Heather's Florida Kitchen

Seasonally inspired easy recipes for the home cook.
Watermelon Infused Water

Watermelon Infused Water

Watermelon Infused Water (Photo courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board)

Watermelon Infused Water (Photo courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board)

Watermelon Infused Water is just the beverage to add sunshine to a rainy day. This simple refresher gives mealtime or an event an instant upgrade. The National Watermelon Promotion Board recommends using fresh basil and  mint sprigs for garnish. I like to add citrus peel curls for added flavor and visual appeal. Simply trim from oranges, limes and lemons. Wrap around a swizzle stick and freeze for at least 1 hour. The curls can be made ahead and stored in a sealable plastic bag until ready to use.

Watermelon Infused Water
Yield: 1 pitcher

2 cups seeded watermelon balls
1 cup other seasonal fruit (nectarines, carambola, berries, citrus, etc.)
Sparkling or still water
Crushed ice for serving
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

1. Add all fruit to a tall glass pitcher.
2. Pour bottled water over fruit to fill. With a spatula gently stir the ingredients.
3. Garnish pitcher and individual servings with fresh mint.
SOURCE: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Pork Chops With Peanut Parsley Pesto

Pork Chops With Peanut Parsley Pesto

Pork Chops With Peanut Parsley Pesto (Photo courtesy Southern Peanut Growers and peanutbutterlovers.com)

Pork Chops With Peanut Parsley Pesto (Photo courtesy Southern Peanut Growers and peanutbutterlovers.com)

Pork Chops With Peanut Parsley Pesto showcases an important Florida crop. In addition to Florida, peanuts are grown commercially in 14 other states: Georgia, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, California, and Tennessee. The majority of Florida peanuts are produced in the panhandle and north-central regions of the state, according to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fun fact: Peanuts are legumes or a member of the pea family. A good source of protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats, peanuts grow underground, unlike other walnuts, almonds and cashews, which grow on trees.

Pork Chops With Peanut Parsley Pesto
Makes 4 Servings

4 (6-ounce) boneless, center cut pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pesto:
2/3 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese

1. To make the pork chops: combine the pork chops, garlic, oil, mustard and lemon zest in a bowl; toss well to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper and place on pan. Cook, until well marked and cooked through, 6-7 minutes per side. Transfer to serving plates and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, combine the parsley, peanuts, basil, garlic and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until chopped, about 1 minute. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until combined. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.
3. To serve, top each pork chop with 2 tablespoons of the pesto.
Recipe note: Refrigerate remaining 1/2 cup pesto for up to 1 week. Serve it as a spread on low-carb bruschetta or on a bowl of low-carb pasta.
SOURCE: Southern Peanut Growers and peanutbutterlovers.com

Morning Mix recipe: Cashew Chicken with Orange Glaze

Morning Mix recipe: Cashew Chicken with Orange Glaze

Cashew Chicken with Orange Glaze (Photo courtesy Florida Department of Citrus)

Cashew Chicken with Orange Glaze (Photo courtesy Florida Department of Citrus)

Cashew Chicken with Orange Glaze is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. Florida grows a variety of oranges, but the most popular are Navel, Hamlin, Pineapple, Ambersweet and Valencia, according to Fresh From Florida and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Oranges are high in antioxidants that neutralize the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to aging and some diseases. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s Morning Mix here and at the radio station’s website.

Cashew Chicken with Orange Glaze
Yield: 6 servings.

1 cup freshly-squeezed Florida orange juice
1 1/4 cups mirin (see note)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cups raw cashews, roughly chopped
6 French cut or airline cut chicken breasts (see note)
6 Florida orange slices, cut 1/4-inch thick (optional)
Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Combine the orange juice and mirin in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until reduced in volume by half.  Add the soy sauce and cashews to the orange juice mixture; stir to combine.
3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place chicken breasts on the parchment paper. Spoon cashew mixture over the chicken. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the orange slices on parchment paper. Place both pans in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
4. Place chicken breasts on a serving platter. Garnish with roasted orange slices and fresh parsley.
Recipe notes: Airline chicken is a boneless breast cut with the drumette attached. The cut is also known as a “frenched” breast. Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that lends mild acidity to a dish.
SOURCE: Florida Department of Citrus

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie, and Arugula

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie, and Arugula

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie, and Arugula (Photo courtesy Sanderson Farms and National Chicken Council)

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie, and Arugula (Photo courtesy Sanderson Farms and National Chicken Council)

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie, and Arugula fills the bill for an easy lunch or dinner. The peppery arugula nicely balances out the richness of the nutty pesto sauce and brie cheese. Prepping everything on the grill keeps the extra heat out of the kitchen during the evening. Serve with potato chips and an assortment of celery, carrot, and jicama sticks.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie, and Arugula
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound thin cut chicken cutlets
8 slices crusty sourdough bread
1/4 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large tomato
4 ounces brie, thinly sliced
1 cup packed baby arugula
Marinade:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Combine all ingredients for marinade and pour into a sealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat the grill on high. Add chicken, grill for 2-3 minutes, turn, and grill for another 2-3 minutes or until chicken registers 160F on an instant read thermometer. Remove and keep warm.
3. Spread each piece of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of pesto. Slice the tomato into 8 slices. Place chicken on four of the bread slices. Top chicken with brie slices, arugula, and 2 tomato slices. Top with prepared bread slices, pesto side toward the tomato.
4. Brush the outside of each sandwich with about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Place on grill, reduce heat to medium, and grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until bread is nicely toasted with grill marks. Cheese should be melted.
5. Remove from heat, cut each sandwich in half, and serve.
SOURCE: National Chicken Council and EatChicken.com

Ancho Shrimp on Smoked Gouda Corncakes

Ancho Shrimp on Smoked Gouda Corncakes

Ancho Shrimp on Smoked Gouda Corncakes

Ancho Shrimp on Smoked Gouda Corncakes (Photo courtesy Martha White Foods, Inc.)

Ancho Shrimp on Smoked Gouda Corncakes is a recipe I found at MarthaWhite.com. The dish is great for fresh wild-caught Florida shrimp.

Ancho Shrimp on Smoked Gouda Corncakes
Yield: 6 servings

Corncakes:
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/3 cups Martha White Self-Rising Enriched Yellow Corn Meal Mix
1 1/2 cups shredded smoked Gouda
1/2 cup Crisco Pure Canola Oil
Ancho shrimp:
4 tablespoons butter
2 large dried ancho peppers, split in half and seeds removed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound fresh uncooked wild-caught Florida shrimp, shelled and deveined
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup canned petite diced tomatoes, undrained
Sliced green onions for garnish

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch Lodge cast iron skillet on medium. Add 1/3 cup green onions; cook 1 minute. Add corn; cook 2 minutes. In large mixing bowl, whisk egg. Add buttermilk, sour cream, and corn meal; whisk until smooth. Stir in cheese, corn and onions.
2. Wipe out skillet with paper towel. Add 4 tablespoons oil; heat on medium high. Spoon batter into oil by 1/4 cups. Cook until golden brown; turn and brown on other side. Cook in batches adding oil as needed. Drain on paper towels. Wipe out skillet.
3. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet on medium high. Add ancho peppers; cook 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add shrimp; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until shrimp turns pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; cook just until hot. Remove ancho peppers.
4. Place 2 corncakes slightly overlapping on serving plate. Top with shrimp and sauce; sprinkle with green onions.
Recipe notes: Ancho peppers, a dried, red, heart-shaped pod, have a mild earthy flavor. If unavailable, add 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper (available in the spice section) with the salt and pepper. The only difference between white and yellow corn meal is the color of corn used when it was ground, according to MarthaWhite.com. White corn meal starts with ground white corn, and yellow corn meal starts with yellow corn. They are interchangeable in recipes. Historically, white corn meal is preferred in the South and yellow is preferred in Texas and the rest of the U.S.
SOURCE: MarthaWhite.com & Smuckers.com

Charred Sweet Potatoes and Summer Vegetables

Charred Sweet Potatoes and Summer Vegetables

Charred Sweet Potatoes and Summer Vegetables (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Charred Sweet Potatoes and Summer Vegetables (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Charred Sweet Potatoes and Summer Vegetables make for the ultimate summer mashup. Using a cast-iron griddle or skillet, the dish can be finished using a conventional oven or the grill. The recipe, which was developed by McCormick & Co., will be a good one for fall tailgates as well.

Charred Sweet Potatoes and Summer Vegetables
Yield: 6 servings

1 pound sweet potatoes (see note)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup cut-up yellow squash, (1-inch pieces)
1 cup cut-up zucchini, (1-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
4 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, finely chopped, about 1 cup (see note)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork several times. Microwave on high 3 minutes. Turn potatoes. Microwave again on high 2 to 3 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender but still firm. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
2. Toss the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, 1 tablespoon of the oil, paprika, garlic salt and pepper in medium bowl until well coated. Set aside.
Place large cast iron skillet on preheated grill over medium-high heat (375F to 400F).
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in cast iron skillet. Add potatoes; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly charred and tender, stirring after each minute. Push potatoes around edges of pan.
4. Place chorizo and onion in center of pan. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until lightly charred. Push chorizo mixture around edges of pan. Add squash mixture to center of pan. Cover pan or close grill. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until squash is tender and tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after each minute. Gently stir in water and vinegar until blended.
Recipe notes: Precooking the sweet potatoes before grilling helps reduce overall grill time and allows for even cooking when incorporated with the other vegetables. Spanish chorizo is a hard, cooked & cured pork sausage. It can be found in Latin markets, butcher shops, some supermarkets, or ordered at online specialty stores. Pepperoni or salami may be substituted for Spanish chorizo.
SOURCE: MCCORMICK & CO.

Tzatziki Greek Fries

Tzatziki Greek Fries

Tzatziki Greek Fries (Photo courtesy Potatoes USA/potatogoodness.com via whatsgabycooking.com)

Tzatziki Greek Fries (Photo courtesy Potatoes USA/potatogoodness.com via whatsgabycooking.com)

Tzatziki Greek Fries is from What’s Gaby Cooking, one of my favorite blogs. Crispy on the outside, the fries are loaded with garlic, fresh oregano, tangy feta cheese and a creamy yogurt-cucumber sauce. Developed for Potatoes USA, this is just one example of how Gaby Dalkin focuses on colorful and balanced dishes in her blog. You can find bottled tzatziki in most large supermarkets. I have included an easy recipe from Molyvos Restaurant via FoodNetwork.com. Potatoes are high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium. From russets to creamers, Florida grows many varieties. The commercial crop is harvested from January through June, with peak season in March, April and May, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Tzatziki Greek Fries
Yield: 6-8 servings

4 to 5 large red skinned potatoes, cut into wedges
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
3 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup tzatziki sauce (see note)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Place the potato wedges, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper in a zip top bag and shake to combine. Transfer the potatoes to a parchment paper or Silpat-lined baking sheet and evenly spread out the wedges. Bake 30-35 minutes, flipping once, until evenly baked and golden brown.
3. Whisk remaining olive oil, garlic, parsley and oregano in a large bowl. Add the mixture to the hot fries and toss to combine. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper as needed.
4. Arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with feta and dollops of tzatziki and serve alongside lemon wedges. Adjust salt as needed.
Recipe note: Tzatziki is a Greek cucumber-yogurt sauce. Look for bottled tzatziki in supermarkets or make your own.

How to make tzatziki:
Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Bowl should support strainer so it does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Put 2 cups Mediterranean-style yogurt in the strainer loosely covered, and let it drain overnight in the refrigerator. Discard the liquid that drains off. Combine remaining yogurt with 1 large English cucumber (peeled, shredded and drained), 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice (or to taste), coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld. (SOURCE: Molyvos Restaurant via FoodNetwork.com)

Morning Mix recipe: Beef Breakfast Burrito

Morning Mix recipe: Beef Breakfast Burrito

Beef Breakfast Burrito (Photo courtesy Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Beef Checkoff Program)

Beef Breakfast Burrito (Photo courtesy Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Beef Checkoff Program)

Beef Breakfast Burrito is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. Beef takes over for pork sausage in this AM meal and the result pumps up your daily intake of lean protein. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s Morning Mix here and at the radio station’s website.

Beef Breakfast Burrito
Yield: 4-6  servings

12 ounces lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro (see note)
Coarse salt to taste
1/3 cup low-fat shredded Mexican blend or shredded Cheddar cheese
4 (10-inch) spinach or plain flour tortillas, warmed
Salsa
Lime-cilantro cream:
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro

1. Combine lime-cilantro cream ingredients in small bowl; set aside.
2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium until hot. Add ground beef with bell pepper, onion, chili powder and cumin; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from beef mixture from skillet; keep warm.
3. Combine eggs, water and 1 tablespoon cilantro in a bowl. Spray same skillet with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture into skillet; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Season with salt. Stir in beef mixture and cheese; cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
4. Spoon beef mixture evenly in a row across center of each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border on right and left sides. Fold right and left sides of tortilla over filling. Fold bottom edge up over filling and roll up; cut diagonally in half.
5. Serve with lime-cilantro cream and salsa.
Recipe notes: Parsley, tarragon or basil can substitute for cilantro. Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
SOURCE: Beef Checkoff/Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Frozen pops with a light wine twist

Frozen pops with a light wine twist

Rose Frozen Pops (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Rose Frozen Pops (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Froze (Fro-ZAY) Pops are an adult dessert made with McCormick’s lime, raspberry and pure vanilla extracts and your favorite bottle of dry rose wine. The icy wine pops, which showcase two Central Florida fruit harvests,  are a refreshing treat Floridians can enjoy well into fall and early winter.

Froze Pops
Yield: 10 servings

1/2 cup coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 bottle dry rose wine
1 cup frozen sliced strawberries
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/8 teaspoon pure lime extract
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1. Mix coconut milk, 4 tablespoons of the sugar and vanilla in medium bowl until well blended. Divide mixture between 10 popsicle molds or small disposable paper or plastic cups. Freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
2. Meanwhile, place wine, strawberries, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and extracts in blender container; cover. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture evenly over frozen coconut milk layer in each popsicle mold. Top with blueberries.
3. Insert a popsicle stick or colorful straw into each mold. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.
Recipe note: Freezing time may vary according to the size of the popsicle molds.
SOURCE: MCCORMICK & CO.

Morning Mix Recipe: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons

Morning Mix Recipe: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbon (Photo courtesy Pastafits.org)

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbon (Photo courtesy Pastafits.org)

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons from Pastafits.org is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. When zucchini are at their best — firm but giving slightly to pressure — they can be sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. For a colorful presentation, use one green zucchini and one yellow zucchini squash. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated  exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s Morning Mix here and at the radio station’s website.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons
Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons grainy mustard
4 teaspoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin
4 ounces pappardelle pasta
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, about 8 ounces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat grill to medium; grease grate well. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Remove 2 tablespoons and set aside; reserve remaining mixture.
2. Season pork with salt and pepper. Grill, turning pork, for about 10 minutes or until well marked. Brush with 2 tbsp. mustard mixture; cook for about 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160F. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Using vegetable peeler, slice zucchini into long, thin strips, turning as needed and discarding seed-filled center.
4. Toss zucchini with reserved mustard mixture. Stir in pasta and chives. Divide among plates and serve with sliced pork.
SOURCE: A Pasta Fits original recipe.