Brown Butter Scallops with Creamy Farro

Valentines day?  Romantic dinner for two? Elegant evening with friends? Check and check. Any which way you slice it this Brown Butter scallop recipe will win you some extra culinary points with your loved ones. Browning the butter gives you a simple sauce for your scallops with a delicious nutty flavor which pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of the whole grain, Farro.  If you haven't tried Farro yet - you must. It's an ancient grain that is full of protein and fiber that has a nice ... Continue Reading

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Nothing could be easier than this three ingredient sweet and spicy chicken.  It's honey, Sriracha, and oranges.  I like to use clementines this time of year (in the Mandarin family) but really you can use any kind you can find. The great thing about this recipe is you can feed a crowd or cut it up and put it on skewers as a fancy appetizer.  Either way it's a winner.  The key is to marinade for at least a couple of hours but that's the hardest part about it.  Other than that it's a cinch ... Continue Reading

Pork Chops with Apple, Onion, & Bacon

Pork and apples are a classic combination.  And why not add a little more pork to your pork with bacon?  These pork chops will be a new Fall favorite for you because they are super moist from brining them in apple cider and herbs and then there is this AMAZING punch of flavor on top of the pork chop from the onion, bacon, and apple mixture - all cooked down with some bourbon and brown sugar.  Yes, bourbon.  Even if it's not your drink of choice it really is the perfect addition to this ... Continue Reading

Butternut Squash Risotto

Risotto is one of those comforting Fall dishes that makes us think of turning leaves, picking pumpkins and gathering around a fire on a cold night.  And this Butternut Squash Risotto makes the perfect weeknight meal or dish for entertaining, depending on how you serve it.  I've made it for my family in a big bowl as a side dish to a roast and I've served it in small little glasses as an elegant starter to a party.  My favorite way was served in this small, hallowed out pumpkins.  However ... Continue Reading

Pulled Pork Tacos with Fried Plantains

Slow roasted pork tacos....tender, juicy and fork tender.  Is there anything better?  Really?  Yes, there is.  These tender pulled pork tacos with perfectly golden brown fried plantains (think not sweet bananas) topped with a crisp carrot and cabbage slaw and a slightly tangy, creamy sheep's milk feta cheese.  I mean...there is a reason this taco is my most requested dish when I entertain.  Seriously just the perfect bite. So here's the lowdown on this awesome taco.  The pork can be ... Continue Reading

Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Honey-Maple Sauce

My family loves pork tenderloin for dinner.  And it's relatively easy and inexpensive to make so I love it, too.  But what makes it memorable meal versus an okay meal?  In my opinion there are three simple but key steps to making a great dish.  First is really marinating the pork first, for at least a few hours, to let those flavor seep in.  In the marinade below I used a variety of flavors, some of which were used in the sauce as well.  Second, you want to really get a crust on the ... Continue Reading

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet with Kale Walnut Pesto

There is really nothing like a slow cooked meat, veggie and bean dish that uses lots of wine and herbs.  I mean the flavors just have hours and hours to meld together and get to know each other - like old friends.  And somehow those wonderful combinations seep their way into the beans and create this rich stock that is so much better than just chicken stock alone. I used a round clay earthenware kind of pot for this dish, and covered it with foil for part of the cooking time and then left it ... Continue Reading

Manchego Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto with Shallot-Lemon Pan Sauce and fried Sage

Manchego cheese is one of my favorite cheeses in the world and it pairs beautifully with all the flavors in this dish. It's a Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk and has a mild but distinctive nutty flavor to it.  The trick to this recipe is to get just enough cheese into the 'pocket' that you are creating in the chicken breast so that you get a little bit with every bite, but not so much that it falls out while cooking the chicken.  That's where the prosciutto comes in handy.  One it adds ... Continue Reading

Roasted Garlic Parsley Pesto and Blackened Chicken Pasta

Looking for a full-flavored chicken pasta dish that can work for a quick weeknight meal but is good enough for entertaining?  This is it, my friends.  By roasting the garlic you get a sweet, nutty flavor that really gives this pesto an amazing background flavor.  And you can make the pesto ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.  It will save for several days or even longer.  And by taking the shortcut of using your favorite blackening ... Continue Reading

Roasted Beet Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese and Shallot Vinaigrette

Roasting beets with a little thyme and olive oil really brings a lot of flavor to the beet itself and the roasting process makes them even sweeter.  I love this salad because it's very healthy and filling and a little bit decadent with the warm, crunchy goat cheese on top.  When you roll the goat cheese into the panko breadcrumbs (you could even add a little grated parmesan to the breadcrumbs) really press down to get the crumbs to adhere to the cheese.  I ... Continue Reading