Course: Main Dish

Lemon/Celery Salt Chicken Thighs

Lemon/Celery Salt Chicken Thighs
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This dish has the most amazing flavor and I promise you that when your guests, or family, walk into the house the aroma will entice them straight to the table.
Servings
6
Servings
6
Lemon/Celery Salt Chicken Thighs
Print Recipe
This dish has the most amazing flavor and I promise you that when your guests, or family, walk into the house the aroma will entice them straight to the table.
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Using a microplane, zest the lemon into a zip top bag or medium, non-reactive, bowl. Juice half the lemon and slice the other half into thin slices. Set slices aside. In same bowl add buttermilk, celery salt, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper, and lastly the lemon juice and whisk together until well combined.
  2. Add chicken thighs to buttermilk mixture and seal or cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let marinate at lest 2 hours but not more than 4.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Place pan in oven for at lest 10 minutes to heat pan. Just before placing chicken on pan, spray with olive ol or non-stick spray. Place chicken, skin side up on hot pan and tuck lemon slices around chicken.Sprinkle, lightly, with a little extra kosher salt and place in oven.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is a deep golden brown and is cooked through.
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Fennel & Almond Salad

Fennel & Almond Salad
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This is a hardy salad that is so fresh, it feels light. You can easily add a grilled protein and make it a meal.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Fennel & Almond Salad
Print Recipe
This is a hardy salad that is so fresh, it feels light. You can easily add a grilled protein and make it a meal.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Trim and core the fennel bulbs. Reserve the fronds and chop about 1/2 cup for salad. Slice the fennel, thinly, crosswise. Rough chop the flat leaf parsley. It's okay if a few stems are in there.
  2. To make the dressing, put the lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl or jar and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking. Then whisk in the mustard. Adjust seasoning and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, toss together fennel with fronds fronds, parsley, almonds and pecorino cheese. Toss with desired amount of dressing and serve immediately.
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Dorie Greenspan’s Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms

Dorie never lets you down. I tripled this recipe for a family dinner! It was a hit. I made it with boneless/skinless chicken. I really would recommend using skin on. You can always peel it off to eat, but the flavor it gives is invaluable.

Dorie Greenspan's Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Dorie Greenspan's Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450° Rub baking sheet with a little oil. You can line it with foil, for cleanup, but oil the foil too.
  2. Put the potatoes, mushrooms, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Toss in 4 sprigs of rosemary and 4 sprigs of thyme., 1 tsp. salt, a few grindings of pepper, 2 Tbs, olive oil and 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar. Stir everything together until well coated. Arrange vegetables on baking sheet. Put chicken pieces in bowl and add remaining 3 Tbs. of oil and 2 Tbs. balsamic, 1/2 tsp. salt, a good amount of fresh ground pepper and toss together to coat well. Tuck chicken in to the vegetables and place remaining herbs under chicken.
  3. Roast the chicken/vegetables until a thermometer stuck in thickest part of thigh reads 165°, about 40 minutes to an hour. Serve right from baking sheets, or a pretty platter. Pour juices over chicken and vegetables.
  4. Remember I said to reserve the garlic? Well serve that in a little bowl alongside some crusty bread. It is delicious!
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Oven Fajitas

Fajitas are one of those dishes that you can serve and even the pickiest of eaters can find something to eat. However, they can be intimidating to make at home. Now that Sheet Pan Meals are trending, it is so much easier and the clean up is cut in half.

This is an easy recipe to double or triple

You can see the YouTube episode at, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPyv_hHuBwjDyhMSBoGVkg?view_as=subscriber

And don’t forget to subscribe here and follow me on Instagram at http://instagram.com/whiskinthesouthern

 

Half way to great Fajitas. Just turning the chicken and tossing the veggies one more time.
Oven Fajitas
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Oven Fajitas
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425° In medium bowl, stir together the 4 Tbs. olive oil, lime zest and juice, chipotles, cumin, about 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and smoked paprika. Toss chicken in marinade and set aside to marinate while prepping the rest of the recipe.
  2. On a sheet pan toss the pepper and onion with remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and pinch pepper.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and place on another sheet pan. You don't want it swimming in the marinade but don't be afraid of it. Discard remaining marinade. Roast Veggies and chicken in oven until cooked through and soft, 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from oven and set aside. Turn broiler on and move sheet pan with veggies close to broiler. Broil for just a few minutes to get a nice char on it, 2 - 5 minutes. On a lower rack place tortillas right on the rack for a minute or two, too warm. Flip them once then wrap in a foil to keep warm.
  5. Layer veggies with chicken on a serving platter and serve with warm tortillas and toppings. I like avocado, salsa, beans, cheese and sour cream. I also love to serve extra lime wedges, on the side.
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Baked Cauliflower & Farro with Cheese

I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It was the perfect warm meal to make for my family on a recent trip to the mountains. I served it with a green salad and some fresh fruit for dessert. It was just perfect!

You can head over to YouTube to see me cook it up :

Be sure to follow me @ whiskinthesouthern on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/whiskinthesouthern/

Baked Cauliflower & Farro with Cheese
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This recipe comes together really fast with a little bit of prep. You can have it on the table in less than an hour, start to finish. You can spend even less time if you prep ahead of time. You can prep up to 2 days in advance
Servings
6
Servings
6
Baked Cauliflower & Farro with Cheese
Print Recipe
This recipe comes together really fast with a little bit of prep. You can have it on the table in less than an hour, start to finish. You can spend even less time if you prep ahead of time. You can prep up to 2 days in advance
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425° Cook Farro according to the directions, using the broth. Drain and put in a large bowl. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and some kosher salt. Put on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes until starting to brown and just soft. Turn out in to the bowl with Farro. Reduce oven temperature to 400°
  2. Start assembling the casserole: Add sage, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper to cauliflower/farro mix and stir to combine. Stir in fontina cheese.
  3. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread half the mixture in the pan and dollop with the ricotta cheese, all over. Spread remaining cauliflower mix in the pan.
  4. In a small dish combine panko, Romano cheese and 1 Tbs. olive oil, until evenly mixed. Sprinkle evenly over cauliflower and Farro. Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and crusty.
Recipe Notes

You can add rotisserie or grilled chicken to up the protein.

If you were able to save a few whole sage leaves, let's fry them up. It's really simple. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small, shallow fry pan and heat it up until it moves and listens. The best way to test is to put a few drops of water in. If they sizzle and dance, your oil is ready. From there, simply put your dry sage leaves (no more water) in and cook them for just a few minutes on each side. Watch them. You don't want them to burn. Once they are done, place on a paper towel to drain and cool slightly. Arrange on your cooked cauliflower bake and serve. Yum!

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Lean In! Quinoa Burgers

My Family and I have been doing Meatless Monday for a few years. In 2020, I want us to lean in more to vegetarian and vegan options. We’ve all read or heard on the news how important this is, not only for our health but, for our environment. I was actually at an event and heard a famous Breast Cancer doctor speak. Her advice was if you can’t make the switch to being vegan, can you be vegan for a meal? How hard could it be to have vegan cereal for breakfast or a huge vegan salad for lunch. She made it sound simple and I am embracing it.

I’ve made these Quinoa Burgers for my family before and frankly they love them. I originally made them with Sriracha sauce, in the mix. They were quite spicy. So while my husband and enjoyed them, my kids not so much.  I re-did the recipe and now I share with you where to add whatever flavoring you would like to customize for your family.

This is a fairly simple recipe and it comes together fast.  If you have all your ingredients ready to go, dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes. I like to serve these as if I was serving a burger with coleslaw and fries.

By the way, save the liquid from your canned chickpeas. It is a fabulous vegan substitute for egg whites, where it calls for whipping them into tiff peaks.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. As always I want to hear from you. Send me your comments and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @whiskinthesouthern.

Quinoa Burgers

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Servings
4-5 Burgers

Servings
4-5 Burgers

Quinoa Burgers

Print Recipe

Servings
4-5 Burgers

Servings
4-5 Burgers

Ingredients


Servings: Burgers

Instructions
  1. Over a medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil to a saucepan. Coat the pan and once hot, add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until you start to really smell the aromatics and the veggies start to soften.

    Add broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn out quinoa onto a baking sheet, or plate, to cool for a few minutes.

  2. While your quinoa is cooling, add your chickpeas, panko bread crumbs, salt & pepper, egg and finally the cooled quinoa mix, to a food processor. Give it a few pulses.

    This is where you want to add your flavoring if you want. The "burgers" have plenty of flavor but here you can add some hot sauce, some ranch dressing mix, or even your favorite steak rub. If you don't want to add the flavor here, or if you want more flavor, you can mix your seasoning with the 2 tsp. of canola oil to drizzle over the burger.

    After you've added your flavoring, continue to pulse to a slightly chunky, but smooth texture.
    Carefully remove the blade from the processor and start making your burgers.

  3. I use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop to make my burgers. It gives you a nice start to shape and your burgers are evenly sized.

    Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet. Please make sure to use a non-stick skillet or get a stainless skillet searing hot and well oiled before putting your burgers in. The quinoa burgers are delicate so make sure they slide easily onto your spatula before your turn them. If they stick at all, they are not ready to be turned.

    Place burgers in and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides.

  4. Serve immediately on buns or butter lettuce leaves with your favorite condiments

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Lemon Fennel Chicken in a Pot

There is nothing better on a cold night than good old-fashioned Chicken in a Pot. That is unless it’s Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Fennel Chicken in a Pot. I made this last weekend and it was delicious. It comes from her Everyday Dorie, the Way I cook, cookbook. Like any recipe I made a few adjustments as I was shopping and cooking. For the most part, though, I stayed true to the original.

This is not a “Lemon” chicken and the fennel does not taste like licorice. All the flavors meld together to make the perfect balance of sweet, tart and savory. Dorie does recommend and I concur to have good crusty bread for sopping up all the good juices. This recipe is going into my regular rotation and I hope you enjoy it too.

Lemon Fennel Chicken in a Pot
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I adapted this from Dorie Greenspan. Just as she says in her book, Everyday Dorie, this recipe comes together quickly and is delicious!
Servings
4
Servings
4
Lemon Fennel Chicken in a Pot
Print Recipe
I adapted this from Dorie Greenspan. Just as she says in her book, Everyday Dorie, this recipe comes together quickly and is delicious!
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Take chicken out of refrigerator and let sit out while preheating oven to 450° and preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Trim the stalks and fronds and cut off the bottom of the fennel bulb. Remove the outer layer leaves. They can be tough. Cut the remaining into 6 - 8 wedges. Toss into a Dutch oven.
  3. Cut one lemon in half and the other into 8 wedges. Reserve one half and toss the wedges and other half in the pot. Peel and trim the shallots and then cut in to wedges. Toss into pot. Put the garlic halves in the pot.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, honey, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and toss until everything is well coated.. Make a well in the center of the vegetables.
  5. Make sure the chicken is really dry with paper towels. Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from the reserved half lemon all over the the outside of the chicken then put in the cavity. Put the reserved fronds and stalks and 2 of the thyme sprigs in the cavity, also. Rub the 2 Tbs. olive oil all over the outside of the chicken.
  6. Nestle the chicken down in the well of the vegetables. Pour the chicken broth over the chicken and vegetables and give a quick stir to get the broth all around the vegetables. Toss in the 2 other thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  7. Cover the pot and cook for 90 minutes. Do not peek. At 90 minutes you can take the lid off and place under broiler for maybe another 5 minutes to brown the top.
  8. You can serve this straight from the pot, but I like putting in a shallow bowl/platter. That way its cut and easy to grab and the vegetables and broth are right there for the dipping. Make sure you have good crusty bread. Either way, serve immediately, very hot.
  9. I wish I had a picture of the final product. Thats what happens when its that good. We all dove in and it was gone. Maybe next time. LOL
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Everything, Everything!

I remember when Everything Bagels first hit the scene. A New York bagel store employee was sweeping out the oven and instead of tossing the seeds and seasoning crumbs, he through them on top of a plain bagel. He thought he was being cute when he called it the “everything”.  They were amazing! All the bagel flavors you love were now in one bagel. Ahh, bliss! And if you toast them, forget it, HEAVEN! So imagine how excited I was when Trader Joes created Everything but the Bagel Seasoning. I love using this flavor blend and put it on, well, everything.

The blend is made up of sesame seeds, sea salt flakes, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, black sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Some of the great ways I’ve used this blend are: stir it into cream cheese, salad topping, stirred into scrambled eggs, a small shake on top of sour cream in soup or a baked potato.

My two favorite ways to use this blend are to stir about 1/4 cup into latke (potato pancake) batter right before frying them up. We like our latkes extra crispy and this seasoning brings out all the best flavors of the potato.  If you do this adjust your salt down, or even none. This seasoning has plenty of salt. The other great recipe is to use it as a chicken coating.

Chicken is the great blank canvas of food.  I mean it was just made for sauces and anything that adds flavor. The recipe below is simple and quick.  I make a dredge tray of seasoned flour, egg white and Everything but the Bagel seasoning.  You can use your own recipe for the seasoned flour. Remember to use little or no salt.

One other little tip. Some of you struggle on knowing when chicken is done when you bake it. The best way is to use a meat thermometer to 160°. However, 20 minutes per pound at preheated 325° oven is a great rule of thumb. You can cover the chicken foil half way through if it is getting too brown.

 

Everything Seasoned Chicken

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Juicy, baked chicken with all your favorite tastes of an everything bagel.
Servings
4

Servings
4

Everything Seasoned Chicken

Print Recipe

Juicy, baked chicken with all your favorite tastes of an everything bagel.
Servings
4

Servings
4

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°.

    Combine flour and all spices, except Everything Bagel, together in a zipped plastic bag. Give it a good mix now and right before you use it. You don't want all the flavors to settle to the bottom.

  2. Set up your dredging station (I use shallow soup bowls). You want the first one to be the seasoned flour. The second should be your egg whites and the third is the Everything seasoning.

  3. I get my chicken good and dry with paper towels and then let it sit out about 20 minutes before starting the dredging process. I also keep one hand for dry and one for wet.

  4. Start with dipping chicken in flour. Give it an even coat and shake off excess so you don't have clumps. Then a quick dip in egg whites and let excess drip off, then right into the everything seasoning and into a butter baking dish.

  5. Into the preheated, hot oven and bake for 20 minutes per pound. You are probably at just about a pound with 4 chicken breasts so check at 20 minutes. It's okay to cut into one breast, if you don't have a thermometer. You want the juices to run clear.

  6. Serve with a green vegetable and rice or potato. Enjoy!

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Old Friends (Cookbooks)

I am in a purging mood! We recently did some remodel work on our house. You know how that goes and how much packing and unpacking I was doing, almost, every day. It was a good opportunity to get rid or donate “stuff” we weren’t really using anymore.

A good friend pointed out to me that I have cookbooks, literally, in every room in my house. Some of you might put the old People Magazine in the bathroom, for light reading, I put cookbooks! So, when this same friend suggested I make a library of cookbooks, in my office, I was all in. Of course, that meant hours of deciding which would stay and which would go. It also meant getting reacquainted with some of my older “friends” and saying goodbye to the friends you didn’t really keep in touch with.

My new library!

So, my task began. The first things that went were the cookbooks, put together by my kids elementary or pre-schools. I asked myself were there any recipes in them that I couldn’t just pick up the phone and ask for if I really wanted them. I did go through those books just to make sure. The next group to go were the “souvenir” books. I bought cookbooks at restaurants as I traveled across the country and some were really good. Others, I bought because I loved the meal and really believed I would recreate it at home. Well, not so much. And so, the purging project went.

I finally had whittled it down to one pile of books that I really wanted to go through and spend some time with. I’m so glad I did. There were some great finds. One of the books I saved is “Raising the Salad Bar”, by  Catherine Walthers. I initially bought this book in 2010, after a friend used it more than once, during my week-long visit to her summer home. I admit I was skeptical when I heard it was a salad cookbook, but each salad was more memorable than the last.

Thumbing through this book was like reminiscing with an old friend.  The pictures were beautiful, and the recipes reminded me of a glorious summer on Cape Cod. I love the way Catherine has organized the recipes so that the reader learns to think about salads more openly. Each salad has a dressing attached that brilliantly balances the fat and acid with your fresh greens and grains. Additionally, she has a whole section on dressings.

It has been so hot here in L.A. that I made the Couscous Salad with Lemon-Soaked Grilled Chicken for dinner, last week.  It was perfect! Fresh and lemony with just the right amount of smoky grill flavor. My family loves lemon but with a little sweeter undertone than this recipe originally gave. I added a little brown sugar to the “marinade”. I also added a little bit of chopped mint at the end to add some brightness. And by the way, go for the asiago cheese. It has a similar flavor profile to Parmigiano but with an added smokiness.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and it reminds you to spend some time with old friends and even the new treasures.

Couscous Salad with Lemon-Soaked Grilled Chicken
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Adapted from Catherine Walthers Raising the Salad Bar.
Servings
6 main course
Servings
6 main course
Couscous Salad with Lemon-Soaked Grilled Chicken
Print Recipe
Adapted from Catherine Walthers Raising the Salad Bar.
Servings
6 main course
Servings
6 main course
Ingredients
Chicken
Couscous
Servings: main course
Instructions
Chicken
  1. In a large bowl (I use Ziploc bags) toss chicken with garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice and reserved rinds.
  2. Let marinade for at least 2 hours in refrigerator, When ready to use remove from marinade and discard marinade and rinds.
  3. Preheat grill to high heat. Grill chicken for 7 minutes first side. Remember to not move chicken to get a nice caramelized crust. Turn chicken over and cook for 5 more minutes.
Couscous
  1. Cook couscous in chicken broth according to package instructions. Test a little early. You want the couscous to be al dente. Remove from heat and drain. Leave some of the liquid (broth) in the pan and immediately add onions. Cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach to pan and toss, lightly, over heat. Add olive oil and toss together. Occasionally toss couscous to cool.
  2. When couscous is cooler, add garlic, parsley, lemon juice and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add salt if needed.
  3. To serve, plate spinach then couscous and top with chicken. Sprinkle asiago cheese over top and a sprinkling of more fresh parsley. Garnish with sliced lemons or lemon zest.
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Mexican Street Corn

My family goes crazy for Mexican Street Corn. It is served all over the Southwest, usually as a full cob of corn with a skewer tucked into one end. This makes it easier to eat while walking around. We will order it off the cob to ensure that every bit of flavor is devoured. We want each bite to have that tang of cotija cheese and sweetness of the corn. We love the acidity that the lime juice adds and that final hit of heat from the chile powder.

How do all those flavors come together? Well, the corn is grilled and then basted with a mixture of mayo and sour cream, while it is still hot and quickly rolled in copious amounts of cotija cheese. A quick squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chile powder and it is ready!

Is your mouth watering yet? In California, you can get this wonderful treat all year long, but it really is best in summer when corn is at its sweetest. I wanted to find a way to have that flavor on my dinner table all the time, without relying on fresh corn. Popcorn! Let’s put all those flavors together and encrust a piece of halibut. Yeah!  I love the crunch that comes with the popcorn and the subtle flavors of fresh halibut and its light taste with a bit of brininess.

See the notes below on how to get the flavor into popcorn if you aren’t interested in fish.

Mexican Street Corn
Print Recipe
Servings
4 6-oz pieces
Servings
4 6-oz pieces
Mexican Street Corn
Print Recipe
Servings
4 6-oz pieces
Servings
4 6-oz pieces
Ingredients
Servings: 6-oz pieces
Instructions
  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, and 2/3 cup cotija cheese.
  2. Add chile powder, lime zest, coriander.
  3. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed, or additional chile powder.
  4. Slather mixture all over halibut. Coat halibut in fresh popped popcorn and sprinkle with remaining cotija cheese.
  5. Bake at 450° for 10-20 minutes. It depends on size of fish. A good rule is 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
  6. Fish is done if it flakes when a fork is twisted in it. Serve with lime wedges and a dollop of remaining sauce on side.
Recipe Notes

So if you don't want fish but would love this flavor on popcorn, mix all the ingredients together. You can leave thick or thin out, slightly, with beer.

Toss while popcorn is HOT and enjoy!

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