Heather's Florida Kitchen

Seasonally inspired easy recipes for the home cook.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie (Photo courtesy Bettycrocker.com)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie (Photo courtesy Bettycrocker.com)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie is pure indulgence. And what better time to treat yourself to a nutty dessert than on Fat Tuesday, the day before the Lent season begins and than the last day of the Carnival season. But don’t feel too guilty because everytime you use peanuts in recipes you are supporting a Florida farmer. Peanuts are the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over $1 billion dollars. Seven states account for almost all peanuts grown in the U.S. Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi grow the major proportion of all peanuts followed by Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Oklahoma.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie
Makes 10 servings

Crust:
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
Truffle filling:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Peanut butter filling:
1 cup whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
Topping:
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
2 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts

1. Heat oven to 450F. Bake pie crust as directed on box for one-crust baked shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 15 minutes.
2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup whipping cream over medium-high heat until hot. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and the vanilla until smooth. Spread truffle filling in bottom of baked crust. Freeze 15 minutes.
3. In medium bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, set aside. In another medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Carefully spread over truffle filling. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/4 cup chocolate chips and the shortening uncovered on High 30-60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over pie; sprinkle with peanuts. Cut into wedges to serve. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
SOURCE: BETTYCROCKER.COM

Pepper,  Mushroom and Potato Salad

Pepper, Mushroom and Potato Salad

Pepper, Mushroom and Potato Salad (Photo courtesy of the Mushroom Council and mushroominfo.com)

Pepper, Mushroom and Potato Salad (Photo courtesy of the Mushroom Council and mushroominfo.com)

Pepper, Mushroom and Potato Salad is an easy side for grilling menus. All Florida bell peppers come from the same vine but offer a different flavor depending on when they are picked. A green bell pepper is picked before it’s fully ripe. Left on the vine to ripen, a green pepper becomes an orange or yellow pepper with a fruitier flavor. If left on the vine even longer, the yellow bell pepper turns red and sweet!

Pepper, Mushroom and Potato Salad
Yield: 4 servings

6 (2-inch) blue potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly minced rosemary
Coarse salt to taste
12 large white button mushrooms, halved
2 red bell peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cups arugula lettuce

1. Preheat grill. While grill heats, boil water and blanch potato cubes for 5 minutes, then cut in half and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, rosemary and salt. Add mushrooms, potatoes and pepper pieces and toss to coat, then skewer individually, to create four skewers of each ingredient.
3. Reserve the remaining marinade and grill vegetables until tender, turning once, about five to ten minutes total.
4. Split lettuce between four plates and place one of each skewer on top; drizzle with reserved marinade and serve either warm or cold.
Recipe courtesy of the Mushroom Council and mushroominfo.com

Roasted Radishes with Orange and Rosemary

Roasted Radishes with Orange and Rosemary

edc36aa4-53a7-4548-83c2-b37fd90251fe_1.fc8c78d1d04212104031ea9ee0ce1e74Roasted Radishes with Orange and Rosemary is a great showcase for a quick-growing Florida crop. This vegetable goes from seed to edible plant in just 25 days. In the United States, radishes are typically eaten raw; however, they can be added to cooked dishes or served whole. While the root of the radish is the most popular part for cooking, the leaves and stem can prepared like other leafy greens.

Roasted Radishes with Orange and Rosemary
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound Florida radishes, trimmed and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
Coarse salt to taste
1 orange, peel and pith removed, cut into slices

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking pan with foil and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss radishes with olive oil and rosemary. Place on baking pan and sprinkle with salt.
3. Roast radishes for about 25-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned in spots.
Remove from oven and cool slightly.
4. Serve warm with orange slices.
SOURCE: Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Morning Mix recipe: Chicken Thighs Braised with Spring Leeks, Carrots and Tarragon

Morning Mix recipe: Chicken Thighs Braised with Spring Leeks, Carrots and Tarragon

Chicken Thighs Braised with Spring Leeks, Carrots and Tarragon

Chicken Thighs Braised with Spring Leeks, Carrots and Tarragon

The more the merrier in Heather’s Florida Kitchen! That’s why I have teamed with the fabulous folks over at Orlando’s WOMX Mix 105.1 to offer the morning show’s Recipe of the Week. Today’s recipe is Chicken Thighs Braised with Spring Leeks, Carrots and Tarragon. Chicken is the little black dress of protein — it’s always in style and goes with everything. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes exclusively for Mix 105.1’s Morning Mix here and at the radio station’s website.

Chicken Thighs Braised with Spring Leeks, Carrots and Tarragon
Yield: 4 servings

8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 medium leeks, cleaned and cut into 2-inch lengths
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch lengths
1 tablespoon freshly-chopped tarragon
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In large oven-proof sauté pan with a tight fitting lid, heat olive oil and butter over medium until butter is melted. Add chicken and sauté for 6-7 minutes, or until browned. Turn and repeat.
2. Add leeks and carrots and cook, stirring well, for another 1-2 minutes. Add tarragon and chicken stock. Bring liquid to a boil, remove from heat and cover. Place pan in oven and braise for about 40 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the chicken registers 170F.
3. Remove pan from oven. Place chicken and vegetables on a platter and cover with foil. Bring liquid in braising pan to a boil on stovetop. Boil and reduce for about 5 minutes. Add cream and stir for another minute. Return chicken and vegetables to sauté pan and gently stir to combine, spooning over chicken. To serve, arrange chicken and vegetables on platter and spoon sauce over.
Recipe note: Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or couscous if desired.
SOURCE: National Chicken Council

Strawberry Margaritas

Strawberry Margaritas

Strawberry Margaritas (photo courtesy MarthaStewart.com)

Strawberry Margaritas (photo courtesy MarthaStewart.com)

Strawberry Margaritas are the perfect Florida toast to National Margarita Day. Plant City, Fla., is recognized worldwide as the Winter Strawberry Capital of  the World. There are approximately 8,000 acres of strawberries grown in Florida, the second largest producing region in the U.S. Strawberries provide essential nutrients and minerals including fiber, potassium, vitamin C and powerful antioxidants. I say cheers to that!

Strawberry Margaritas
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup frozen whole strawberries
6 tablespoons tequila
1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate
2 tablespoons triple sec
2 cups crushed ice

1. Place four 8-ounce glasses in freezer.
2. Place strawberries, tequila, limeade concentrate, and triple sec in the jar of a blender.
3. Blend until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add ice and blend until liquid is smooth.
4. Serve immediately in chilled glasses.
SOURCE: Mo’nique’s “Never Trust a Skinny Cook” via marthastewart.com

Tomato Linguine Saute

Tomato Linguine Saute

Tomato Linguine Saute (Photo courtesy Fresh From Florida)

Tomato Linguine Saute (Photo courtesy Fresh From Florida)

Tomato Linguine Saute is a quick and simple way to celebrate the harvest of a key Florida crop. Tomatoes are primarily grown in Collier, Dade, Gadsden, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee and Palm Beach counties. Botanically, the tomato is a fruit—legally it’s considered a vegetable. Store tomatoes at room temperature, out of their packaging and never in the refrigerator. Choose tomatoes that are plump and shiny and that give slightly when you apply pressure.

Tomato Linguine Saute
Yield: 4 servings

2 pounds ripe red tomatoes
3 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 pound whole-wheat linguine
1/2 bunch fresh basil, hand torn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground black

1. Wash and rinse tomatoes. Dry, core and cut in half. Use a spoon to remove most of the seeds and coarsely chop. Add chopped tomatoes to a colander, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and let them sit so they can release some of their water (about half an hour). This can be done ahead.
2. Combine drained tomatoes, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic in a large sauté pan. Heat over low heat to warm the mixture, not cook it.
3. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Spoon tomato mixture on top. Add the basil and Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Source: Fresh From Florida & Chef Justin Timineri.

Beef and Couscous-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

Beef and Couscous-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

Beef and Couscous-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers (Photo courtesy Iowa Beef Industry Council)

Beef and Couscous-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers (Photo courtesy Iowa Beef Industry Council)

Beef and Couscous-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers makes a great appetizer for a crowd. With all the ingredients prepped, it’s ready in 30 minutes.

Beef and Couscous-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers
Yield: 30 servings

1 pound lean ground beef
15 baby sweet bell peppers (about 2 1/2-3 inches long)
2/3 cup regular or spicy vegetable juice
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1/4 cup uncooked whole wheat or regular couscous
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 low-fat shredded Parmesan, Monterey Jack, white Cheddar or Italian-blend cheese

1. Heat oven to 400F. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes, but not stem. Place peppers, cut-sides up, on two rimmed baking sheets.
2. Combine ground beef, vegetable juice, spinach, couscous, garlic, oregano, salt and black pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pepper registers 160F and peppers begin to brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
SOURCE: Iowa Beef Industry Council

Morning Mix recipe: Peanut Butter Chicken Enchiladas

Morning Mix recipe: Peanut Butter Chicken Enchiladas

Peanut Butter Chicken Enchiladas (Photo courtesy peanutbutterlovers.com)

Peanut Butter Chicken Enchiladas (Photo courtesy peanutbutterlovers.com)

The more the merrier in Heather’s Florida Kitchen! That’s why I have teamed with the fabulous folks over at Orlando’s WOMX Mix 105.1 to offer the morning show’s Recipe of the Week. Today’s recipe is Peanut Butter Chicken Enchiladas. Seven states account for almost all peanuts grown in the U.S. Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi grow the major proportion of all peanuts followed by Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Oklahoma. Florida is known for the runner variety, which is used to make peanut butter. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes exclusively for Mix 105.1’s Morning Mix here and at the radio station’s website.

Peanut Butter Chicken Enchiladas
Yield: 12 servings

2 (7-ounce) jars medium taco sauce
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped chilies
12 soft corn or flour tortillas
4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Whisk the taco sauce with the peanut butter; stir in the chilies. Toss all but 1 cup of the sauce with the shredded chicken. Spoon chicken into tortillas and fold to enclose.
3. Arrange the rolled tortillas, seam side down, in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Stir lime juice into the reserved sauce mixture. Pour the sauce down the center of the casserole dish; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.
4. Toss the queso fresco with the peanuts, cilantro and red onion. Scatter over the top of the casserole.
SOURCE: Peanutbutterlovers.com

Morning Mix recipe: Squash and Tomato Gratin

Morning Mix recipe: Squash and Tomato Gratin

Squash and Tomato Gratin (Photo courtesy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

Squash and Tomato Gratin (Photo courtesy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

The more the merrier in Heather’s Florida Kitchen! That’s why I have teamed with the fabulous folks over at Orlando’s WOMX Mix 105.1 to offer the morning show’s Recipe of the Week. Today’s recipe is Squash and Tomato Gratin. Florida tomatoes are harvested from October to June. Florida squash can be found in markets from October through May.  Together they make a colorful side dish perfect for any occasion. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes exclusively for Mix 105.1’s Morning Mix here and at the radio station’s website.

Squash and Tomato Gratin
Yield: 12 servings

2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced and dried for 10 minutes on paper towels
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced and dried for 10 minutes on paper towels
3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced and dried for 10 minutes on paper towels
2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
Olive oil for drizzling
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish.
2. Evenly spread the garlic, shallots and basil in the bottom of the dish. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes in upright alternating layers, repeating until all the vegetables are used. Sprinkle the top with the cheese, then the breadcrumbs. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. If the breadcrumbs brown too much, loosely shield the top of the pan with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe note: Sometimes the juices can be become quite watery in the dish and I find that varies from season to season. To avoid, you can pre-cook the squash by lightly steaming and letting dry completely on paper towels before assembling. Also, salting the produce as it dries on the paper towel for 10 minutes (see ingredient list) will release liquid as well.
SOURCE: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Tomato Committee

Tangerine and Vegetable Stir Fry

Tangerine and Vegetable Stir Fry

Tangerine and Vegetable Stir Fry (Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market)

Tangerine and Vegetable Stir Fry (Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market)

Tangerine and Vegetable Stir Fry is a quick and easy weeknight meal. The secret to all stir-fry recipes is prepping the ingredients ahead of time so everything is ready to go. Once the wok is ready to roll, this meal is on the table fast. Florida is the top producer of tangerines in the United States, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Shoppers looking to source ingredients from state growers should look for tangerines in markets from September to April. Store tangerines for up to two weeks in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Plastic bags or film-wrapped trays should not be used when storing citrus.

Tangerine and Vegetable Stir Fry
Yield: 4 servings

4 Florida tangerines
1/2 cup tangerine juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon peeled and freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3/4 pounds top sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 cups small broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups snow peas
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced and divided
3 cups cooked brown rice

1. Using a microplane carefully remove 1 teaspoon zest (outer colored part of the peel) from 1 tangerine; set aside. Peel zested tangerine, discard peel and remove segments from membranes setting remaining fruit aside in a bowl. Peel 3 remaining tangerines, remove segments from membranes and add to same bowl. With a sharp knife cut long strips from one of the tangerine peels and carefully scrape away any pith, set aside. Discard all remaining peels.
2. In a medium bowl combine tangerine juice and zest, rice vinegar, tamari, cornstarch, ginger, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Transfer 1/4 cup mixture to a separate bowl, add beef and toss to coat. Set aside remaining juice mixture.
3. Heat canola oil and remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a large wok or heavy skillet over medium-high. Add tangerine peel strips and cook 20-30 seconds, being careful not to burn. You just want the essential oils to release and the edges to brown slightly. Add beef mixture and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove beef and juices to a bowl, cover, and keep warm.
4. Add 1/4 cup water to the wok and bring to a simmer. Stir in broccoli, snow peas, red bell pepper, and white and light green parts of green onion. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once. Transfer vegetables to bowl with beef.
5. Whisk remaining juice mixture and add to wok. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute, stirring. Add beef and vegetables back to wok along with tangerine segments. Stir to coat and heat through.
6. Serve with brown rice and garnish with dark green parts of sliced green onions.
SOURCE: ADAPTED FROM WHOLE FOODS MARKET