Blogs, Recipes

White Wine & Saffron Cod

This Cod with White Wine Saffron Sauce is truly an incredible dish! It sounds fancy, but you can make this dish in under an hour. Saffron is a favorite of mine. I will admit that it is kind of expensive, but a little goes a long way and it is delicious!

What is saffron?

You know I love reading the history of the food I make so when I started my research on Saffron, I was amazed! Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. The threadlike red stigmas and the yellow color they impart are quite literally the stuff of legend

Each flower produces only three threads (stigmas) of saffron, and it blooms for only one week each year. The saffron must be harvested—by hand!—in the mid-morning, when the flowers are still closed in order to protect the delicate stigmas inside. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron. That’s why it’s a little pricey! 

The deep reddish threads (stigma) of the crocus turn a deep yellow when they come in contact with liquid. Saffron is used mainly in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine. You can’t possibly make a paella without saffron.  

Interesting & Fun Facts

In ancient Egypt it was used as a perfume dye and  medicine. It also had a religious use: saffron cakes were used as offerings to the gods.  In ancient Mesopotamia, saffron was used as both an aromatic and an aphrodisiac.  According to Greek mythology, the god Hermes accidentally struck his friend Croco lethally wounding him. In the spot where blood dripped, Hermes touched his sword and flowers began to grow.  These flowers were, well… crocuses! Another reference in Greek mythology has Zeus sleeping on a bed of saffron. It was also thrown on the beds of newlyweds in Ancient Rome (Remember saffron’s aphrodisiac use in ancient Mesopotamia?) LOL. 

I really think you will enjoy this dish, the combination of flavors is absolutely amazing! It makes for a beautiful dish on a special occasion or a regular weeknight dinner! I served it on Christmas Eve with homemade pasta. And on a weeknight, over a bed of sautéed garlic spinach! 

Now for the wine pairing?

Scout & Cellar 2019 GALLIVANT ROSÉ, it is 35% Syrah, 65% Zinfandel. Lively and refreshing with strawberry, red cherry and fresh melon balanced by limestone on a dry, well-textured frame with a clean finish. For this rosé, grapes were hand-picked from 30-year-old vines. The juice began fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and finished in neutral French Oak barrels. The wine then aged for 3 months in stainless steel before bottling, unfined and lightly filtered.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb cod fillet 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin Spanish olive oil
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 small red habanero, diced 
  • 1 medium size red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  • Fresh chives, optional 

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the cod fillet into 3 or 4 evenly sized pieces and season them with salt and black pepper. 

Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 

Add the onions and cook until translucent.

Add the garlic and shallots, sauté for 3 minutes.

Add red pepper and habanero, sauté for 3 minutes.

Add lemon zest and saffron threads, stir to coat the sauteed vegetables. 

After mixing it all together add 1/2 cup of white wine and broth, give it a gentle mix. 

Once the wine/broth comes to a boil add the tomato paste and stir to combine. 

Place the cod fillets into the pan and place a lid on the pan, 4 minutes later remove the lid and flip the cod fillets and place the lid back on the pan. 

After another 3-4 minutes remove the pan from the heat, add the cod fillets to a dish and spoon the white wine saffron sauce over the fillets. 

Garnish with fresh chives, enjoy!

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen
Recipes

Honey Orange Glazed Grouper

This Honey Orange Glazed Grouper is a citrusy sweet recipe that I guarantee you’ll have on repeat. A quick and delicious dinner that will be  on the table in no time! Perfect for a healthy lunch, weeknight dinner or a dinner party! To make this easy fish dinner you need less than 30 minutes, isn’t it great?

And it keeps getting better and better! You can use this sauce for just about anything from fish, shrimp, chicken or as a salad dressing. It’s very versatile and delicious!

I love experimenting with new marinades and sauces. And really love using orange marmalade in my homemade salad dressings so I figured it would be great in this recipe. The outcome? Amazingly delicious! You’ll want to drizzle the sauce on all your side dishes too. So I recommend pouring about ¼ cup of the prepaped sauce into a separate bowl and save for the table. 

What to serve with this dish?

Cold Zucchini noodle salad or steamed Broccoli, pan fried Asparagus.

Want a starch? Couscous or rice are also great choices, but anything will do as long as you like it.

Grab a bottle of Scout and Cellar 2019 FIELDHOUSE WHITE BLEND and you have yourself one delicious meal! The taste? Under ripe peach, under ripe apricot and white flowers with refreshing acidity that hangs on so the wine finishes clean; as the wine warms, notes of pear and honey emerge.

TIP:

I covered my broiler pan with foil then sprayed it with non-stick Olive oil spray, which is a real clean up saver.  The honey makes the grouper crispy and crackly and tastes like heaven, but makes cleaning up no fun.  What good is a quick dinner if you are scrubbing the pan all night, right? 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound grouper fillets
  • 2  tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Orange Juice
  • ¾  teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions

Preheat broiler.

Combine all ingredients except grouper, mixing well.

Season filets with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place fillets on an oiled broiler pan and brush fillets with honey glaze to cover.

Broil or 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip fillets, brush with honey glaze and broil for an additional 2 minutes, then brush with honey glaze and broil for additional 1-2 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

*Don’t have a broiler pan? No worries! You can use a baking sheet. Don’t forget to cover it with foil and oil it for easy clean up!

Blogs, Recipes

Chili Lime Cod with Fresh Pico de Gallo over Slaw

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. 

Ingredients

  • 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 

Slaw Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen
Blogs, Recipes

Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

I’d have to say I am an avid taco lover.  I eat tacos of some sort at least twice a week.  

This is one of my favorite taco recipes! 

The fish is so flavorful and spicy, but the heat is mellowed out by the slaw and creamy avocado sauce.  All together it has a ton of amazing tastes and textures. These tacos are perfect for a hot summer’s day spent by the pool. 

You can choose any white fish, such as grouper, tilapia, snapper, whatever fish you like. 

The slaw recipe is so easy! Just buy the pre-made Tri-color Coleslaw bag, drop it into a large bowl and toss in the onions, cilantro and lime. 

A glass of Scout & Cellar 2019 CONTE DE LA TERRE VERMENTINO is the perfect pairing for these tacos and a pool day! 

BLACKENED SEASONING

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼  teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

FISH

  • 6 (4 ounce) white fish fillets 
  • 2-3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 8 to 10 (6 inch) flour or corn tortillas

THE SLAW: 

  • 1 Tri-color Coleslaw bag
  • ½ medium-sized onion, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pinch of salt

AVOCADO-CILANTRO SAUCE:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ to ½ cup water (depending on consistency)

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried Italian seasoning, onion powder, cumin, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Set aside. 

Heat a heavy cast iron pan on high heat until extremely hot, about 10 minutes.

Pour 3/4 cup melted butter into a shallow dish. Dip each fillet into butter, turning once to coat both sides. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with spice mixture, and gently pat mixture onto fish.

Place fillets into a hot pan without crowding. Carefully melt about 1 teaspoon melted butter and spoon  over each fillet. Cook until the fish has a charred appearance, about 2 minutes. Turn fillets, spoon 1 teaspoon melted butter over each, and cook until charred. Repeat with remaining fish. You may need to add more butter to the pan, as you cook remaining fish. Squeeze lemon juice onto fish.

No one said this was healthy. LOL

To make the avocado sauce, combine the avocado, garlic, cilantro, yogurt, lime juice, sriracha and salt/pepper in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and water until smooth until you have your desired consistency.

Combine all of the Slaw ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the fish (a few at a time if you can’t fit them all at once). Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the outside is blackened and the fish flakes apart easily.

Remove the fish from the heat, and if desired, warm the corn tortillas in the same skillet over medium heat, cooking for about 30 seconds on each side.

Break up the fish into pieces. 

To assemble the tacos, place chicken in a tortilla and top with slaw and a drizzle of the avocado sauce. 

Serve with a fresh squeeze of lime and enjoy!

Blogs, Recipes

Homemade Mac & Cheese

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.

Pair this Mac and Cheese with Scout & Cellar 2019 Fiddleneck Chardonnay, Lake County, California

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

Topping:

  • 1 sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • ¼ tsp Smoked paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

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.  

Blogs, Recipes

Fish with a White Wine Key Lime Butter Sauce

Fish with White Wine & Key Lime Butter

The Keys  is one of my favorite vacation spots. It tugs at my inner pirate and pulls me in with its beautiful sunsets, fun bars, and good times. After I leave, I can’t wait to get back. It’s my to-go destination for a laid-back and adventurous vacation. The Keys are a state of mind as much as a place. So there’s no surprise the Keys has its own unique cuisine too.

This recipe is inspired by one of my boyfriend, Brian’s favorite Keys dishes from Lazy Days on Islamorada. It has all the fresh flavors of the Keys. Fresh fish crusted with panko bread crumbs, sautéed, topped with fresh diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, scallions, and fresh grated parmesan cheese with a drizzle of key lime butter. 

Fish Ingredients

  • 4 (4-ounce) fish fillets, such as snapper, flounder or cod. 
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe tomato, seeded, chopped small
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced (green and white parts)
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced 
  • ½ lime
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste. 

Instructions

Prepare and keep warm white wine Key lime sauce before cooking fish.

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels.

Spread bread crumbs in a baking pan or pie plate. Press fish into crumbs on both sides to coat well. Place fish in a baking pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

In a bowl, stir together the chopped tomatoes, roast peppers, scallions. Squeeze half of a lime, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Refrigerate until right before serving.  

Heat a nonstick griddle or cast-iron griddle over medium heat. Once hot, add oil. 

When oil is heated, add fillets, cooking in two batches. Cook each fillet 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fish.

Sprinkle each fillet with chopped tomato, scallions and roasted red pepper salsa; sprinkle grated cheese over top. Spoon white wine-Key lime sauce over and serve hot with white rice.

White Wine Key lime sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped roughly or green garden onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (note we tried it without the chicken stock and it was still good)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest 
  • 1/3 cup Key lime juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add shallot and saute for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add white wine and bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Spoon shallot from pan and discard. Add chicken stock and cook for 2 minutes.

Add butter and cook over medium-low for 3 minutes, swirling pan or whisking gently to combine. Remove from heat and whisk in lime zest and Key lime juice. Keep warm over low heat while the fish is cooking. Serve warm.

This recipe pairs great with Scout & Cellar 2018 CHE FICO PINOT GRIGIO RISERVA.