Recipes

Springtime Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Yogurt & Chimichurri sauce

Today’s recipe is all about a vibrant Chimichurri sauce and creamy garlic yogurt that perfectly complement these flavored meatballs. You can serve this as an appetizer for Easter or as a light dinner. Trust me you are going to love this recipe!

I love making meatballs, it always brings me back to being a little girl, watching my mom and grandma, Meme in the kitchen. I loved helping roll the meatballs and watching them sizzle when they were added to the pan with hot olive oil.

First, you want to make the yogurt sauce and the Chimichurri sauce. The longer these two sauces have to marinate the better.

The garlic yogurt sauce is super easy. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic and some salt and pepper. That’s it! 

For the Chimichurri sauce, you are going to want to use your food processor, no worries if you don’t have one, a blender will get the job done too. If you do not have either of those, a sharp knife and some muscle will work too.

To the food processor or blender, add the cilantro, basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Pulse until combined but still slightly chunky, adding more olive oil as needed to loosen. 

I absolutely love this sauce, I have a small jar of it in the refrigerator at all times. It compliments just about anything from these meatballs to an omelette or as a dip with some chips.  

Now for the meatballs!

Chop ½ of a yellow onion,4 cloves of garlic and one cup baby spinach. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and slowly add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic and some salt, cook until the spinach is wilted. Next sprinkle in the fennel seeds and cook for another minute, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken, breadcrumbs, basil, cayenne, onion powder, dried parsley, paprika, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper and mix with a rubber spatula. Make well in the middle of the chicken mixture and crack one egg into the middle of the well. Here’s the fun part, using your hands mix the egg and chicken mixture until well combined. Using your hands, roll into golf ball-sized balls. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

In the same skillet, heat up a ½ inch of olive oil. Add the meatballs to the hot olive oil but make sure not to overcrowd the skillet, and brown the meatballs on each side about 6 to 10 minutes total. The meatballs should be a nice golden brown. Remember you are not cooking them all the way through, we will finish them off in the oven. 

Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 6 minutes, take the skillet out of the oven and slowly pour ¼ cup white wine into the skillet. Place back into the oven and continue cooking, 5 to 7 minutes.  

You can serve these meatballs as an appetizer or the main dish with a side of jasmine rice or even on a salad with Garlic Yogurt Sauce and Chimichurri.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking meatballs
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds 
  • 1 pound ground chicken 
  • 1/2 cup Italian Panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 large egg
  •  ¼ cup white wine

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chimichurri:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • Crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic and some salt and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the fennel seeds and cook for another minute, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken, breadcrumbs, basil, cayenne, onion powder, dried parsley, paprika, thyme, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper and mix. Roll into golf ball-sized balls.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with about 1/2 inch of oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet, 6 to 10 minutes total. 

Place the meatballs in the oven, and set a timer for 6 minutes, take the pan out of the oven and slowly pour ¼ cup white wine into the pan.

Place back into the oven and continue cooking, 5 to 7 minutes. 

Serve with Yogurt Sauce and Chimichurri.

Yogurt Sauce

Add the yogurt, garlic and some salt and pepper to a small bowl. Mix to combine.

Chimichurri

To the food processor or blender , add the cilantro, basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and some salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Pulse until combined but still slightly chunky, adding more olive oil as needed to loosen. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Recipes

Pear & Pecorino Ravioli with Pancetta and Walnuts

Ravioli stuffed with a fresh pear and cheese filling and sauteed in a buttery sauce with crispy pancetta, this ravioli recipe is a fancy dinner made easy!

The sweetness of the pears complements the salty and creamy cheese filling of these easy ravioli. It’s sweet and savory, my two favorite flavors! 

As you know by now, I love making homemade pasta and that doesn’t stop with the basics like spaghetti and fettuccine – I also enjoy making homemade ravioli. 

First, you will want to make the filling. 

Peel and core the pears. Then using the fine side of a box grater, grate the pears and Pecorino into a bowl and combine. Add ¼ cup of  the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of the chopped parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set to the side. 

If you are making your own pasta, which I highly recommend, follow my Homemade Pasta recipe blog post. 

If you don’t want to make your own pasta dough, you can also use store bought wonton wrappers to cut down on time.

Roll pasta dough into long strips.  I used a pasta machine attachment on my stand mixer to make it easier.

Press a ravioli cutter stamp or circle cookie cutter into the flour and then press down firmly to cut out raviolis or wonton wrapper. Place on a prepared lightly floured cookie sheet. 

This is a ravioli cutter, I purchased from Williams Sonoma.

Scoop about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of the ravioli. Place another ravioli round on top. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the exposed pasta around the filling. Starting in the center, gently press and shape the dough around each mound, working out to the sides and forcing out any air. 

Repeat this process until all ravioli is made.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

In a large pot of boiling water, add ravioli and once they float to the top, cook another couple of minutes, save about ¼ cup of the water and drain the rest. You will want to use the reserved pasta water to help thicken the sauce later.

For the sauce, melt the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic. I love shallots, while similar in taste to an onion, I think they have a bit more “refined” flavor and are more delicate, and softer. 

Once the shallots and garlic are slightly brown, add in the chopped pancetta. Pancetta is an Italian salami made of pork belly meat that is salt cured. You can find pancetta in the deli at most local grocery stores, like Publix. If you can not find Pancetta, bacon will work too. Cook the pancetta until crispy. 

Add the stuffed ravioli to the same pan, and coat with the buttery sauce for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the reserved pasta water, a tablespoon at a time into the pan, this will thicken the sauce slightly. Continue to sauté the ravioli for about 2 more minutes, you want to heat the ravioli all the way through. Lastly, stir in the chopped parsley. 

Place the cooked ravioli on a plate, spoon the buttery sauce over the top and sprinkle with toasted chopped walnuts. Yum! 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 lb. Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
  • 8 oz. Pecorino Toscano cheese
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. fresh pasta
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped pancetta
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped toasted walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Using the fine side of a box grater, grate the pears and Pecorino into a bowl. Add the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of the parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller: Using the roller attachment, roll the pasta into a thin sheet and cut into 12-inch-long pieces.

Hand method: Roll out the pasta and cut into 12-inch-long pieces. 

Press a ravioli cutter stamp or circle cookie cutter into the flour and then press down firmly to cut out raviolis. Place on a prepared floured tray.

Scoop about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of the ravioli. Place another ravioli round on top. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the exposed pasta around the filling. Starting in the center, gently press and shape the dough around each mound, working out to the sides and forcing out any air.

Transfer the ravioli to a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking.

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the ravioli and cook until they float and are al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the ravioli to paper towels to drain. Repeat to cook the remaining ravioli. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Sauté the chopped shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes. In the same pan, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ravioli and gently stir to coat with the butter. Add the reserved cooking water as needed to create a sauce. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley.

Transfer the ravioli to a warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with the walnuts and serve.

 Inspired by Lidia Bastianich

Recipes

Cheesy Popovers

I totally have a recipe bucket list, I mean, shouldn’t everyone? 🤣

I have always wanted to make popovers. So, I decided to try my hand at making them and I’m so mad I haven’t made them before. 

They are easy to make and delicious! 

You may be asking yourself, what is a popover?

They are like a muffin but light, airy, and crispy around the edges. In this recipe, they pull apart to a buttery cheesy magical pastry.

The name comes from literally “popping over” the sides of the pan and are baked in a hot oven until they “pop” up. They are a simple side item for a weeknight meal or holiday entertaining.

You may have heard that popovers are usually made in a special pan. Good news – you can use a regular muffin pan and they work just as well.

If you use a muffin pan, you may want to skip every other opening just in case they “pop” over onto each other.

Guess what? No mixer or blender is required. Just one bowl, a whisk and a rubber spatula is all you need.

You can get pretty creative with popovers! In the recipe below, I used Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but you can use any cheese combination you like and then add your favorite seasoning, instead of garlic powder and cayenne in the recipe below. Or, switch it up completely, and make them sweet for a dessert by using sugar and cinnamon. The possibilities are endless! Get creative! 

Ingredients 

  • 12 cup muffin pan or popover pan 
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan 
  • 4 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or smoked paprika

Directions

1.    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2.    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter until combined. Whisk in the flour and salt and then fold in the cheeses and chives until even. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3.    Put a muffin pan on the middle rack in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.

4.    Remove muffin pan from oven (careful, hot!) and pour the batter into the cups of the hot pan, filling almost to the top – make sure they are almost to the top.

5.    Lightly sprinkle with the cayenne or smoked paprika (a very small amount of cayenne). Bake the popovers until crisp and golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.

6.    Take each out of the pan, place on a wire rack, and pierce with a small paring knife to let steam escape. Serve hot.

Recipes

Stuffed Chorizo Chicken over Yellow Rice

The smells of Spanish cooking never fails to set my tastebuds alight.

Spanish food looks good and tastes great. But the smell of Spanish food cooking adds to the anticipation of dinner, and to the experience of eating it!

I loving making recipes that remind me of being a little girl at my grandparents’ houses.

I love using Chorizo in my cooking, whether it’s for my mom’s Spanish Bean Soup, a breakfast hash or tacos! It adds little richness and spice to a dish. The two most common types of chorizo here in the United States are Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo.

Here’s a some quick tips on the difference.

Spanish Chorizo

Spanish chorizo is usually cured or smoked and wrapped in a casing. It does not need any further cooking or preparation to enjoy. I like to eat Spanish chorizo as-is on a charcuterie board with cheeses and a glass of red wine.

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican chorizo is most commonly sold raw and must be cooked before consuming. It should be pan-fried or browned like any ground sausage. I love Mexican chorizo, it’s a highly versatile ingredient for adding huge flavor to any dish. It works seamlessly with soups, chilis, sauces, or as a topping for potatoes, pasta dishes, and breakfast hashes.

For this recipe, I used Mexican chorizo since I will stuffing it into chicken.

I always like to marinade my chicken, especially if I’m using breast. I find chicken breast to not have much flavor on it’s own.

I usually make my own marinade but I had a bottle of Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade in the frig and it’s pretty good so I figured let’s save some time!

The first step of this recipe is to dump your chicken breast into a ziplock bag and pour enough of the marinade in to cover the chicken.

If you have the time, marinate it over night, if not at least 1 hour.

Now it’s time to get to slicing and dicing! This is where my boyfriend, Brian comes in handy!

Before you start, make sure you have a trash bowl next to your cutting board. I learned this tip from one of my favorite chefs, Rachael Ray! I use my Meme’s old metal colander, it makes me feel like she’s in the kitchen with me!

Evenly, dice the onion, garlic and red bell peppers.

Here’s another tip! When you cut your red bell pepper or any pepper make sure to cut it skin down. This will make it so much easier for your knife and you!

While you are slicing and dicing, heat your skillet. Place the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat and break it up into tiny pieces with a wooden spoon while cooking. Transfer the chorizo to a large bowl lined with a paper towel and let the oils drain from the chorizo.

Next, using that same pan, wipe out most of the oil with a paper towel, but leave some of the chorizo oil, and sauté your onion. Sprinkling the Saxon Con Azafran (I use the Baida brand). Continue to sauté for about 4-5 minutes until tender, then add the red bell pepper and sauté until tender. I add the garlic last because garlic can burn if cooked too long and that is not good for any dish. Sauté all together, for 4-5 minutes until fragrant.

Transfer the veggies and chorizo to a large bowl and stir together. This is the filing a.k.a Chorizo stuffing for your chicken!

By now, the aroma from your kitchen should be calling to your family and neighbors to come over for dinner!

PreHeat your oven to 325F

Next up, prepare the yellow rice! I personally love VIGO yellow rice! It’s made right here in Tampa! If you have never visited the VIGO store in Tampa, you must! They also offer field trips for students!

First melt the butter and EVOO in a saucepan. Then add the rice. A great tip I learned from Gordan Ramsay is to first toast your rice!

The secret to a better pan of rice lies in seasoning and flavoring the grains before they even hit that pot of boiling water.

Once the grains are coated and start to toast (you should smell a deep nutty aroma), take it a step further by tossing in some aromatics — like chopped shallots, garlic, ginger, and/or spices — into the pan. For this recipe, toss in the garlic! Toast for just a few minutes, until the rice starts to look slightly brown on the tips and smells fragrant and nutty. Then add in the 2 cups of chicken broth. Stirring occasionally, bring the broth to a boil. Cover saucepan tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Now it’s time to take out all the stress from the day! Grab your mallet or rolling pin; chicken, and cutting board.

Place the chicken on the cutting board and cover it with wax paper or plastic wrap (keep it covered, you don’t want chicken juice on your rolling pin or mallet). After giving the chicken breast a good pounding on both sides, use your rolling pin to roll it out like pie dough to approcimately 1/4 thick (but keep it in the covered since you don’t want chicken juice on your rolling pin.)

Sprinkle Badia Sazon With Saffron over the chicken. Take a scoop of Chorizo stuffing about 1-2 tablespoons and place it at one end of the chicken breast. Do not let your scoop touch the chicken, you are going to want to save the leftover stuffing for future meals, I used mine in quesadillas the next day! It’s also good in a breakfast hash or even as a salsa!

Unravel the cheese… yup I said unravel! It’s like a ball of yarn but cheese! Super fun!

Cut 2-3 inch strips and place on top of the Chorizo stuffing.

Now roll the chicken, making sure to tuck in the cheese and stuffing. You’re basically rolling the chicken like you would a tortilla for a burrito.

You can use tooth picks or kitchen twine to tie the chicken, so it does not come undone. I used twine but tooth picks are much easier. 😉

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and drizzle with EVOO. You don’t have to use cast iron – a large skillet will do but I much prefer cooking with cast iron!

Sear the stuffed chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side until browned. (They will not be fully cooked. You will finish them off in the oven.)

Some of the cheese will ooze out, but don’t worry it will taste amazing like fried cheese!

Take the skillet off of the heat, and pour in 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F.

Now it’s time to plate the dish! I love creating the presentation of the meal!

Take a ladle and press the rice to form a dome, then place the chicken next to it with the cheese oozing onto the plate. YUM!

Get creative and post your plated presentation below in the comments, I’d love to see it!!!

Ingredients:

Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade

4 Chicken Breasts

1 large Onion – diced

5 garlic cloves- minced or diced

2 red bell peppers – diced

1 pound Mexican Chorizo

1 ball of Oaxaca Cheese

2 teaspoons Badia Sazon With Saffron

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

Yellow Rice Ingredients:

10 oz. Vigo Yellow Rice packet

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Olive Oil – EVOO

1 clove garlic – minced or diced

2 cups Chicken Broth

Instructions:

1. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over the chicken. Leave in refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 325F.

3. In a large skillet, sauté Chorizo until cooked through. Place the chorizo in a large bowl lined with a paper towel.

4. In the same skillet, sauté the diced onion, sprinkle with Badia Sazon With Saffron seasoning. Add the diced red bell peppers, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

5. Pour onion, red bell pepper & garlic mixture into a large bowl. Add the chorizo into the bowl and stir together.

6. Lay down 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Use the smooth side of a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken. Start in the center of your chicken and work your way out, until chicken is 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.

7. Scoop the Chorizo stuffing onto one side of the flatten chicken breast.

8. Lay a 2-3 inch slice of cheese on top of the chorizo stuffing.

9. Roll up the chicken, tucking in the stuffing and cheese.

10. Stick a couple of toothpicks in near the opening to keep it all together.

11. Heat up a pan to medium-high heat (I used a cast iron skillet) and sear the meat on both sides about 4 minutes for each side.

12. Pour in 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth.

13. Lower the heat and continue cooking the meat on the stove until it’s done or, if you’re using a cast iron skillet, you can put the skillet in the oven. Just make sure you cook it until the center reaches 165ºF on a thermometer

14. Serve immediately over yellow rice. Enjoy!

Yellow Rice Instructions

1. Melt butter and EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan.

2. Pour packet of yellow rice into the saucepan. Toast the rice until the edges are slightly brown.

3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

4. Pour 2 cups of chicken broth into the saucepan and bring to boil, stirring for about one minute.

5. Cover saucepan tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Tips & Tricks

The Wooden Spoon

My first tip is make sure you have a wooden spoon or several!

My Meme, grandmother, use to always say a wooden spoon is a must have in the kitchen!

And yes, just like the episode of Everyone Loves Raymond, we had the large wooden spoon and fork on the kitchen wall in my Meme & Papa’s house. But that was not the wooden spoon, she was speaking of.

Why Wood?

Wooden spoons don’t quickly heat to scalding temperatures, melt, or scratch pots and pans. A wooden spoon can be used to stir any dish in any type of pot/pan. It can muddle lime and mint for a Mojito, stop a pot of pasta from boiling over, and fold together the wet and dry ingredients of cookie batter.

While all of these facts already tip the scale in favor of wooden spoons, there is also an emotional reason to use them.

Wood retains memories in a way that metal and plastic cannot. It shows signs of use. It changes color and texture, wears and ages, even changes shape.

I can look at one of my wooden spoons and see a slight bent from cooking my first Christmas meal, or the dark spot from the sangria I made for my friends last summer. And when I use the wooden rolling pin that belonged first to my grandmother, then to my mother, and now to me, I cannot help but feel that I am cooking in the company of all past meals that the rolling pin helped roll and with the help of all the hands that have done the rolling before me.

Now I have taken her advice, and have several wooden kitchen utensils. They are my go to!

DIY Projects

About Me

Hi!
Welcome to Whisk Away Kitchen!

I am excited to share with you my favorite recipes as well as tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

For several years I have wanted to start a food blog. Since food sparks creativity in me, I knew that I wanted this blog to be all about having fun in the kitchen, delicious food, creative cocktails and tips & tricks I’ve learned along the way! So with the encouragement of my family and friends, “Whisk Away Kitchen” was born!

I am lucky enough to have the recipes of my Sicilian and Spanish grandparents. I love taking an old family recipe and adding a new spin on it to keep it current and fresh. One of my favorite things to do after a long day is to get lost in the kitchen, creating dinner for family and friends.

This blog is all about being creative in the kitchen & fun. I’m here to show you that it is okay to switch things up, making good homemade food really isn’t all that difficult, it’s actually fun!

I hope I will inspire you to be “whisked” away into your kitchen and cook what you see here, and most importantly have some fun!

Exactly who am I?

My name is Erin. I’m a Tampa native, Elementary school Assistant Principal, cook, blogger and foodie. I love to cook for family and friends any chance I get. From a young age, I watched my Sicilian grandparents, great grandma and Spanish gradma work their magic in the kitchen, and once I picked up my first whisk, I was hooked! I do most of my cooking in Tampa with my boyfriend, Brian, a.k.a Bear, and my pup, Bodie. Cooking has always been a welcome creative and stress release for me. When I’m not working, you can find Bear and I in the kitchen creating something yummy! My hope is to inspire you and bring you closer together!

I’m so thankful you are here to join in my cooking adventure.