Heather's Florida Kitchen

Seasonally inspired easy recipes for the home cook.
Morning Mix recipe: Pork Milanese

Morning Mix recipe: Pork Milanese

Pork Milanese with Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti (Photo courtesy PorkBeInspired.com and the National Pork Board)

Pork Milanese with Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti (Photo courtesy PorkBeInspired.com and the National Pork Board)

Pork Milanese with Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. This Italian specialty from PorkBeInspired.com and the National Pork Board would be great with steamed asparagus or a simple green salad drizzled with vinaigrette. By the way, cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper. Look for more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1.

Pork Milanese with Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti
Yield: 4 servings

4 top loin pork chops, cut about 3/4-inch thick
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs (without cheese)
Vegetable oil for frying
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
Lemon wedges for serving and garnish
Cacio E Pepe:
8 ounces spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese, or more Parmesan
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 200F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.
2. To make the Pork Milanese: One at a time, place pork between two 1-gallon plastic storage bags. Using a flat meat pounder or a rolling pin, pound the pork until wider and about 1/3 to 1/4 inch thick. Spread flour in a shallow, wide bowl. Beat eggs in a second bowl and spread bread crumbs in a third bowl. Coat pork chop in flour, shaking off excess, dip in eggs and then coat with bread crumbs. Place on another baking sheet and let stand 5 minutes to set coating.
3. Pour enough oil into skillet to come about 1/8 inch up sides of pan and heat over moderately high heat until oil shimmers. In two batches without crowding, add pork and cook, adjusting heat so pork does not burn, until underside is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pork and cook until other side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining pork.
4. Meanwhile, make the cacio e pepe: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. When the second batch of pork is in skillet, add spaghetti to water and cook according to package directions. Scoop out, reserve 1/3 cup of cooking water, discard the rest. Drain spaghetti and return to pot. Add Parmesan and Romano cheeses and pepper. Mix well, adding enough of the cooking water to make a creamy sauce.
5. Transfer pork and pasta to dinner plates. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with lemon wedges.
SOURCE: PorkBeInspired.com and the National Pork Board

Pan Roasted Honey Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Pan Roasted Honey Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Pan Roasted Honey Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com)

Pan Roasted Honey Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com)

Pan Roasted Honey Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts is one of the many meal inspirations you will find at ChickenRoost.com, a National Chicken Council website. The original recipe called from maple syrup. I substituted Florida honey with great results.

Pan Roasted Honey Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
Yield: 4 servings

4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
16 brussels sprouts (about 8 ounces), bottom trimmed, outer leaves removed, and halved
2 cups diced (1/2 inch) butternut squash
2 tablespoons local orange blossom honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1. In a saute pan large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, skin side down and saute for about 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is browned.
2. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. In same pan, add butter. Allow the butter to melt over medium heat. Add squash and sprouts to pan and sauté, tossing occasionally, until the outsides are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and hold separately from chicken.
3. Turn heat to high and add stock, honey and mustard. Stir and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chicken back to the pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes or until chicken registers 170F with an instant read thermometer.
4. Add vegetables back to pan, cover again, and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove chicken and vegetables to a serving platter, placing vegetables around chicken.
5. Turn heat to high and boil sauce until it is reduced and slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.
SOURCE: Adapted from the National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com

Easy Pear Sauce

Easy Pear Sauce

Easy Pear Sauce (Photo courtesy Florida Crystals)

Easy Pear Sauce (Photo courtesy Florida Crystals)

Easy Pear Sauce from Florida Crystals is a great gift from the kitchen this holiday season. The recipe works great as is but I often drizzle in bourbon or spiced rum for extra flavor.

Easy Pear Sauce
Yield: 4 gifts

4 (8-ounce) sterilized glass canning jars, lids and rings
6 large pears
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup Florida Crystals Raw Cane Sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Peel and core pears; cut into chunks. To a large pot on top of the stove, add pears, lemon juice, sugar and ginger. (Use less sugar if the pears are ripe and sweet.) Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the pears are soft.
2. Using an immersion blender, purée the mixture until it is smooth. (You may need to transfer the pear mixture to a large mixing bowl to avoid damaging a non-stick pot.) A food processor can be used if an immersion blender is not available; cool mixture slightly before processing.
3. Add cinnamon to puréed mixture; mix well.
Short-term storage: Fill sterilized jars with pear sauce to the top of the jar. Wipe rims clean, seal with lids and rings. Store jars in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Long-term storage: Fill sterilized jars with pear sauce, leaving a 1/4-inch space at the top. Wipe rims clean, seal with lids and rings. Using tongs, place the jars into a hot water bath; be sure that the jars do not touch one another, and are fully submerged. Cover the pot with the lid, heat water to a slow boil for about 10-15 minutes. Remove jars from pot. Store for up to 1 year in a cool, dry storage place.
SOURCE: Florida Crystals Corp.

Walnut-Crusted Roast

Walnut-Crusted Roast

Walnut-Crusted Roast with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes (Photo courtesy Cattlemen's Beef Board, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Beef Checkoff)

Walnut-Crusted Roast with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes (Photo courtesy Cattlemen’s Beef Board, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Beef Checkoff)

Walnut-Crusted Roast makes a great presentation on the holiday table. Eye of round is lean cut that works very well with toppings that form a crust. To make sure your roast cooks properly always use a meat thermometer. Serve with blue cheese mashed potatoes. To make, blend 4 cups warm, prepared mashed potatoes with 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese.

Walnut-Crusted Roast
Yield: 10 servings

1 (2- to 3-pound) beef eye of round roast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper for serving
Walnut crust:
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat oven to 325F. Combine Walnut Crust ingredients; press evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast.
2. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 325F oven 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours for medium rare doneness. Do not overcook.
3. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135F. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15-20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10F to reach 145F for medium rare.)
4. Carve beef roast into thin slices; season with salt and pepper as desired.
SOURCE: BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com

Morning Mix recipe: Dulce de Leche Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies

Morning Mix recipe: Dulce de Leche Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies

Dulce de Leche Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies (photo courtesy Nestle and VeryBestBaking.com)

Dulce de Leche Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies (photo courtesy Nestle and VeryBestBaking.com)

Dulce de Leche Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. The dessert, which was developed in the Nestle test kitchens, is a great last minute no-bake holiday dessert that only takes about 20 minutes of prep time. Chill for 2 hours and serve. Look for more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s website.

Dulce de Leche Mini Pumpkin Cream Pies
Yield: 10 servings

Crust:
1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
1 (15-ounce) can Libby’s Pure Pumpkin
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat  2 percent milk, chilled
1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice plus additional for dusting
1 (8-ounce.) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (13.4-ounce) can  Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche

1. For the crust, combine crushed graham crackers and butter in small bowl. Spoon about 2 measuring tablespoons into each of ten half-pint canning jars, custard cups or ramekins. Pat crust down with back or side of measuring spoon.
2. For the filling, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl; beat for 1 minute or until blended. Fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping.
3. To assemble, warm dulce de leche in microwave-safe bowl on high  power for 15 to 20 seconds to soften; stir well. Spoon dulce de leche on top of each crust. Spoon in about 1/2 cup pumpkin filling. Top with a dollop of remaining whipped topping and a dusting of pumpkin pie spice. Keep refrigerated at least 2 hours before serving.
SOURCE: verybestbaking.com

Creamy Onion Turkey Gravy

Creamy Onion Turkey Gravy

Creamy Onion Turkey Gravy

Creamy Onion Turkey Gravy

Gravy is a Thanksgiving Day essential. More than any other side, this flavorful liquid intermingles with just about everything on a traditional plate. Drizzle over the turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes and leave a small pool for dipping in those potato rolls. The next day, warmed gravy kicks all other condiments to the side for sandwiches. Adding cream to gravy gives it a velvety finish.

Creamy Onion Turkey Gravy
Yield: 3 cups

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 to 1/3 cup Wondra flour
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups defatted turkey drippings mixed with chicken stock, heated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as fresh rosemary, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, or oregano (or a combination)
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. In a large saute pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent and dark golden brown.
2. Whisk the flour into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and brandy, and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. When mixture has thickened add the cream.
Recipe notes:

  • While the turkey roasts, I like to simmer the turkey neck in water with sprigs of thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary. Remove neck and herbs from the water scraping bits of meat into the liquid. The remaining broth makes a great addition to your gravy base.
  • Turn store-bought gravy into something better with a splash or two of heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of butter and a generous drizzle of Spanish sherry or vermouth. Add crushed fresh thyme leaves and let simmer.
  • To omit the onions, skim the fat from the turkey pan drippings. Return to the turkey pan set over very low heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour, being sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken or turkey broth. Whisk freshly chopped herbs to taste such as sage, thyme, oregano or rosemary. Bring to a boil, stirring to thicken. Reduce heat to low, whisk in 1/4 cup heavy cream. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Wondra is a brand of flour that is finely milled, making it easier to mix for gravies and sauces.
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing is so simple and versatile you will be reinventing it with seasonal twists. Because brussels sprouts have mineral notes in their flavor profile, they are often cooked and paired with bolder flavors.
    Think of this uncooked preparation as a Thanksgiving slaw. The fresh corn and grated jicama add sweetness and additional crunch, while the natural astringency of the walnuts tempers the bitterness of the brussels sprouts.
    The blue cheese dressing brings all the elements together without overpowering. Blue cheeses have a wide range of flavor sharpness. They also vary from creamy to crumbly. A specialty cheese shop will let you taste before you buy. If you don’t have that option, for this recipe look for: Danish blue, creamy and semi-soft in texture; gorgonzola, my favorite, slightly crumbly and very creamy; roquefort, sweet and smoky notes with a tangy finish; or Stilton, strong aroma and semi-soft and crumbly texture.

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
    Yield: 8-10 servings

    1-pound fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and washed
    1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
    1 cup freshly grated jicama
    1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    Dressing:
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup crumbled cow’s milk blue cheese
    2 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk, or more to taste
    Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    1. For the dressing, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise and crumbled blue cheese. Stir in the buttermilk a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. It should be thick and creamy. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
    2. Using a mandolin, carefully shave the brussels sprouts into a large mixing bowl.
    3. Stir in the sweet corn kernels, jicama, and nuts.
    4. Add dressing, a little at a time, folding just coat the ingredients. You may not need all the dressing. Refrigerate the remainder for another use.
    Recipe notes:

    • If you don’t have a mandolin, thinly slice the brussels sprouts.
    • Sliced grape tomatoes would make a colorful and nutritious addition to the salad.
    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes can be made up to four days ahead and frozen for up to two weeks. Dairy is essential to the make-ahead aspect of this dish. The combination of cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, butter, and half-and-half create a mashed potato casserole.
    Bring the dish to room temperature to reheat. In real time on Thanksgiving Day, when the turkey comes out of the 325F oven, slip in the potatoes with any other sides that need to be warmed. By the time the turkey rests and then is carved for the serving platter, your side dishes are ready for the table or sideboard.
    Fresh rosemary leaves can be substituted for the sage sprigs. Gently steeping the herbs in the whipping cream infuses the mashed potatoes with delicate flavor.

    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    Yield: 10-12 servings.

    3 fresh sage leaves, torn
    2 cups half-and-half
    5-pound bag Yukon Gold potatoes
    1 tablespoon salt
    4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
    4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    Minced roasted garlic to taste
    Coarse salt and white pepper to taste
    Additional fresh sage for garnish
    Paprika for dusting (optional)
    Additional butter for reheating

    1. Place sage leaves and half-and-half in a small saucepan. Let simmer on very low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to infuse the milk with the fresh herb.
    2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Add salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 35-40 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and drain.
    3. Place potatoes back in pot; return to stovetop over very low heat. Remove sage from half-and-half and discard. Pour warm whipping cream over potatoes. Add butter, cream cheese, 1 3/4 cups Cheddar, nutmeg and garlic. Using a hand masher or an electric mixer, mash or whip potatoes to the desired consistency. Season with coarse salt and white pepper.
    4. Pour potatoes into a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 days. Freeze for 2 weeks.
    5. To reheat, remove from refrigerator, uncover. Dot top of potatoes with butter. Re-cover potatoes with nonstick foil and warm in a 325F-350F oven for 20 minutes. (At Thanksgiving, I put the potatoes in to reheat when the turkey comes out.) Uncover, sprinkle with remaining Cheddar, and continue to heat 5 minutes. Stir with spoon to fluff and lightly dust with paprika before serving.
    Recipe notes: I leave the skins on the potatoes. If desired, you can peel the potatoes after they cool enough to touch after boiling. Substitute rosemary for sage if desired.

    Apple, Sage, and Celery Stuffing

    Apple, Sage, and Celery Stuffing

    Apple, Sage, and Celery Stuffing (Photo courtesy Duda Farm Fresh Foods)

    Apple, Sage, and Celery Stuffing (Photo courtesy Duda Farm Fresh Foods)

    Apple, Sage, and Celery Stuffing is made with gluten-free bread. The recipe from Duda Farm Fresh Foods yields a moist mixture with all the classic flavors of a traditional stuffing but with an added layer of Parmesan cheese for a crispy topping. Use a tart Granny Smith apple or a baking apple, such as Cortland, Fuji or Crispin. For regular stuffing, substitute egg bread or crusty Italian loaf for gluten-free bread. Substitute maple bacon for pancetta if desired.

    Apple, Sage, and Celery Stuffing
    Yield: 4 servings

    1/2 cup diced pancetta
    2 tablespoons butter
    4 Dandy Celery Sticks, chopped
    1 sweet onion, chopped
    1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
    1 large clove garlic, chopped
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
    1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
    6 cups cubed day-old gluten-free bread
    3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

    1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; cook the pancetta for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and lightly crisped. Stir in the butter until melted; cook celery, sweet onion, apple, garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables soften. Let cool slightly.
    2. Stir the celery mixture with the bread cubes; toss with chicken broth until moistened.
    3. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Cover pan with nonstick foil; bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until set in center and golden brown on top. Let stand for 5 minutes.
    SOURCE: Duda Farm Fresh Foods

    Smoked Paprika Gravy

    Smoked Paprika Gravy

    Smoked Paprika Gravy(Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

    Smoked Paprika Gravy(Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

    Smoked Paprika Gravy from the McCormick test kitchens can be made a day of ahead of time. Cool to room temperature and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Gently rewarm on the stovetop. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

    Smoked Paprika Gravy
    Yield: 8 (1/4) servings

    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    1/4 cup flour
    1 teaspoon smoked McCormick Gourmet Organic Paprika
    1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Italian Seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Garlic Powder
    1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
    1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper
    2 cups Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock

    1. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and seasonings; cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in stock. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
    2. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
    SOURCE: McCormick & Co.