 

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & marinate shrimp for 20-30 minutes.

Thread shrimp on skewers and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from skewers and place in a serving bowl.

Chili Lime Aioli & Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or in the blender. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

Serve shrimp on a platter with both dipping sauces.

Cocktails

The Classic Mojito and Pink Champagne Mojito

If you’re in the mood for a fun summer drink, this mojito recipe is just what you need!
It’s refreshing, delicious, and super easy to make.

Mojitos are ultra refreshing on warm days, and I feel like I’m on vacation every time I get my hands on one.

Here’s two super easy Mojito recipes… the classic Mojito and the Pink Champagne Mojito!

INGREDIENTS

Classic Mojito

5 mint leaves, more for garnish

2 ounces white rum

1.5 ounce Stirrings Mojito Mix

Ice

Club soda or sparkling water

Lime slices and mint leaves, for garnish

Pink Champagne Mojito

6 to 8 fresh mint leaves

1 ounces of simple syrup

1 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

2 ounce white rum

3 ounces rosé champagne

1 lime, cut into wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

Classic Mojito

Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with lime slices and more mint.

Lightly muddle the mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until aromatic. Add the rum, mix, a handful of ice and shake.

Pink Champagne Mojito

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, add the simple syrup and the mint leaves. 

Muddle with a muddler. 

Add ice, some lime wedges or slices, rum, and lime juice to the cocktail shaker. Shake. 

Strain into a glass filled with ice.

Top with rosé champagne, garnish with lime slices and more mint.

Healthy, Recipes

Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked lemon pepper salmon only takes 12 minutes in the oven before dinner is served! 

This baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is such a delicious and easy way to prepare salmon in the oven. It only takes 12 minutes at 400ºF to whip up this healthy dinner idea!

Salmon cooks up so fast, has a beautiful mild flavor without the fishy-ness, and is very easy to find at your local grocery store. You don’t need a whole lot of effort and time to make this salmon taste amazing.

Feel free to turn this into a one pan meal by adding some of your favorite veggies like broccoli, asparagus or even potatoes. 

INGREDIENTS

2 5-oz. salmon filets

1.5 teaspoons lemon pepper

salt, to taste

2 lemon, sliced into wheels

Lemon zest, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

First, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Next, prepare salmon, by placing a double piece of paper towel on a large plate. Place salmon filets on top of the paper towel, skin-side down and then place another piece of paper towel on top. Use your hands to press the paper towel into the salmon in order to remove as much moisture as possible.

Next, prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.

Then place the salmon filets on top skin-side down.

Sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. And, season with salt to taste and place lemon wheels on top.

Bake at 400ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through a

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

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Brian and I love cooking Julia Child’s recipes. Her recipes are simple and easy to follow with fresh ingredients! One of our favorites is her Chicken Cordon Bleu. We actually just made it for his mom for dinner!

This Chicken Cordon Bleu is delicious with layers of tender chicken, Gruyère cheese, prosciutto, ham, and mornay sauce! It’s a dinner you will dream about!

Seriously stop what you’re doing right now, and grab what you need to make this amazingly delicious chicken cordon bleu!. Not only will this easy chicken recipe make everyone come running for dinner, but it will also leave them wanting seconds or even thirds.

While I love all parts of chicken cordon bleu, I’ll have to say, the mornay sauce is to die for! Mornay sauce is a classic béchamel sauce (one of the five French mother sauces) enriched with cheese and Parmesan. Trust me you will want to make this sauce to spoon over just about anything. And you easily switch out the cheeses to whatever your heart desires! 

Grab a glass of Scout and Cellar Gallivant Chardonnay and let’s go have some fun in the kitchen! Like Julia says ““The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest Ham
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Mornay Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Instructions

Wash the chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Cover them with a second sheet of paper or wrap and, with a flat (not textured) mallet, lightly beat them until flattened to a uniform thinness of less than 1/4 inch. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 315F. 

Grab three bowls… Beat egg into one bowl. Spread the crumbs on a second bowl. 

Spread the flour in the third bowl.

Lay the chicken pieces on a flat work surface skinned side down. Lightly spread the inside of each thigh with a little mustard (don’t use too much or the mustard will overpower the other flavors). 

Stack one slide of prosciutto, then 2 slices of cheese and a slice of ham in the center of each. Roll the thigh, making sure that the filling is completely encased. 

Roll the chicken first in the flour, shake off the excess, and dip each thigh in the egg, allowing the excess to flow back into the bowl. 

Lay it in the crumbs. Roll it, patting the crumbs into all sides. When the piece is coated, lay it on a clean, dry plate and repeat until all the pieces are breaded. Set aside for at least half an hour to allow the breading to set.

Fill a deep Dutch oven or frying pan, with enough oil to come halfway up the sides. Over medium-high heat, bring the oil to 375°F (hot but not smoking). Add the chicken and fry until golden brown, place on a sheet pan and palace in the oven until thighs reach an internal temperature of 165F.

Mornay Sauce

In a small saucepan, heat to just a boil, while stirring, the 2 cups of milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, over low heat. Blend in the flour and cook slowly, stirring continuously until “the butter and flour froth together for 2 minutes without coloring,” thus creating a roux. (Julka tip!)

Remove from heat. As soon as it stops bubbling, pour in your hot milk all at once. Immediately start beating with a whisk. Make sure you gather all of the roux from the sides, bottom and edges of the pan.

Return to a low heat and stir until the sauce comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and beat in salt and pepper to taste.

Beat in the cheese until they have melted and are well blended into the sauce.

Season with nutmeg, cayenne and salt and pepper. Stir in the butter until melted and blended.

Pour over chicken and serve immediately.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen