Heather's Florida Kitchen

Seasonally inspired easy recipes for the home cook.
Morning Mix recipe: Quick Chicken Pot au Feu

Morning Mix recipe: Quick Chicken Pot au Feu

Quick Chicken Pot au Feu (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com)

Quick Chicken Pot au Feu (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com)

Quick Chicken Pot au Feu is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. This dish from Chickenroost.com is a twist on the classic French beef stew. Pot-au-feu means “pot on the fire.” The chicken and vegetables are seasoned with good-quality broth, fresh herbs and garlic. The result is a one-pot meal with lots of texture and flavor. Look for more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1 at the station’s website.

Quick Chicken Pot au Feu
Yield: 4 servings

4 cups chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
4 whole chicken leg quarters
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
8 baby red potatoes, halved
12 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 stalks celery, cut in half
4 parsnips, peeled and halved
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 pound fresh green beans, halved
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Dijon mustard
Sweet pickles
Fresh horseradish

1. In large pot over medium-high heat, combine chicken stock, beef stock, white wine, water, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and garlic. Season chicken legs with salt and pepper; add to pot. Also place in pot potatoes, Brussels sprouts, celery and parsnips. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and decrease heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until vegetables are almost tender, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Use tongs to gently move ingredients around a bit. Continue to simmer, partially covered, until chicken is almost cooked through, about 5-10 minutes more. Add green beans and leeks and continue cooking until chicken is completely cooked and vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.
3. To serve, ladle broth into soup bowls. Serve with slices of baguette. Dice chicken and vegetables on plate. Ladle over broth in soup bowls. Serve hot, accompanied by mustard, pickles and horseradish.
SOURCE: National Chicken Council

Rosemary Vegetables with Peanuts and Pomegranates

Rosemary Vegetables with Peanuts and Pomegranates

Rosemary Vegetables with Peanuts and Pomegranates (Photo courtesy National Peanut Board)

Rosemary Vegetables with Peanuts and Pomegranates (Photo courtesy National Peanut Board)

Rosemary Vegetables with Peanuts and Pomegranates was created by registered dietitian Caroline Young Bearden for the National Peanut Board. The USDA classifies peanuts and peanut butter in the nuts and seeds category, but botanically, peanuts are legumes. Although peanuts come in many varieties, there are four basic types grown in the United States: Runner, Spanish, Valencia, and Virginia. Runners are mainly grown in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and over half of the Runners grown in the United States are used to make peanut butter. Spanish, grown mostly in Oklahoma and Texas, are primarily used to make candies and peanut oil. Valencia are mainly grown in New Mexico and are the sweetest of the four types. Virginia, grown in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, are mainly roasted and sold in and out of the shell.

Rosemary Vegetables with Peanuts and Pomegranates
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

1 cup butternut squash cubes
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into halves
2 parsnips, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, cut into pieces on the diagonal
4 garlic cloves, or to taste
Coarse sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 to 5 rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. Microwave the butternut squash on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Toss in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
3. Place all of the vegetables and garlic on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Season with pepper, salt and rosemary, tossing to coat again.
3. Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Rotate vegetables on pan with spoon. Continue roasting for another 10 to 15 minutes. Add peanuts and pomegranate arils, and mix well. Roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until vegetables brown.
SOURCE: Adapted from the National Peanut Board

Chicken Vegetable and Red Lentil Stew

Chicken Vegetable and Red Lentil Stew

Chicken Vegetable and Red Lentil Stew (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com)

Chicken Vegetable and Red Lentil Stew (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com)

Chicken Vegetable and Red Lentil Stew is a hearty one bowl winter meal. Green beans or asparagus tips can be added to the mix as well. The recipe was developed for the National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com.

Chicken Vegetable and Red Lentil Stew
Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds chicken thigh meat, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 cup red lentils
1 (12-ounce) bag spinach, cleaned and chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish
6 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream

1. In a stock pot, heat oil on medium. Add chicken and seasi with salt and cayenne pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown all sides of meat.
2. Add garlic, ginger, and onion. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add dried spices (cumin, mustard, coriander, and cinnamon) and brown sugar and stir until well combined.
3. Add broth and tomatoes with juice; bring mixture to a boil. Add the carrots and potatoes. Return mixture to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add lentils, cover, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
4. Using a fork, check to be sure vegetables are soft. When soft, add chopped spinach, stirring to combine just until spinach is wilted. Add the 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro.
5. Serve in soup bowls garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and topped with additional chopped cilantro to taste.

Morning Mix recipe: Cuban Hash

Morning Mix recipe: Cuban Hash

Cuban Hash (Photo courtesy PorkBeInspired.com and the Hispanic Food Network)

Cuban Hash (Photo courtesy PorkBeInspired.com and the Hispanic Food Network)

Cuban Hash is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. This one pan recipe from PorkBeInspired.com is great for late suppers on New Year’s Eve or breakfast or brunch on New Year’s Day. Pair the hash with poached eggs and whole grain bread or rolls. Look for more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1 at the station’s website.

Cuban Hash
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground pork
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups new potatoes, cooked, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups tomatillo salsa
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled (see note)

1. Heat the olive oil over medium in a large skillet; add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the ground pork, breaking into crumbles with the back of a spoon and turning frequently until browned on all sides.
3. Add potatoes, salsa and corn; stir and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Fold in the cilantro and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.
Recipe note: Feta cheese can substitute for queso fresco.
SOURCE: Adapted from PorkBeInspired.com and the Hispanic Food Network

Apricot Curry Cheese Dip

Apricot Curry Cheese Dip

Apricot Curry Cheese Dip

Apricot Curry Cheese Dip

Apricot Curry Cheese Dip is a spin on a Layered Chutney Cheese Spread, an appetizer you will find in community cookbooks from coast to coast. The layered version has long been a go-to potluck starter. But mashing up the elements intrigued me. Instead of chutney, I used apricot preserves. The result was a rich dip with just the right notes of salty and sweet for a festive party.

Apricot Curry Cheese Dip
Yield: 16-20 servings

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, or more to taste
Hot pepper sauce to taste
1 cup apricot preserves, or more to taste
6 bacon strips, cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled
6 green onions, chopped (including green tops), plus additional for garnish
Sturdy wheat crackers for serving

1. With an electric mixer on medium, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, curry powder and pepper sauce.
2. With the mixer on low or using a sturdy spatula, blend in the apricot preserves, bacon, and green onions.
3. Spoon mixture into serving bowls and garnish with chopped green onions. Serve with crackers.

Morning Mix recipe: Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary-Pepper Butter

Morning Mix recipe: Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary-Pepper Butter

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary-Pepper Butter (Photo courtesy Taste of the South magazine and tasteofthesouth.com)

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary-Pepper Butter (Photo courtesy Taste of the South magazine and tasteofthesouth.com)

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary-Pepper Butter is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. I found it at tasteofthesouthmagazine.com. The recipe creates an impressive holiday entrée. Look for more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1 at the station’s website.

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary-Pepper Butter
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

1 (5-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed and trussed
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rosemary-Black Pepper Butter:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. For the seasoned butter, stir together 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary, freshly ground black pepper to taste, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Spread the butter mixture onto the center of a piece of parchment paper, and roll into a log, twisting ends to secure. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. (Store in a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag in the freezer up to 1 month.)
2. Let the beef stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
3. Preheat oven to 475F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil. Place whole rosemary sprigs on pan; place a roasting rack on prepared pan.
4. Drizzle beef with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place beef on roasting rack.
5. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion reads 130F (medium-rare), approximately 30 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven. Loosely cover beef with nonstick foil, and let stand 20 minutes before slicing. (Beef will continue to cook as it stands.) Serve with slices of rosemary-black pepper butter.

Apricot Walnut Bars

Apricot Walnut Bars

Apricot Walnut Bars

Apricot Walnut Bars

Apricot Walnut Bars have a wonderful, light crackle on the top and the insides are soft and sweet. These are my favorite non-chocolate dessert ever and a must for the holidays. I think I have saved the best for last in this holiday series of 12 great bars that go great with tall glass of cold milk. I first made these in Mrs. Pert’s Home Economics class in grade school in Indianapolis.  You can dust them with powdered sugar if desired, but it’s really not needed.

Apricot Walnut Bars
Yield: About 48 servings

1 1/3 cups (6-ounce package) dried apricots
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cup baking mix, such a Bisquick or Jiffy
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup baking mix, such a Bisquick or Jiffy
1 teaspoon spiced rum
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar (optional)

1. Place the apricots in a 2-quart saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered. Drain. Cool completely. Chop and reserve. (Using kitchen shears makes this step a breeze.)
2. Heat oven to 350F.  Line a 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by 1-inch baking pan lengthwise with nonstick aluminum foil, letting just a bit hang over the edges.
3. Mix the butter and granulated sugar and 2 1/2 cups of the baking mix until crumbly. A pastry blender or two knives are tried and true tools for this, but I have found careful pulses in the work bowl of a food processor work just as well. Pour into the foil-lined baking pan, patting down evenly over the bottom. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Beat brown sugar and eggs. Stir in apricots, 2/3 cup baking mix, rum, and nuts. Spread over the baked layer. Bake 30 minutes. Remove pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
5. Using the foil “handles,” lift the bars from the baking pan and place on a cutting board. Remove foil and cut into bars.

Cocoa Wheat Germ and Walnut Bars

Cocoa Wheat Germ and Walnut Bars

Cocoa Wheat Germ and Walnut Bars

Cocoa Wheat Germ and Walnut Bars

Cocoa Wheat Germ and Walnut Bars are thin treats bursting with flavor. You can substitute pecans for walnuts if desired. Be sure to use a good-quality cocoa powder for best flavor. I used Ghirardelli for this recipe. For the frosting, add the milk a tablespoon at a time. I like the consistency that the entire amount gave the mixture, but you might prefer a thicker frosting.

Cocoa Wheat Germ and Walnut Bars
Yield: About 4 dozen bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup regular flavored wheat germ
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, divided
Cocoa cream frosting:
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons whole milk

1. Heat oven to 350F. Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan lengthwise with nonstick aluminum foil, letting a little bit hang over the edges.
2. Combine the flour, wheat germ, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine.
3. In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Stir in 1 cup of the nuts. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and use an offset spatula to spread evenly. Bake 15-20 minutes. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. For the cocoa cream frosting, with an electric mixer blend the butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the cocoa, vanilla, and milk.
5. Lift the bars from the baking pan with the foil “handles” and place on a cutting board. Peel away the foil. Spread the cocoa cream frosting over the top and scatter the remaining walnuts over the top. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge was my mother’s signature treat and she always made it for special occasions. And peanut butter fudge is still is my sister’s favorite family recipe. It is such an easy go-to for gifts from the kitchen, treats for Santa, or just a sweet indulgence you give yourself. Store the fudge in the refrigerator or the freezer until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Fudge
Yield: 3 pounds

3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup evaporated milk (see Recipe Note)
1 2/3 cups creamy peanut butter
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Festive colored sugar for garnish (optional)

1. Line a 13-by-9-inch pan lengthwise with nonstick aluminum foil, letting a bit hang over the edges.
2. Combine sugar, butter and milk in large saucepan, stirring constantly on medium heat, until mixture comes to a soft boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. Add the peanut butter. Stir until well blended. Add the marshmallow creme and pure vanilla extract. Beat until well blended. Spread in baking pan. Cool completely in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Lift the fudge from the pan using the foil “handles.” Place on a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil. Cut into small squares or bars. Top with colored sugar if desired.
Recipe Note: Evaporated milk is regular unsweetened milk with approximately 60 percent of the water content removed. Be sure to check the label of the can. Sweetened condensed milk looks very similar.

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cheese Bars

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cheese Bars

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cheese Bars

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cheese Bars

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cheese Bars are a great way to take advantage of Florida’s strawberry season. It’s our winter gift to the world.

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cheese Bars

1 (16.5-ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats, divided
2 (8-ounce) packages low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 cups chopped fresh Florida strawberries
Crumble topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks chilled salted butter, cut into pieces

1. Heat oven to 350F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, letting 1 inch of the lining hang over the sides.
2. Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just golden brown. Do not overbake. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. While still warm, press 1 cup of the oats into the bottom of the cookie crust.
3. With a mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and eggs. Spread over the bottom of the cooled cookie crust. Top with chopped strawberries (see Recipe Notes).
4. For the crumble topping, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup light-brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and cinnamon. Cut 1 1/2 sticks chilled butter into pieces. With your hands (see Recipe Notes), work in the butter pieces, until loose clumps form. Scatter the mixture over the top of the berries. You do not have to completely cover the fruit (see Recipe Notes). Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. Using the foil or parchment “handles,” lift bars from pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into bars.
Recipe notes:

  • The oats on top of the baked cookie crust help form a barrier to any liquid that exudes from the berries. Also, it’s best to let the chopped berries rest in a strainer or on paper towels for at least 15 minutes before adding in Step 3.
  • I keep plastic food service gloves in the kitchen at all times for mixing foods by hand. Your hands are one of your best tools in the kitchen. And the gloves help make sure you work with food safety in mind. You can buy the gloves in supermarkets and restaurant supply stores.
  • Any extra crumble mixture can be toasted separately at 350F for 15 minutes. Store in a freezer quality plastic bag and use as a topping for ice cream.