Heather's Florida Kitchen

Seasonally inspired easy recipes for the home cook.
Morning Mix recipe: Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese

Morning Mix recipe: Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese

Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. This tasty pasta dish from the McCormick test kitchens brings a classic meat sauce of Italy together with the exotic spices and authentic flavors of Turkey’s traditional manti dumplings. Spooned over tender cavatelli pasta, Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese is topped with a cool yogurt sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh mint. The entrée speaks to Florida’s culinary diversity and utilizes many local ingredients. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s website.

Eastern Mediterranean Bolognese
Yield: 8 Servings

2 (12-ounce) packages cavatelli pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound meat loaf mix, (ground beef, pork and veal)
1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup freshly torn mint leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons water
1 small clove garlic, minced

1. Cook the pasta as directed on the packages. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add the meat loaf mix, onion, tomato paste, paprika, dried mint and red pepper; cook and stir 7 to 8 minutes or until meat is browned. Add the stock; simmer 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.
3. Mix the cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh mint in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside. Mix yogurt, water and garlic with whisk until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve bolognese sauce over cavatelli pasta. Top with the yogurt sauce and the cucumber tomato mixture.
SOURCE: McCormick & Co.

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

Hot Chocolate Pancakes (Photo courtesy Betty Crocker and General Mills)

Hot Chocolate Pancakes (Photo courtesy Betty Crocker and General Mills)

Start National Chocolate Milk Day with these breakfast pancakes that could fill the bill for tonight’s dessert as well. Developed in the General Mills test kitchens for the Betty Crocker brand, the recipe combines chocolate milk, baking cocoa, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and Bisquick baking mix. Baking mixes are a great convenience product for busy households. From rudimentary recipes to gourmet inspirations, amazing dishes can often start with a baking mix.

Hot Chocolate Pancakes
Yield: 16 servings

2 cups original Bisquick mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 cup chocolate milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Toppings:
Chocolate-flavored syrup, warmed
Sweetened whipped cream
Miniature marshmallows
Chocolate candy sprinkles

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the toppings with wire whisk until well blended.
2. Heat a nonstick griddle to 375F, or warm a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Brush cooking surface with vegetable oil if necessary or spray with cooking spray before heating.
3. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until pancakes are bubbly on top and dry around edges. Turn; cook the other side until they turn a light golden brown around edges. Remove from heat and keep warm until all the batter is used.
4. Drizzle the pancakes with chocolate-flavored syrup; top with sweet whipped cream. Sprinkle with little marshmallows and chocolate candy sprinkles.
SOURCE: BettyCrocker.com and General Mills

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos (Photo Courtesy  the Mushroom Council and Gratinee)

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos (Photo Courtesy the Mushroom Council and Gratinee)

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos offer a simple take on taco Tuesday. The recipe combines two mushroom varieties seasoned with sweet Spanish paprika and blended with mounds of deeply caramelized onions, all garnished with a bit of Pecornino Romano cheese and creme fraiche. Mushrooms are grown in Florida year-round. At the supermarket, check the packaging to make sure you are supporting Florida farmers.

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound mixed crimini and button mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
Pinch sugar
Freshly ground sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute mushrooms in batches until they are evenly browned, careful not to crowd the pan. In the meantime, slice the onion thinly crosswise. Transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl.
2.Heat the remaining butter and olive oil. Add onions and cook until they start to turn golden. Add a pinch of sugar to help them caramelize. Saute stirring occasionally until a deep golden brown. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with the mushrooms.
3. Add the sweet paprika, 3/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir ingredients to incorporate.
4. Heat tortillas in the microwave in a loosely covered container in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, turning after 1 minute. Spoon mushroom and onion mixture and some of the crème fraiche into the middle of each tortilla. Serve on a platter garnished with remaining parsley and cheese.
SOURCE: Recipe Courtesy of the Mushroom Council and Gratinee blog

Herbed Florida Lobster

Herbed Florida Lobster

Herbed Florida Lobster (Photo courtesy FreshfromFlorida.com)

Herbed Florida Lobster (Photo courtesy FreshfromFlorida.com)

For National Lobster Day, it’s only fitting that Floridian’s celebrate with our own spiny crustacean. The commercial season runs from August through March, according to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and freshfromFlorida.com. The bulk of the harvest comes from Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward counties.

Herbed Florida Lobster
Yield: 2 to 4 as an appetizer

2 (6-8 ounce) Florida spiny lobster tails, removed from the shell
4 (6-inch) bamboo skewers (6 inch)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped herb mix, such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley
Olive oil for cooking
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup micro greens or arugula
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 orange or grapefruit, peeled and segmented
12 Spanish queen and/or kalamata olives, pitted
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Cut the lobster tails in half, lengthwise. Preheat a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat.
2. Insert the bamboo skewers into the middle of each of the halved lobster tails. Season the lobster tail meat with salt, pepper and fresh chopped herbs.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the preheated pan. Carefully add the seasoned lobster skewers to the hot pan. Cook the lobster tails for 2 to 4 minutes while turning them until just cooked. Make sure not to overcook the lobster. Remove the lobster skewers from the pan and let them cool slightly.
4. In a small bowl, combine the micro greens or arugula with the lemon juice. Season the greens lightly with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
5. To plate the dish, put a bed of the greens on a small platter. Arrange the lobster skewers, citrus segments and olives on top.
SOURCE: FreshfromFLorida.com

Morning Mix recipe: Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel

Morning Mix recipe: Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council)

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council)

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. Florida grows many different types of potatoes, from russets to red creamers. Look for them in the produce bin from January through June, with peak season months in March, April and May. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with a refreshing licorice-like flavor. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s website.

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel
Yield: 4 servings

Chicken:
4 chicken breast halves, bone-in and skin on
1 slice wheat bread
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Vegetables:
1 pound small new potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 bulb fennel, cut in half and into 1/4-inch slices
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In small roasting pan or baking dish, combine potatoes, fennel, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Set aside.
2. Place slice of bread in bowl of food processor. Process until bread becomes crumbs the size of peas. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder and tarragon.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise mixture under skin of each chicken breast. Spread 2 rounded teaspoons of the mayonnaise mixture on top of skin; spread evenly to coat. Sprinkle each breast with 1/4 of the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere to the chicken.
4. Place chicken on top of potatoes and fennel. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 170 F.
5. Serve chicken over fennel and potatoes.
SOURCE: National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish-Zucchini Slaw

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish-Zucchini Slaw

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish-Zucchini Slaw (Photo courtesy Fresh Sunshine Sweet Corn Council)

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish-Zucchini Slaw (Photo courtesy Fresh Sunshine Sweet Corn Council)

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish-Zucchini Slaw is a versatile dinner idea that easily caters to diet preferences for the whole household. Prepare the recipe as given for a vegetarian meal. Omit the feta cheese and you have a vegan option. Meat lovers can add grilled fish, chicken and beef.

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish-Zucchini Slaw
Yield: 5-6 servings

4 ears Florida sweet corn, husked
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup combination of torn cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup Dandy brand radish ministicks
1 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
10 to 12 soft corn tortillas
Lime wedges for serving (optional)

1. Use 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to brush the corn. Season corn with salt and pepper to taste. Over a hot grill or an open gas stove flame, char the ears of corn until well-blackened but not completely burned. Remove from heat and let cool until easy to handle.
2. With a large knife, carefully shave off the corn kernels into a bowl. Add cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine sliced onion and fresh lime juice; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup, radishes, zucchini, jalapeno and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
4. Heat tortillas in a warm oven until lightly blistered. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup corn. Top with cheese and radish-zucchini slaw. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
SOURCE: sunshinesweetcorn.com and Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa (Photo courtesy National Cattlemen’s Beef Association & the Beef Checkoff)

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa (Photo courtesy National Cattlemen’s Beef Association & the Beef Checkoff)

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa offers a tropical twist on a classic sandwich. The recipe was developed for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board’s and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Beef Checkoff program. The burger is a great blank canvas for a variety of toppings. At your next cookout, set up a burger toppings bar that expands beyond mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup. Fruit salsas, grilled peppers and caramelized onions, for example, will add bold taste and texture. For more  creative takes on Americans’ beloved burgers, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa
Yield: 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
Coarse salt to taste
Vegetable oil for grill grate
Buns for serving
Mango salsa:
1 large mango, peeled, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Combine the ground beef and jerk seasoning in a large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4-inch thick patties.
2. Place the patties on an oiled grill grate over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 13 to 14 minutes), until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160F, turning occasionally. Season with salt, as desired.
3. Meanwhile, combine the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing lightly. Serve burgers on buns with salsa.
Recipe note: Lightly toast buns on the grill if desired. Lightly brush cut side with butter before placing on the grill.
SOURCE: Cattlemen’s Beef Board, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association & the Beef Checkoff

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole (Photo courtesy Kraft Foods and H.J. Heinz Co. Brands LLC)

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole (Photo courtesy Kraft Foods and H.J. Heinz Co. Brands LLC)

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole is a purely decadent way to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day. The Kraft Foods dish is kid-friendly and good for busy weeknight meals.

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
Yield: 8 servings

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
4 cups (1/2 of a 32-ounce package) Ore-Ida Tater Tots

1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. Brown ground beef with onions in skillet; drain. Return meat to skillet. Stir in ketchup and mustard.
3. Spoon into 9-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining ingredients.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until casserole is heated through and potato nuggets are golden brown.
SOURCE: Kraft Foods & H.J. Heinz Co. Brands LLC

Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese

Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese

Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese (Photo courtesy Food and Wine and Time Inc.)

Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese (Photo courtesy Food and Wine and Time Inc.)

Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese is a great soup from the FoodandWine.com blog post “11 Fall Soups You Can Make in a Blender.” The recipe, which was developed by chef Anne Burrell, has a luxurious texture. The crispy roasted cauliflower and brussels sprout topping puts it over the top. I am definitely adding this soup to fall menus.

Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 (2 1/2-pound) head of cauliflower, cored
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 thyme sprigs tied in a bundle, plus 1 teaspoon chopped leaves
8 brussels sprouts (6 ounces), trimmed and separated into leaves
4 ounces cold fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup regular cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. On a work surface, cut one-fourth of the cauliflower into 1/2-inch florets. Coarsely chop the remaining cauliflower.
2. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the leek, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the potato and the chopped cauliflower, then add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add the stock and the thyme bundle and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the thyme bundle.
3. Meanwhile, at either end of a large rimmed baking sheet, separately toss the cauliflower florets and brussels sprout leaves each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, stirring each halfway through, until lightly browned and tender. In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the chives and chopped thyme.
4. In a blender, puree the soup in 2 batches until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Rewarm over moderate heat, adding water if the soup seems too thick; season with salt. Ladle into bowls and top with the roasted brussels sprout leaves and cauliflower florets. Sprinkle the herbed goat cheese on top and serve hot.
Make ahead tip: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
SOURCE: Chef Anne Burrell and foodandwine.com

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

The thought of Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies from McCormick & Co. just makes me smile.  These treats are a chocolate lover’s dream with a soft chocolate cookie dough base and semi-sweet chocolate chunks. You can switch out the vanilla with orange, coconut and peppermint extracts for flavor twists. Me? I like them just like this:

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Yield: 24 (2-cookie) servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets sprayed with no stick cooking spray.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
SOURCE: MCCORMICK & CO.